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Friday, September 10, 2010

Graham Nuts

I have a fascination with foods that seem like something you shouldn't be able to make in your own home. Some supermarket processed foods seem like you should have a chemistry set rather than mixing bowls to make them. I guess that's why they call people who make those types of products food scientists, with the exception of Chef Boyardee of course! I'm not a big fan of boxed cereal. I know there are people out there who love cereal milk and I am not one of them. I actually keep adding cereal to the bowl until all the milk is soaked up so I don't have to drink that warm milk at the bottom. Most of the time I lean towards oatmeal or granola, but if I am going to have boxed cereal my first choice is always Grape Nuts with yogurt. I prefer my cereal to have some crunch and Grape Nuts definitely fit the bill.
When I saw this recipe for Graham Nuts I knew I was going to have to give it a try. The end result? Well, they have a lot more flavor than Grape Nuts. The texture is lighter, more like a crunchy graham cracker. The only downside is that I don't have a food processor. Getting them to a good size without pulverizing them was a challenge. I ended up with a good amount of Graham Nut flour. I really enjoyed the novelty of making them, but I think I will tuck this recipe away until I get a food processor. In the meantime I have been checking out some Pop-Tart recipes!

Graham Nuts
adapted from Good to the Grain
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
1 cup graham flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush all of the butter evenly over a baking sheet; set aside.
Sift the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, pouring any bits remaining in the sifter back into the bowl; set aside.
Place buttermilk, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula, stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.
Scrape batter onto the prepared baking sheet and, using a rubber spatula or metal offset cake spatula, spread evenly across the entire surface of the sheet. (The more evenly the batter is spread, the more evenly the cracker will bake.)
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Cut off any dark or dry areas of the cracker and set them on a rack to cool.
Lower the oven to 250°F and return the baking sheet to the oven. Every 15 to 20 minutes, cut off the dark or dry areas of the cracker, placing them on the cooling rack. While you are doing this, cut up the rest of the cracker into smaller pieces to dry them out. Continue baking until the cracker is mahogany brown and entirely dry, about 55 to 60 minutes total. Remove from the oven and transfer remaining pieces to the cooling rack.
Prepare a food processor with a large-holed grater attachment. Once the crackers are cool, break into pieces small enough to pass through the feed tube of the food processor and grind them. (Alternatively, place the pieces in two layers of resealable plastic bags and crush with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they are about the size of peppercorns.)

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