My mother often accuses me of not thinking before I act.
I’m pretty sure that all mothers accuse their children of this at some point in their lives.
I don’t think I’m the worst offender by any means (and sometimes I spend far too long considering the potential consequences of my actions until I drive myself mad) but I do have a habit of, for example, dumping my bag by the front door so that my boyfriend trips over it or shoving half opened packets of flour into a precarious gap in the cupboard so that the slightest movement sends it tumbling to the floor and coating my kitchen in a blanket of white.
The story behind these biscuits (I’m feeling English today) is a similar one of my thoughtlessness.
When we were in San Francisco back in the summer, I spent a few hours exploring the city while my boyfriend was doing something complicated involving spreadsheets and his fantasy NFL team. And by exploring, I really mean shopping and by the city, I really mean Williams-Sonoma.
Sadly, trans-Atlantic flights are not really conducive to carrying large amounts of kitchen equipment and so I focused my attentions on some of the perishable items that we could enjoy during our holiday. I alighted upon some really rather marvellous sounding chocolate covered caramelised graham crackers from Kika’s Treats and promptly bought several bags.
One bag was consumed in the safety of our hotel room. The other was to journey with us to Sonoma and was safely tucked away in my bag.
We got to Sonoma a few hours before we could check into our hotel and so we left the car at the hotel and wondered into the town to eat a lot of cheese and drink plenty of wine. After a few cold and foggy days in San Francisco, we reveled in a hot summer’s day in wine country. When we got back to the car, slightly the worse for wear, I realised that I had left my beloved biscuits in full view of the sun and they had turned into a soup of melted chocolate with little floating pieces of biscuit. Oh, I could have wept and I cursed myself for not stopping to think before leaving them unattended.
So, that is the tragic story of how I didn’t think before I acted and therefore didn’t get to eat as many chocolate covered caramelised graham crackers as I wanted. Living, as I do, in a country where the graham cracker is an unfamiliar beast, I knew I was going to have to take matters into my own hands if I wanted to rectify this sorry state of affairs…
Chocolate covered graham crackers
Yield: Makes 30 – 40 depending on size
Adapted from Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s most charming pastry shop and inspired by Kika’s Treats
I’d had graham crackers on my mind since last summer and then I saw Melissa of The Faux Martha post a recipe that was adapted from the Miette cookbook. It is a very pretty book but one that I’ve always been slightly too intimidated to bake from so Melissa’s post was just the push I needed. I slightly played with the ratio of white to whole wheat flour as well as using a different type of sugar and a touch of treacle/molasses to try and replicate the caramelised effect that I was after. I dipped mine in milk chocolate because, try as I may, I still prefer it to the dark stuff but you can use whatever you want. They are not exactly the same as the ones I enjoyed in San Francisco but they’re not far off.
- 170g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 115g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) muscovado sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon treacle/molasses
- 115g (1 cup) whole wheat spelt flour
- 115g (1 cup) white spelt flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 200g (8 oz) chocolate of choice
Beat together the butter, sugar, honey and treacle in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until smooth and fluffy.
Whisk together the dry ingredients and add to the wet in three batches, beating on a low speed until just incorporated.
Gather the dough together with your hands, roll into a flat disk and wrap in clingfilm.
Chill in the fridge for half an or so.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F, line a couple of baking trays with a silicon mat or non-stick paper. Take the dough out the fridge and rest on the side for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough out between two pieces of non-stick paper until about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out desired shapes and place on the baking tray.
Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until firm to the touch.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Once the graham crackers are cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in bain marie. Dip the cookies in the chocolate and place on a wire rack until set.