Category: video

Graham Crackers (and Dandies!)

S'mores with Homemade Graham Crackers and Dandies

I always have trouble finding vegan graham crackers at the store. Nearly every single brand has honey in them. The one version that doesn’t is full of icky ingredients.

When I got my Dandies in the mail, I knew I had to make my own graham crackers once and for all. The recipe turned out really good. I’d like to perfect the texture a little (ideally, I’d actually like them to be more crumbly than they are), but the flavor is nice and mellow, and it really highlights the sweet, nutty taste of whole wheat without being overly sugary. If you like your graham crackers really sweet, add a bit more sugar than I call for.

Graham CrackersGraham crackers are traditionally made with graham flour, named after Sylvester Graham, a really interesting (if slightly crazy) health nut from the 19th century. He promoted the vegetarian diet (yay!) to cure, among other things, sexual desires (I did say he was slightly crazy).

Graham flour is whole wheat flour. What makes it different from standard whole wheat is the ratio of endosperm to bran to germ. Sylvester Graham ground these parts of the wheat berry separately to preserve texture and then re-combined them in a specific proportion. You can find graham flour in some stores and online, or you can make your own. Wikipedia says “one cup of graham flour is approximately equivalent to 84 g (~2/3 cup) white flour, 15 g (slightly less than 1/3 cup) wheat bran, and 2.5 g (1.5 teaspoons) wheat germ.”

Or you can do what I did and just use stoneground flour and call it a day.

Stoneground Whole Wheat FlourActually, you can use whatever flour you like for these. I used stoneground flour because it has little flecks of bran in it, which adds some lovely texture to the crackers. I really recommend using at least some form of whole wheat, because it gives the graham crackers their traditional nutty flavor. Oh yeah, and it’s healthier. And rest assured it won’t mess with your libido. Sorry Sylvester.

Graham crackers are tasty, but they aren’t the sexiest food in the world. S’mores, on the other hand? Sexy. I made these with Chicago Soydairy’s latest vegan treat, Dandies vegan marshmallows. They are awesome! It’s my understanding that they’re being sold online, but sell out FAST. So if you see them available, scoop them up! They taste great, and they’re gelatin free, and they roast up just like the non-vegan version. Perfect for s’mores.

How about a little video before the recipe? Don’t forget all my videos are HD, so you can watch them full-screen!

Making Graham Crackers on Vimeo.

Graham Crackers
Makes at least 24 3×3″ Crackers

2 1/2 Cups Graham Flour or Stoneground Flour or Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar (or a little more sugar mixed with water)
3/4 Cup Water

Mix the all the dry ingredients together. Cream together Earth Balance and sugar. Add vanilla and agave and beat with a whisk until smooth. Add a little of the flour and a little of the water to the earth balance/sugar mixture and combine. Continue adding in flour and water, a little at a time, until all flour and water is added. Work the dough with your hands until everything is evenly combined.

Divide dough in half and cover. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325º F. Roll out the dough into a rectangle that measures approximately 11″x15″. Trim edges. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares or rectangles (I cut mine into 3′x3′ squares). Prick the squares with a fork.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325º F or until the crackers are turning golden brown around the edges. You can sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of the crackers during the last 10 minutes of baking if you like.

Remove from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack. See the video above for visual directions.

For S’mores

S'mores with Homemade Graham Crackers and Dandies

Place the crackers in multiples of two on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to broil. Add chocolate to one cracker and vegan marshmallows to another until all the crackers are topped. Broil for less than 1 minute, watching constantly, until the marshmallows are golden and melty and the chocolate has softened.

Chicago Soydairy's Dandies Marshmallows

Remove from oven, assemble the s’more, and eat! The graham crackers are also great plain, or topped with cream cheese frosting.

Graham Crackers

Broccolini, Cherry Tomato, and Butter Bean Udon

Broccolini, Cherry Tomato, and Butterbean Udon

I asked my twitter friends if they’d like to see recipes made for one, and the response was overwhelming; absolutely. A lot of you seem to make lunch for yourself, or have several weeknights where you’re cooking solo and want to throw something fresh together without a lot of hassel.

When I know I’m going to be eating alone, I rarely do the logical thing and make a big batch of something so I can have leftovers. I’m terrible with leftovers. I’m too fickle when it comes to food, so leftovers turn to science projects in the fridge. Therefore I tend to make a lot of one-off meals based on whatever odds and ends of produce I have left.

So here’s one of them. I had one serving broccolini, and half a pint of cherry tomatoes. Not enough of either to feed both me and my husband, so I made one little but delicious meal out of it. If you’re not cooking for one, this dish is easy to scale up, so don’t worry. But my friends who dine independently? This one is especially for you!

Annnd, how about a video? Here’s the whole meal, start to finish, in two minutes. A little overview, if you will. There’s nothing difficult about this recipe, so this is more for fun than anything. You can watch the whole video in HD, full-screen, even!

Watch this video on Vimeo instead.

Broccolini, Cherry Tomato and Butter Bean Udon
Serves One

1 to 1 1/2 Bundles Udon Noodles
Oil, about 2-3 Tbs
3-6 Stalks of Broccolini, depending on size
1/2 tsp Red Pepepr Flakes
Black Pepper
10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1/2 Cup Butter Beans/Lima Beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp Italian Herbs
Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling

Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add udon noodles and cook for four minutes (or as long as package directions dictate), then drain and rinse well. Coat lightly with oil to prevent noodles from sticking. I use spray oil for this, I think it’s the easiest and you use the least amount of oil. Set noodles aside.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium high with a little oil. Add broccolini and coat with oil. Season with 1 big pinch of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Once the broccolini starts to turn bright green and get a little color (just a minute or two), push them to the edge of the pan.

Turn heat up a little and add quartered cherry tomatoes. Stir to coat in any oil/spices leftover from the broccolini, then let cook, untouched, to get a little color and soften up, 1-2 minutes. Once tomatoes are softened, add 1/2 cup of butter beans. Stir everything together and remove to a bowl.

In the still-hot pan, add a 1-2 Tbs more oil. Add cooked udon noodles to the hot pan, seasoning with a pinch of salt and italian herbs. Toss to coat the pasta. Once the pasta is coated and is heated through, add back the broccolini, beans, and tomatoes. Taste and season with more salt or pepper if needed.

Plate, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired.

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Broccolini, Cherry Tomato, and Butterbean Udon