Do you guys remember that episode of Friends where Rachel gets called out for saying that her favorite movie is Dangerous Liaisons when it’s really Weekend at Bernie’s? That’s what I’m like with baking cookbooks. When asked, I say that it’s Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. And it is a fabulous cookbook. Run, don’t walk, to the kitchen to make her ricotta pound cake and honey and pine nut tart.
But my actual favorite? Mom’s Big Book of Baking by Lauren Chattman. I know, I know, it’s so unsexy. But Lauren really nails all the basics, so this is a great book if you want a no-fail recipe for a birthday cake; any kind of muffin (I make her chocolate chip ones with cinnamon and sugar all the time); or classics from the cookie cannon, like snickerdoodles or peanut butter thumbprints. If you want to give one of her recipes a go, try this Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier this week, I’m having a moment right now with whole wheat flour. So this past Monday I whipped up a vegan variation of Lauren’s homemade graham cracker recipe. What I love about these crackers is that they’re not too sweet; they’re really almost like a biscuit. I’ve been enjoying them with a mug of tea and a little square of dark chocolate for dessert. I’m also ecstatic to report that Owen loves them! He burst into tears last night when Alex wouldn’t let him take one in the tub. (Owen won, and the graham cracker got soaked.)
Whole Wheat Vegan Graham Crackers
Adapted from Mom’s Big Book of Baking by Lauren Chattman
Makes about 16 crackers
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil and brown sugar together in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and almond milk and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Gather the dough together in a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand until it’s soft enough to roll out (I refrigerated my dough overnight, and I let it stand for about an hour).
Preheat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out with a rolling pin to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares (I was less than professional about this and just sort of eyeballed it). Gather the scraps together and reroll to make more squares.
Transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Prick the crackers several times with a fork. Bake until they are light golden and slightly puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The graham crackers will keep for about a week, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.