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Chile-Cocoa Graham Crackers

January/February 2011

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These crunchy and crispy chocolate graham crackers have a tiny bit of spicy ancho chile on top. Oat flour makes them extra tender and tasty. Eat them plain or drizzled with a little melted chocolate. Depending on how thin you roll the dough, the crispness of the baked graham crackers will vary. If yours are not as crunchy as you like after they are completely cooled (especially the ones in the center that might be a little thicker), place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 325°F for about 15 minutes. Let cool and check again for crunch.


Chile-Cocoa Graham Crackers Recipe

Makes: About 3 dozen (2-inch) pieces

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups graham flour (see Notes)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (see Notes)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural (see Notes)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (see Notes) or regular chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Pulse graham flour, oat flour, cocoa, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, baking powder and baking soda in a food processor until thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle butter cubes over the mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir milk, honey and vanilla in a small cup until the honey is dissolved. Drizzle the honey mixture into the food processor. Process just until the dough holds together.
  2. Shape the dough into a flat 8- to 9-inch square. Wrap and refrigerate until cold but still supple enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.
  3. Position a rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.
  4. Roll the dough between sheets of parchment paper until it is 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick and as even as possible from the center to the edges. (You will have an approximate 12-by-16-inch rectangle. If you find the dough difficult to roll evenly over such a big area, divide it and roll out and bake two smaller pieces.) Flip the paper and dough over once or twice to check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel off the parchment and smooth it over the dough before continuing. Peel off the top sheet of parchment. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  5. To prepare topping: Sprinkle the dough evenly with tiny pinches of salt (about 1/16 teaspoon total). Mix 1 tablespoon sugar with chile powder and cinnamon. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the spiced sugar.
  6. Slide the dough onto a large baking sheet. Even up the edges with a sharp knife. Leave the edge scraps in place (for nibbling and to protect the rest of the grahams from burnt edges). Bake until the grahams are just starting to brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut into squares, diamonds or rectangles. Let cool completely before storing; the grahams crisp up when completely cool.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 and refrigerate for up to 2 days; let soften slightly at room temperature before proceeding with Step 3. Store grahams in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. | Equipment: Parchment paper
  • Notes: Graham flour is 100% whole-wheat flour. Before milling, the bran and germ are coarsely ground and the endosperm is finely ground; all are recombined to create a flour with a texture and flavor like wheat bran.
  • Oat flour is made from finely milled whole oats. Look for both near other flour in the baking or bulk section in natural-foods stores and well-stocked supermarkets.
  • Cocoa powder comes in two styles—natural and Dutch-processed. Dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with alkali, or "Dutched," to neutralize the natural acidity of cocoa, while natural has not. For this recipe, we prefer the taste of natural cocoa powder, although either type can be used.
  • Ancho chile powder, made from dried poblano peppers, has a mild, sweet spicy flavor. Look for it in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets.

Nutrition

Per 2-inch piece: 59 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 58 mg sodium; 16 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrates (other)



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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Moderate
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Ethnic/Regional
American
Servings
8 or more
Health & Diet Considerations
Diabetes appropriate
Low carbohydrate
Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Meal/Course
Dessert
Snack
Publication
January/February 2011

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