Sunday, April 26, 2009

the business of making homemade graham crackers.

strawberry fluff 014c

I needed a platform for my Auntie B's Strawberry Cream Cheese Fluff & since homemade graham crackers get high marks around the food web, i thought why not?

first of all - i wouldn't exactly say these were easy. we're not talking brioche here, but you're not going to be whipping up a batch of these like drop cookies or brownies.

the dough is like a slightly damp sand that requires some finagling to push it into a mass that can be rolled between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, then chilled, then rolled thinner, cut, poked & possibly chilled a second time depending on the recipe you're using, before baking them off.

& if the first recipe you tested leaves you with anemic, flat, hard-as-a-rock, gamey-tasting crackers that smell like dog biscuits (that's them on the left)--

recipe test: graham cracker

--& then you have to go to the market for a box of Honey Maid so you have something to serve Auntie B's Strawberry Cream Cheese Fluff on, you might not want to subject yourself to that again.

or maybe you're a glutton for punishment & you try again a week later with a different recipe & it pays off.

the second recipe was adapted from Retro Desserts by Wayne Brachman which I found by way of this recipe by Gale Gand.

Brachman's recipe requires the same amount of work with the dough, but this time the crackers had a healthy, suntanned glow & tasted really good. Note: i did something a little different with the flour. instead of Brachman's:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup light rye flour

i used:

3/4 cup AP flour
1 1/2 cup graham flour

these are much heartier & whole grainier than graham crackers from a box which is not a bad thing, but the point needs to be made. they're lightly sweet with just a touch of cinnamon, have a great grahamy taste & the texture is what you would expect from a something called a cracker, which is not something i could say about the first recipe.

my Auntie B in Indiana makes a delicious dip for fresh fruit by combining a container of strawberry cream cheese with a jar of marshmallow fluff. since fresh strawberries are plentiful now, i used fluff + plain cream cheese & added some fresh strawberry sauce. however you make it, be careful. it's easy to start eating it right out of the mixing bowl until there's nothing left to serve your guests.

Auntie B's Strawberry Cream Cheese Fluff

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
1 jar marshmallow fluff
1 recipe Strawberry Sauce

Whip cream cheese and fluff until smooth.

Start by adding half of the strawberry sauce, beating till combined. If necessary, add more strawberry sauce until the dip reaches the consistency you want. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

My creation


Jennifer said...

I love that strawberry fluff idea!!!