How is it that just when you think you got it all figured out - you realize you don’t. That’s what happened with these cookies. In my mind they were going to come out perfect. I tracked down what I thought was the most reliable graham cracker recipe, and I know how to melt chocolate for dipping, then simply sprinkle with the luscious smoked sea salt. Easy, well, maybe not. I have a whole new respect for upscale cookie makers. I got this idea a while back after trying some of these made by Jo’s Candies, which are quite amazing and claims to be the “Original Chocolate Covered Grahams.” To start, the graham cracker recipe was ok, not great, I baked them to nearly the recommended time and they came out hard as a rock. I’ve seen other recipes that use graham flour and I think that might be the way to go. However this recipe had made the rounds from Nancy Silverton’s book, onto 101 Cookbooks, then adapted on Smitten Kitchen so I thought it would be a sure thing even though they didn’t use graham flour. I rolled the dough out slightly thicker for more of a cookie size, so it may have been part of the downfall here. After the meh taste test I decided to move forward and dip them in chocolate, I mean there is very little that you can dip into chocolate that won’t taste good. To be clear, these cookies do have a great flavor, but I can’t get over the toughness of the cookie so it’s really the texture that’s throwing me off. And my chocolate dipping, where did I go wrong? I didn’t have any coconut oil on hand so I used butter instead, but the whole thing started to seize up and it was turning into more of a frosting as you can see from the photos. I found some nice tips on tempering and dipping chocolate here by Liz Gutman, but as I’ve mentioned before we’re working on an electric stove right now and this isn’t the first time it’s caused me grief. Could the boiling water have been too hot? Really?
If you do use this graham recipe I would just like to add that you want the dough quite cold while rolling it out, on a well floured board. I made 2 batches, the first one I used 1 1/2” cookie cutter and they weren’t quite bite size (which is part of the joy of this cookie), so the second batch I used a 1” cutter which worked much better, and they will need less bake time at this size.
I’d like to take another stab at the graham cracker cookie thingies, I’ll update if I have any success with a different graham recipe. If you have any suggestions please feel free to post in the comments below!
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
- 1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
- 5 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator
flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Use a 1” cookie cutter for bite size cookies and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15- 25 minutes (depending on your oven and cookie size), until browned and slightly firm to the tough, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Remove and place on cooling rack.
Tempering the chocolate
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
Over a double boiler melt the chocolate and oil, whisking until melted, remove from heat. Use immediately. (Tips here) I had used packaged semi-sweet chocolate chunks which may have added to the problem, but Liz didn’t specify what kind of chocolate.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Have your cookies, melted chocolate, smoked sea salt and baking sheet arranged in an assembly line fashion. With a fork dip the cookie in the chocolate, allow excess to drip off fork, place on parchment and top with salt immediately. You will have to work quickly with the chocolate so it’s helpful to work in small batches. Refrigerate until firm.