Things in life I can’t get enough of:
Bags which just so happen to be covered in my first initial. You know what I’m sayin’? Upon my twenty-first birthday, my mommy said she would buy me my first designer bag. I wanted the one with the letters that just so happen to sandwich my first initial, but she said, “Why not get one with C’s, for Cara?” She was the one buying, so I didn’t really have a choice. She made the right one, though, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Cookbooks. Forget novels, I’m known to wonder into bookstores and stand for hours in front of the cookbooks, thumbing through their thick, glossy, colorful pages, tummy grumbling louder by the minute. My mind zooming a million miles a minute, adding to my mental list of things to make. It’s rare I don’t take one home, though I confess I’ve slowed down a bit since my bookcase (yes, an entire one dedicated to my cookbooks) is getting rather full. I think it’s time for a second.
S’mores. I don’t care how many burgers and dogs have been grilled and vats of pasta salad emptied, there’s always room for s’mores. I’m pretty sure I was born with a hollow leg just for s’mores (the other is for the rice krispie treats, naturally.) You’d think that my husband would be most accepting of this addiction; after all, it doesn’t cost more than $10 for some Nabisco, Hershey, and Kraft Jet-Puffed. But of the three obsessions, this is the one he most doesn’t get. How does he deal with it? Well, like most people deal with things they don’t understand. He makes fun of it.
Until now. All making-fun-of-Cara’s-s’mores-addiction came to a halt when he first tried my homemade (sugar-free, with a vegan option) graham crackers. I can simply tell by the way he kept going after these for the short time they were around that he’ll never poke fun again. It’s not that he never liked s’mores; he did. He just didn’t understand why they rank among the best-things-ever. But now, right this second now, I’m pretty sure he’s craving a s’more. That makes two of us.
I say this with great confidence because the truth of the matter is, we didn’t even make s’mores. Actually, that’s a lie. I didn’t make s’mores, but one night as he wandered off into blissful sleep, I heard the happy words mumble forth from his mouth: “You know what was really good today? Those graham crackers, with those Three Muskateers chocolate covered marshmallow things you bought. You know I really shoulda microwaved them too. “ (Those “things” were found in the 50% off display of Easter candy right after Passover. Perfect timing.)
So why the heck did I bother to make homemade graham crackers if not for my beloved s’mores? Let’s get to that. A couple weeks ago I got a note from Megan representing Signature Brands asking if I’d like to sample their new icing products. She offered me two varieties of frosting in a squeezable pouch. You might be thinking “that’s not something Cara would normally buy” and you’re right. And I do have an unwritten policy of only reviewing products that I’d be likely to use and think my readers would enjoy too. But Megan is a sweetie. She told me she likes my blog because while I generally feature healthy, delicious recipes, I do make room for the occasional treat. Well, if Megan likes my blog, I like Megan.
Plus, one of the frostings was s’mores-flavored. How could I resist?
Because Megan was so kind to remind me that it’s all about balance, I figured the best way to share this product with you would be to pair it with a healthy recipe. Hence the sugar-free, all-natural, vegan-optional graham crackers. Which, on their own, are incredibly delicious and rather addicting. Perfectly crisp and full of cinnamon (and let’s not forget, sugar-free!), they are no doubt better than any store-bought graham I can imagine. Word on the street is that graham crackers are best-enjoyed slathered in less-healthy-frosting-from-a-tube. But don’t take this the wrong way. Less-than-healthy is by no means a bad thing when you stick to moderation, and these pouches allow you to do just that. They come with a resealable cap, and keep well at room temperature. So you can squeeze out a little – or a lot – whenever you desire a little extra splurge with your healthy treat. If you want to have a few cute little graham cracker and frosting sandwiches, that’s awesome. And if later on you find yourself double fisting with frosting in one hand, cookies in the other, I won’t judge. Because this stuff is pretty darn good. Milk chocolate-y and perfectly creamy, it’s a really fun thing to tuck in your pantry.
I know these are just totally dreamy, but don’t drift too far away. In the very near future, I’ll be sharing the second frosting paired with another healthy recipe, and your chance to win your own Signature Brands prize package including both frostings and a bunch of other fun items!
290gm graham flour
7 tablespoons NuNaturals Stevia Blend for Baking, or other sweetener equivalent to 3oz brown sugar)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons (84gm) coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons (60gm) honey (or maple syrup or molasses, for vegan option)
5 tablespoons vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the flour, stevia blend, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse several times, until thoroughly combined.
Add the melted coconut oil, honey, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Process until the mixture forms a crumbly dough and just begins to pull together. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and turn the dough out onto it. Gather into a ball, and press into a disk. Wrap the disk with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place on top of a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with a second piece of parchment, and roll into a large rectangle of about 1/8″ thickness. At this point. Remove the top piece of parchment. At this point, you may transfer the dough along with the bottom parchment to a baking sheet, and cut into squares. Or, use a cookie cutter to cut desired shapes and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut, until all of the dough has been used up. Using a fork, poke holes in the surface of the cookies. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
This post is featured in Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays for 5/24/2011.