Seven Fun Ways to Use Graham Crackers
What is a graham cracker?
The graham cracker is a cracker that was made from graham flour-an unbleached wheat flour that also includes the coarsely ground wheat germ and bran. This enhances flavor and adds more nutritional value.
The graham cracker was created by Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister from New Jersey. In 1829 he developed a 'graham' diet that was a bland diet in order to promote godliness and ward off sinful, carnal urges. His hope was that by consuming foods that were bland in taste, such as the graham cracker, it would curve the sexual urges of man.
Today graham crackers are hardly considered 'bland' and the flavors include: honey, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate. Here are some of my favorite ways to use graham crackers:
1. Frosting Sandwich Dessert
A simple way to use up left over frosting is to spread it on a graham cracker and add a second cracker for the 'top' of the sandwich. Break it in half and share it with a friend...or, three friends!
My favorite is creamy chocolate buttercream frosting, but I won't turn my nose up to other flavors. Join me for a sweet treat.
Chocolate Frosting SandwichClick thumbnail to view full-size
2. Graham Cracker Cereal
Graham crackers in a bowl of milk were a standard breakfast choice for my sister, Danette Watt. In the morning before school, or as a bedtime snack, she would fill her bowl, cracking them into smaller pieces and cover them with milk. The longer they stayed submerged, the soggier they got. The soggier they got, the better she liked them.
Graham cracker mush is a great cereal for babies. I used to feed my children this when they were learning to eat solid food. Since I never fed my kids store bought baby food this was an easy cereal for me to fix and them to enjoy.
The art of graham cracker dunkingClick thumbnail to view full-size
3. Graham crackers dunked in milk
Along the lines of cereal is my all-time favorite use for graham crackers: dipping them into a beverage. I prefer milk, since I am not a coffee drinker, but once in a great while, (if there is no milk in the house and I don’t feel like taking a trip to the store), I will dunk the crackers in a cup of tea.
I follow a particular ritual when I dunk my graham crackers. I take the whole cracker and crack them in half the long way. Then I double the crackers together and dip them for a couple of seconds and eat away, right down to the tips of my fingers. I’m not sure why or when I began to double the crackers, but for some reason the habit stuck.
One must be very mindful of how long you leave the cracker in the milk. Too long will result in it breaking off into the milk, so a handy spoon nearby is always a good choice. However, if you remove them too soon they do not soak up the milk and soften well.
Chocolate pieClick thumbnail to view full-size
Pie pans from Amazon
4. Pie Crusts
Roll the crackers out with a rolling pin until fine. Mix with butter and sugar, (optional-for me, the crackers already has a sweetness to it), and pat into a pie tin. No rolling pin? A filled 2 liter bottle will do, or a can-just look around your kitchen and improvise. No pie pan? The dollar stores have these available in a set as a disposable item. I wash mine and reuse them.
There are many tasty recipes to make with a graham cracker crust. My mother used to make a wonderful strawberry chiffon pie in the summertime. I can smell the strawberries now. Another favorite is a chocolate pie.
And speaking of treats, here are two of my favorites. One is a simple substitute for an ice cream sandwich I learned while going to a weight watchers group I belonged to while I lived in Alaska.
Frozen treatsClick thumbnail to view full-size
5. Faux Ice Cream Sandwiches:
One large cracker broken in half by width, one to two tablespoons of Lite whipping cream, such as Cool Whip. Place a tablespoon or two onto one side of the cracker, place the other cracker on top and press down until it comes to the edge of the cracker. Freeze until solid. Remove from freezer and enjoy while other family members have their ice cream. Calories: Less than 100 depending on how much topping you put on. One cracker = 65 calories; 2 T lt. whipping cream= 20 calories; total = 85 calories.
You can decorate them with a little sprinkling of colored sugar for holiday flare, but don’t forget that it will add to your calorie count.
S'MoresClick thumbnail to view full-size
Oh, need I say anything more about this delicious treat that is quite the opposite in calorie count as the whipped cream sandwich. In a word: loaded! But, it is a wonderful, sweet treat that conjures up memories of summertime, campfires, and marshmallow roasts.
You can enjoy S’Mores year round by merely putting them in your oven or microwave. All you need are the basic ingredients: marshmallows, chocolate bars, (I prefer Hershey), and graham crackers, (I prefer Nabisco Honey Maid). Put the chocolate on one cracker, the marshmallow on the other and heat in microwave or under the broiler until melted. Then, place the two sides together and devour. They are so good.
Graham Cracker Christmas HouseClick thumbnail to view full-size
7. Graham Cracker Christmas House
Although the gingerbread house is the traditional theme for the Christmas holiday, a graham cracker house can be an easy substitute. The flat crackers adhere to the cardboard pieces easily for very young children to be successful, or iced together without the cardboard for older kids and adults.
My youngest grandchildren, Grace, four years old, and Alex, three, and their two friends enjoyed this activity with adult supervision at a community craft activity. They had as much fun creating their individual houses, selecting candy and barnyard animals and icing the houses as they did licking their fingers and tasting the treats.
It is an easy, but messy, activity to do, so prepare your table and work area by covering it with newspaper or artists paper. In a pinch, tape down parcel post or wax paper. Then, purchase a variety of candies from the dollar store that you will want to decorate with. Be sure to add icing and a box of graham crackers to your list, or make the icing with milk and confectioners’ sugar.
If it all sounds a bit daunting to you, yet you are determined to have a go at the house building process, forego the individual purchases and buy a kit. I have seen these kits in both drugstores and grocery stores.
I hope you enjoyed the variety of ways you can make use of the versatile graham cracker.