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The GFCF Recipe Experience: S'mores Featuring Carol Fenster's Graham Crackers

Posted May 18 2009 11:10pm
To the, my greatest reward from the GFCF experience is being able to create, for my children, GFCF versions of foods other kids are having. It's nice to know that when my kids go to a birthday party, I can give them a piece of GFCF cake or pizza, so they essentially are having what everyone else is having. This past weekend was one of my greatest rewards to date.

This past weekend was the final Pack meeting for Cub Scout Pack 4104 in Missoula, MT for the school year. Fittingly enough, it was an overnight camp out at the Larry Creek campground in the Bitterroot National Forest, about 45 minutes from Missoula. My little Bear cub Nicholas was excited about his first camping trip, as was I; growing up, I never had the opportunity to camp, and this was only my third camping experience ever.

He had a great time, soaking his pants and socks in the creek a hour after we arrived, participating in the Cub Scout Olympics, playing a couple of games of Folf, performing skits at the Pack meeting, and all around having fun with the other scouts.

But of course, when there is camping, there is food. And, when camping out, nothing is better in the evening than sitting around the campfire eating s'mores.

Let's see, to make s'mores you need three things:
  • Toasted marshmallows. Check. Most marshmallows are GFCF.
  • Chocolate. Check. We can use Tropical Source GFCF dark chocolate bars.
  • Graham Crackers.

There are probably some GFCF graham crackers out there somewhere you can buy at the store, but none of the stores in Missoula carry them. Time to find a recipe.

Fortunately, a great friend gave me Carol Fenster's 1000 Gluten Free Recipes cookbook for Christmas last year. And right there, on page 433, was Carol's recipe for graham crackers.

I was really amazed at how easy they were to make - the dough comes together in no time, and they take only about 15 minutes to bake. We did have to make a couple of minor substitutions to Carol's recipe, but they turned to be delicious - I can only imagine how good Carol's are with the original recipe. And even our friend Chris, Nicholas' den leader, could not get over how much they looked just like a store bought graham cracker. Check it out for yourself:

I apologize for the off color photo - I have to work on my photography lighting skills. Perhaps this picture gives you a better idea of how they turned out. As they say, the proof is in the eating:

And the best part is that Nicholas was able to enjoy a campfire staple just like everyone else. That's what makes the GFCF experience worthwhile.

Carol Fenster was kind enough to give me permission to republish her original recipe. So here it is, with any changes I made in italics.

Carol Fenster's Graham Crackers

reprinted with permission from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster (Wiley, 2008)


1 1/4 cups Carol's Sorghum Blend**
1/4 cup mesquite flour

[I used 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill GF All-Purpose flour instead of Carol's mix and the mesquite flour ]

2 tbsp tapioca starch [I used an equal amount of corn starch ]
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground mace [I used an equivalent amount of ground nutmeg]
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp GF vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted CF butter, at room temperature
1 to 2 tbsp water, as needed.

**Carol's sorghum blend is as follows:
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch/cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk together until well blended. Store tightly covered in a dark, dry place. makes 4 cups.**

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture forms a ball, adding the water as necessary. [I placed the dry ingredients into a mixer and mixed on low speed until blended, then added the honey, vanilla, and CF butter to the mix. I then gradually added water until the dough ball was formed.]

Knead the dough into a soft ball. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a 1-inch disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°. Place a minimum 10 x 10 in sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface. Place one of the dough disks on top of the parchment paper and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll the dough out into a square 1/8" thick (should be around an 8" square). Transfer the dough, still between the parchment paper and the plastic wrap, on to a baking sheet, parchment side down. Remove the plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 2 1/4" squares and prick them lightly with a fork (or use a docker). Repeat with the second dough ball.

Bake the first sheet at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crackers are browned (mine took about 15 minutes). You have to watch them because the crackers can burn easily. Remove the sheet from the oven and cut through the lines again with a sharp knife. Let the crackers cool in on the baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer the parchment paper (with the crackers still on it) to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. The crackers will become crisp as they cool. Repeat with the second sheet.

Carol recommends removing the scrap pieces around the square (since it is difficult to roll out a perfect square) and freezing them for future use in a pie crust. Us - we ate them. YUM!

These crackers can be stored tightly covered for two days, or frozen for up to one month.

Please give this recipe a try. You will not regret it.

And when they are all gone, you will want s'more.
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