Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to grade schooler, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national parenting and lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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Entries in gluten-free (1)

Sunday
Mar092014

Easiest And Best Dish to Win At Bake Sales, Showers and Potlucks: Graham Crackle

These buttercrunch graham cracker squares with chocolate are going to make your life a whole lot easier. And better -- since you will now win at the bake sale table, and be swarmed following every potluck. And they can even be made gluten-free and nut-free.

You probably have eaten them before, and maybe have a recipe for this somewhere in the back of your recipe folder. As a food snob, it is hard for me to admit how easy these are, but I so many people have asked for the recipe that I couldn't deny anyone any longer. (Though with apologies to my BFF who wanted it all for herself)

This version may look pretty, but was still highly addictive.

My daughter christened this Crackle, and it can be made with all different kinds of ingredients, depending on what is in your pantry and what you are craving.

Graham Crackle (or as my husband calls it Graham Crack, Crack for short)

This recipe is based on one of my mother's recipes for Salted Caramel Squares. I chose to use graham crackers because that is what I had, and also I prefer them. You could use any square cracker you want, my friend uses Breton crackers. 

I have also made them with gluten-free grahams.

Graham Crackle:

This recipe is for one baking sheet worth of crackle. But you will probably want to double it. And you will have extra cookies left from the box. 

1 box of Graham Crackers (or enough to cover one baking sheet) You won't use them all, but the 1 box may not be enough for two cookie sheets. 

1 1/4 cups butter, cut in pieces

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup Skor bits (optional, omit for nut-free squares)

3/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

1/2 cup chocolate chips, or shavings. A mix of dark chocolate and white is nice but not necessary.

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Line an 11-by-15-inch metal baking sheet or pan with parchment paper.

Lay crackers over parchment. Make sure the crackers are touching and fill the entire cookie sheet. Break some in half to fill the gaps.

Those are gluten-free crackers on the bottom edge that I was testing. Worked great!

Combine butter and sugar in a small saucepan at a medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking to ensure a smooth, caramel-like consistency. Let boil for one minute.

Pour butter mixture over crackers, it won't be completely combined but that is okay. Smooth out mixture over crackers, some of it will leak to the bottom which is good. Once all the crackers are covered, sprinkle the nuts and skor bits on top. Add the chocolate chips.

This is a nut-free version for school.

Place in oven for 8 minutes, or until you see bubbling.

Once removed you can try and swirl the melted chocolate to look fancy.

Let cool, cut into squares using the breaks as a guide. 

Do not eat all of it yourself, you will feel sick.

Other options:

  • Use gluten-free crackers (saltines, or graham-like)
  • Add sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds and skip the chocolate. 
  • Add coconut 
  • Only add chocolate
  • Add the mini peanut butter chips and skip the almonds.
  • Add candied pecans

 

I happen to love sweet and salty so I have also turned the recipe into an easy appetizer.

Goat Cheese and Pear Crackle:

1 box of Graham Crackers (or enough to cover one baking sheet) You won't use them all, but the 1 box may not be enough for two cookie sheets. 

1 1/4 cups butter, cut in pieces

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 tsp cayenne

3/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Goat cheese

2 pears or apples

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Line an 11-by-15-inch metal baking sheet or pan with parchment paper.

Lay crackers over parchment. Make sure the crackers are touching and fill the entire cookie sheet. Break some in half to fill the gaps.

Combine butter and sugar in a small saucepan at a medium heat, add cayenne. Bring to a boil, whisking to ensure a smooth, caramel-like consistency. Let boil for one minute.

Pour butter mixture over crackers, it won't be completely combined but that is okay. Smooth out mixture over crackers, some of it will leak to the bottom which is good.

Once all the crackers are covered, sprinkle the nuts on top.

Place in oven for 8 minutes, or until you see bubbling.

Let cool and cut into squares using the breaks as a guide.

Once cool, add a thin slice of pear or apple to the square. Add a dollop of goat cheese and sprinkle a couple of sliced almonds on top.

Place on a serving tray and feel very smug. Then pass on the recipe, or tell them you worked for hours, whichever.