Homemade Graham Cracker Cookies Just in time for Valentine's Day!

Back in the days when we could travel, I often drove to Minneapolis to visit my family. I discovered a fabulous bakery/deli that became my regular stop on every trip. One day while visiting the bakery, I noticed little packages of homemade graham crackers on their counter. Hmmm, they look good, I thought, so I bought them. Every time I went to Minneapolis thereafter, I bought graham crackers! I've never tasted anything so good in my life! Well, that's a slight exaggeration but suffice to say I had NEVER had a homemade graham cracker before and didn't even know such a thing existed! My go to graham cracker had always been the boxed version in the cracker aisle at the grocery store. Since driving 8 hours to get a graham cracker is a little excessive, I started searching for a recipe so I could bake my own. Well, there are so many versions of a graham cracker recipe that I just put it all on the back burner. Until now. Since I am newly "retired but inspired" I have TIME to bake and try out new recipes. There have definitely been a few failures but, fortunately, these graham crackers turned out pretty darn good. They are not soft but extra crispy, like a cookie, which is perfect for dunking in a big mug of hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows (that recipe may come later)!

Since Valentine's Day was coming up soon, I decided to cut out these graham cracker cookies

with a fluted heart shaped cookie cutter. They not only taste good, but now they look good, too. And doesn't everyone love heart shaped cookies? If you want to be REALLY nice and kind, you could stack a half dozen of these heart shaped graham cracker cookies, wrap them in cellophane, tie a big red bow on top and march it over to your neighbor or favorite person for an extra special Valentine treat! Or you could just eat them all yourself! Gosh, it's hard not to! But GIVING tastes just as good!

This recipe is really simple and easy. The dough will be very thick but don't worry, once you pat it into a disc and cool it in the fridge for 30 minutes it will stick together and be easy to handle. Try it. You may never want to buy a box of graham crackers again! I've adapted this recipe from Miette, a San Francisco bakery and the prettiest cookbook you could ever own.

Graham Cracker Cookies

Preheat oven 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift together in a medium bowl and set aside:

1 1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat until light and fluffy:

3/4 cup Land O Lakes unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 heaping Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoon milk, room temperature

Add the dry ingredients in three additions, beating well after each. The dough will be very dry. Add a little more milk until it holds together slightly. Dump it on the counter that has a dusting of flour on it. Shape the dough into 2 rectangles and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.Remove from the fridge and let the dough come to room temperature, but still be cold. Place one rectangle between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to about 1/8 thickness. Cut out with a heart shaped cookie cutter, poke tops with a fork and sprinkle each cookie with sugar. Gather up scraps and roll out to make more cookies. Repeat with the second rectangle of dough. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store baked cookies in an airtight container. Enjoy!

BAKE. LOVE. SHARE. Here's a few people you could share your cookies with:

The mailman, UPS delivery man (or woman), the clerk at the grocery store who always gives you a big smile and packs up your groceries so nicely, your child's teacher, Feed My People, or any food drop organization (getting home baked cookies is a real treat), the guy who plows snow off your driveway, the nurses at the Cancer unit, the nurse that gives you your Covid vaccine...who can you think of that would appreciate your home made cookies?

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