Walnut-Maple Graham Crackers

It’s quite possible that the graham cracker is my most favorite cookie-masking-as-a-cracker that I’ve ever come across.

When I was younger I wouldn’t dare head to a ballet performance without my Caboodle full of makeup and a box of cinnamon grahams. My ballet bff, Molly, and I would run amuck at the theater between performances paging through stacks of Seventeen magazines and playing many rounds of MASH, all fueled by graham crackers.

So, when I say these are some amazing graham crackers, well, it comes from someone who spent the better part of her youth with a box of grahams in tow.

But these aren’t those graham crackers– these are homemade toasted walnut graham crackers made with rice flour, which, not only makes them gluten-free, but also makes them airy and crisp at the same time. I put this recipe together for the California Walnut Board and I’m so into to it that I keep a recipe or two of the dough in my freezer for any and all graham cracker urges.

Don’t tell, but these crackers are also my gift of choice for those who have helped me coordinate my book tour. So, if you’ve done me a solid or are going to help out in these next 12 weeks, well, get ready for some grahams. For those of you whose paths I won’t cross, I wanted to share the recipe so you could taste them for yourself.

Gluten-Free Walnut Graham Cracker Recipe

Walnut-Maple Graham Crackers Recipe

  • Makes: 32 (4-by-2-inch) crackers
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled walnut halves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup walnut milk or whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

Cut butter into small cubes then freeze for at least 10 minutes before using. Meanwhile, place walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade and pulse until evenly broken up into a meal (about 15 pulses – don’t overwork or it will become walnut butter). Add flours, sugar, salt, and baking soda to food processor and pulse to blend. Add frozen butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

Add milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and pulse just until dough is thoroughly moistened and forms a ball. Turn dough onto plastic wrap and shape into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Turn a quarter of the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of 12-by-12-inch parchment paper. Pat dough into a rectangle. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Place another piece of 12-by-12-inch parchment paper on top of the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is 1/8-inch thick and at least 9-by-9-inch square, stopping every few rolls to dust with flour to prevent sticking.

Remove top piece of parchment paper, trim edges to make an 8-by-8-inch square, reserving the scraps to reroll later. Cut dough square into 8 (4-by-2-inch) rectangles. Score each rectangle down the middle to make two squares and prick four times with a fork to make a graham cracker shape. Sprinkle with granulated sugar (if using). Transfer dough with parchment paper to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough (using the scraps too). Freeze dough for at least 15 minutes before baking.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Peel frozen crackers off the parchment paper and arrange on the freshly lined baking sheets, spaced about 1-inch apart. Bake crackers on parchment paper, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until lightly browned around edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer graham crackers to a rack to cool.


Fine Print: I’ll be working with the California Walnut Board for the next few months to create recipes and share fun ways to cook with walnuts. Each month I’ll share one or two of the recipes I crafted for them and I hope you’ll enjoy them too!


Photography by Holly Stewart and food styling by Lillian Kang

Desserts Snacks