This classic after-school snack matures a bit thanks to the addition of walnuts. The brown rice flour not only makes these gluten-free, but also helps give them a crisp texture, while the maple syrup lends a deeper flavor that brings out the subtle earthiness of the walnuts.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups shelled California walnut halves (6 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour (10 ounces)
- 1/2 cup potato starch (3 ounces)
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (6 ounces)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup California Walnut Milk or whole milk
- 3 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- 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. (This is a wet dough so refrigerating it longer will help make it easier to roll out. Dough can be made through this step up to 1 month ahead. Wrap tightly with plastic and freeze until ready to use.)
- 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 re-roll 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 whole square of 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. (The longer you freeze the dough the better it will set during baking. Dough can be made through this step up to 1 month ahead; wrap tightly with plastic and freeze until ready to use.)
- 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. Transfer to airtight container – they will keep for about one week.