I love butter. I do. It took me a while to realize it. I shunned it out of health-nuttiness, and although I still consider myself a health nut, I do allow for some butter in my diet. Not “diet,” but eating habits. You know what I mean. Toast with butter and jam. Butternut squash with butter and brown sugar. Steamed broccoli with butter and salt. COOKIES. The ultimate indulgence. The only time I don’t like butter is melted with lobster or when I put it on a hot griddle and it smells kind of gross.
When I bake, I tinker with recipes to try and make them healthier. I swap out yogurt for part of the butter or oil in muffins, I use olive oil in my granola instead of butter, and I cook mainly with extra virgin olive oil. But when it comes to cookies, there are no substitutions for butter. Cookies should be an indulgent treat, not something you try to make healthy so that you can eat them all the time.
Let me tell you about these cookies. The flavor is so rich and deep. They look rather unassuming, but when you bite into them, you’re hit with complex honey graham layers that — could it be? A graham cracker? No! Yes. These, my friends, are Martha Stewart’s Homemade Graham Crackers. My Aunt Diana gave me the recipe, and she made them into cookies instead of getting all fancy with the rolling pin and fluted pastry wheel (which the original recipe calls for). I liked the sound of cookies, so I did the same. They are so delicious, and nothing like store bought graham crackers. I rolled the dough into balls and then flattened them onto the pan. Alternately, you can roll out the dough and cut out shapes if you’d like. I did hearts for Valentine’s Day (not that I really celebrate it, but any excuse to use cookie cutters!)
Honey Graham Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe for Honey Graham Crackers Makes about 2 dozen
1 1/2 cups oat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whisk together in medium bowl, set aside.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (Yes, it’s worth it! And I’m pretty sure I used salted instead of unsalted. Still tasted great.)
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons high-quality honey (I used wildflower honey, but I bet buckwheat honey would be amazing)
Cream together in electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture, mix on low until combined. Divide dough into 1 tablespoon balls and press down on greased baking sheets. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Let cool.
What is your “worth it” indulgence that you only have once in a while? How do you like to use butter?