I didn’t think a movie about a group of young baseball-loving boys could make me so emotional. The Sandlot (1993), though, made me feel all the feels. In the summer of 1962, a group of boys take a new kid, Scotty Smalls, under their wing and they spend the hot months playing baseball in the local sandlot. In the same way Stand By Me will make you fall in love with coming of age films, The Sandlot will too. From start to finish the entire movie is a gem. One scene in particular that remains a classic is when one of the kids, Ham, introduces Scotty to s’mores. At first Scotty has no idea what Ham is talking about, saying “I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have s’more of nothing?” To this Ham exclaims, “You’re killing me, Smalls!” I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’re hearing this line. He then proceeds to tell Scotty what s’mores are – take the graham, place chocolate on the graham, and then roast the ‘mallow. It’s such a well-crafted hilarious scene.
Inspired by Ham and his s’more-making ways, I attempted to make graham crackers from scratch. At first I wasn’t sure how they would turn out, but these grahams were delightful and perfect for an evening spent lounging by the campfire making s’mores. For celebrating the 4th of July, star-shaped graham crackers are even more fun! It’s important to keep the graham cracker dough as cold as possible. Once it starts warming up it gets soft and easily falls apart. Prick the dough with a fork once the crackers are on the tray. Then, before popping the tray of crackers in the oven, place it in the freezer for five minutes to let the dough get cold again.
Making s’mores next to a campfire is one of the most delicious ways to spend time in nature. These homemade graham crackers elevate that experience and make it an even more involved activity than just piecing three ingredients together. When it comes to these summer treats, even if you haven’t yet had anything, you can always have s’more.
Homemade Graham Crackers
GRAHAM CRACKER INGREDIENTS
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cup whole wheat graham flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons molasses
1/3 cup milk
GRAHAM CRACKER METHOD
1. Combine the all-purpose flour, graham flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined and smooth.
3. Add molasses into the butter mixture until incorporated. The mixture should be crumbly at this point. Add milk until combined and smooth.
4. Form the dough into a square, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes to one hour.
5. Unwrap the dough from the plastic on a lightly floured surface. Pound out the dough until a bit flatter with a rolling pin, and then roll out the dough to 1/8″ thick. Make sure the dough, pin, and surface are well-floured, or that you use parchment paper when rolling out the dough. As soon as the dough temperature starts to drop, it gets sticky to work with.
6. Cut desired shapes into the dough and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, and as it cools you’ll feel the cracker harden and crisp. Enjoy with chocolate and a roasted ‘mallow!
© A Dash of Cinema
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P.S. Another yummy summer dessert, also related to baseball.
Food Images by Lauren Jessen, Film Image from Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, The Sandlot