I'm a bit late this month, but I did manage to get January's challenge in before the start of February! The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and http://www.nanaimo.ca/.
I wasn't able to find the gluten free flours called for in Lauren's recipe for a reasonable price, so I used Martha Stewart's graham cracker recipe. I've used it in the past, and it makes an extremely tasty, buttery, crispy graham cracker - yum! It even uses real graham flour, which is a nice touch (and, happily, graham flour was super cheap at the store). You can find the recipe for gluten free graham crackers and nanaimo bars at Lauren's site, and Martha's recipe is below.
I enjoyed the nanaimo bars, although they were a little too sweet even for my sweet tooth. These are definitely best in small pieces, like a piece of candy rather than a bar cookie. I was also really glad to make homemade graham crackers again - so yummy and so much better than store-bought! I made s'mores with friends with some of them using our mini-blowtorch. Yum! Thanks to Lauren for an excellent challenge this month!
Graham Crackers (from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups graham flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 T honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, add the flour and beat until just combined.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into four equal pieces. Roll each piece out between two pieces of parchment paper until about 1/8th-inch thick. Stack the dough (still between parchment) on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
3. Bake each sheet whole for about 15-18 minutes, until deep golden brown. About 2 minutes before the cookies are ready to come out of the oven, pull them out and cut into rectangles with a pizza cutter, and then return to the oven.
4. Cool the cookies on a wire rack, and then break apart on the cut lines made earlier.