Last month Nick and I attended a birthday bash at Crater Lake for our bestest bud. Neither of us had ever been there, although it has been on our list since the day we moved to Oregon! Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed around 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama volcano collapsed and created a large caldera that eventually filled with rain and snow melt. It is an understatement to call Crater Lake breathtaking. There are really no words to describe how blue the water is. I also loved the huge lava rock formations and the trees that surround the lake.
There is a road that goes around the perimeter of the lake and twice a year the park closes part of that road to cars so cyclists can enjoy it all to themselves! We enjoyed the 33 mile scenic ride, which included over 3,800′ of climbing, PLUS the 10 mile ride each way from our camp ground that included another 800′ of climbing. By “enjoyed” I mean our legs and lungs were screaming with each climb. However, at each break, our minds were BLOWN. It was awesome in every sense of the word.
We all took turns preparing the meals for the group and enjoyed a variety of campground gourmet. The item that really topped my list, though, were homemade graham crackers that my lovely friend Christine brought. They had a thicker texture than store-bought crackers and were way more flavorful. An added bonus: we can identify all of the ingredients! Of course, we took that health train off the tracks by making s’mores with these glorious crackers…but hey, what’s a camping trip without s’mores?
Christine found her inspiration for these Homemade Graham Crackers from The Post Punk Kitchen, with a few additions and changes. Below is her recipe. I can’t wait to make these at home and enjoy as a snack with tea or fruit!
Homemade Graham Crackers
- 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Graham Flour
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar (this adds some extra texture and crunch, you can also use regular sugar)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon extract
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- Preheat the over to 350* F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, molasses and vanilla and cinnamon extracts. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry until well combined and crumbly.
- Add the milk and stir to combine. Use your hands to knead the dough a few times until it holds together. Christine recommends if the dough is dry and crumbly to roll out, you can try adding a tbsp or so more milk.
- Line your work surface with parchment paper. Place the dough on the parchment paper and work dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle with flour and use a rolling pin to flatten out the rectangle until it is about 10 x 14 inches. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick.
- Trim the edges and cut the dough into 8 crackers. You may be able to get some more crackers from the trimmed edges, so roll it out and cut them up! No need to waste good dough, right? Very carefully transfer the crackers to the baking sheet. Poke each cookie with a fork a few times.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 12 minutes gives softer cookies, that according to the Post Punk Kitchen, are better for making ice cream sandwiches! What! That sounds like something I need to do! 14 minutes gives you crispy cookies. You decide how you like ’em.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
Nom. Now let’s go camping! Oh, wait…it’s winter now. We can still camp in our living rooms, yeah? 😉