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I am attempting to make crunchy graham cracker bites (think granola but made from graham crackers). I wanted to use the recipe below as a base:

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and mashed banana in large bowl to blend. Add unsalted butter and stir to moisten evenly. Press onto bottom and up sides of 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake crust until set and pale golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

and then crumble it up. My problem is that when I used this recipe before the crust came out incredibly hard and almost impossible to eat.

I was contemplating bumping up the heat and cooking it for a shorter amount of time, but this would be total experimentation.

Can anyone suggest any methods for taking the above ingredients and making them into a crispy (but not tough) sheet that can then be crumbled up into granola sized bites?

1

Two suggestions:

  1. Try making your crumbs larger.

  2. Mix the other ingredients together before adding the crumbs - you want to coat 'em, not soak 'em.

0

Perhaps lower heat and cook longer...or even use a dehydrator? If you have no dehydrator, try your lowest oven setting until dry and set...might take a few hours. You could also try increasing banana (to help it stick together) and reducing or eliminating the butter, which might inhibit drying.

0

I still haven't made any cracker but I was in a similar situation with my sourdough, the cooking phase wasn't right and the result was rock hard on the surface .

Again, since I haven't tried your recipe or made similar baked goods, this can even possibly be something counterproductive, but try to cook things in the oven with a container ( made of metal or other appropriate material made for the oven of course ) with water in it; you put said container on the "floor" of your oven and you put it there when pre-heating so when you put stuff inside the oven to be cooked your environment is already filled with some vapour .

You leave the container for as long as you think it's appropriate, I can cook my bread in about 20 minutes and I leave it inside the whole time ( + pre-heating ), others like to remove it before the last 4-5 minutes. Just experiment with it, your choice.

You should also increase the amount of water in my opinion, just by a little bit probably, but I can't see any significant contribution to the total amount of water based on the ingredients in your recipe. Try the water in the oven with/without more water in your recipe, this doesn't mean that you should just blindly add more water from the facet, but try to remove/add/mix ingredients that are more high in water based on what you like .

When making cookies people also like to add baking soda to get that crispy and crunchy effect; but again, I still haven't made any cookies and I don't plan to make them soon, I like more "salty" stuff and the baking soda is more popular for pastry goods, it's an ingredient that I'm not really comfortable with for now . Try to search for muesli baking soda or recipes similar to yours with baking soda in them .

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It feels like your getting your crust too hard because your sugar temperature gets too high. There are hundreds of sugar temperature charts on the net, and they will all tell you that 350F is the top end of the "Hard Crack" stage. I suggest you drop your oven temperature to 265F (hard ball stage) and see how it turns out.

If that doesn't work, then try making your caramel seperately. Take it up to the stage you want (which I would imagine is either hard ball or soft crack) then stir your banana and crackers in when the caramel is formed. This is likely to mean that the crackers stay crunchier and you get bits of banana in your mix.

Let us know how you get on :-)

  • 350 F is the oven temperature. The food inside does not get that high at all. And besides, the sugar in the biscuits won't caramelize because it's part of a dough. So the whole candy temperature discussion is irrelevant. – rumtscho Jun 25 '15 at 9:37

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