We took a trip over to the USA last week (I live super close to an American border crossing) and brought back a certain brand of cookies, featuring certain little worker elves occupying a suspiciously chocolate-equipped treehouse/cookie factory. Anyway these cookies were good. Too good. Thick cut graham-like crackers covered in fudge-y chocolate. Very simple goodness flavour-wise that unfortunately DID NOT translate to a simple ingredients list. I started dreaming of these homemade vegan chocolate hazelnut graham crackers.
I eat for pleasure first, but I couldn’t help I dreaming up a more wholesome version of this cookie. There would be coconut oil for fat, hazelnuts for body (and to give off a bit of a nutella vibe), healthy amount of garnishes for fun.
And it all worked out! I made my own hazelnut and coconut flour/meal in the blender and threw the dough together in the food processor. You could grind the flour in the food processor too, saving yourself some extra dishes/appliance usage. When grinding the nuts/coconut, you’e looking for the consistency of almond meal. A few stops short of nut butter does the trick. It should hold together when you pinch it, but still feel dry.
The dough will actually seem like a failure right from the outset. You’ll wonder how this sticky goop will become cookies–cookies that will actually be pleasant enough to eat! Flatten it out, stick it in the oven, maybe cross your fingers a bit and whoa! Spiced vanilla hazelnutty-molasses goodness that will take a bath in chocolate and get all smothered in sea salt, chopped nuts and cacao nibs. Oh. Yes. All that good stuff for wholesome tea time.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Graham Crackers
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons hazelnut flour (roughly 1 cup of nuts ground in the food processor)
- ¼ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- scant 3 tablespoons soft coconut oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk
- ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate (chips or chopped from a bar)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- chopped hazelnuts, for garnish
- These will not taste exactly like graham crackers! They’re a bit more pillowy, nutty and complex. Having said that, these would be amazing with a smooshy, molten marshmallow on top.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
- After you’ve processed the hazelnuts and coconut, add the arrowroot powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt. Pulse a couple times to combine.
- Add the maple syrup, molasses, coconut oil, non-dairy milk and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Place the lid back on and pulse until the dough starts to form a solid mass. If it isn’t clumping together, add hazelnut or coconut meal in tablespoon increments until it starts forming a ball as you pulse the machine.
- Remove the blade and scrape the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Place a big sheet of saran wrap on top of the dough and flatten the dough out with a rolling pin. You want it fairly thin, around a 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer the parchment sheet with the dough to a baking sheet large enough to hold it all. Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges are quite brown and dough feels dry. Cool completely.
- Cut giant graham into whatever size cookies you like, removing the super brown edges.
- Make the ganache: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil. Lower it to a simmer and add the chocolate chips, maple syrup and coconut oil. Whisk until chocolate is fully melted, about 3 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use.
- Line another baking sheet with parchment. Using a small spatula as a chocolate dry-walling tool of sorts, brush the ganache onto the cut grahams. Lay them on the parchment-lined sheet and garnish with chopped hazelnuts while they're still wet. Repeat with remaining grahams. Place in the fridge to set chocolate more rapidly.