Small Batch

Homemade Teddy Graham-Inspired Cookies, for Grown-Ups

February 23, 2016

Many of us have fond memories of Teddy Grahams: those sugary snacks that were just healthy enough to not be considered cookies; those lightly-glazed, quarter-size bears with tiny protruding stomachs and a variety of enthusiastic poses.

I recently realized that graham flour is so much more than a companion to sugar in cookies and crackers: It has its own rich flavor that should be appreciated.

Complemented by molasses, cinnamon, and dark brown sugar, these grown-up Teddy Grahams show off that flavor—and they'll warm your heart with their un-bear-able cuteness.

Shop the Story

Sweet and slightly bitter at the same time, these need to be your next baking project.

If graham flour is difficult to find, you can make a substitute by combining white flour with wheat germ and wheat bran. Personally, I’d spring for some Bob’s Red Mill graham flour, so shop ahead and order it online if you can’t find it locally.

Start by mixing the dry ingredients together: Add the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine.

Photo by Kelsey Tenney

Add the pieces of the butter to the food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs remain. Add the rest of the ingredients—molasses, milk, and vanilla—to the mixture and pulse until a ball forms. The ball could look kind of crumbly, but don’t worry! It will come together after chilling. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour or overnight.

Photo by Kelsey Tenney

After chilling, unwrap your dough ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until 1/4-inch thick. If your dough is still rather crumbly and not sticking together, add 1/4 teaspoon of water and work it into the dough. Add a few more drops of water if it’s still crumbly until it just comes together.

Photo by Kelsey Tenney

Cut out your shapes of choice using small cookie cutters. I like the mini gingerbread man because he looks the most like a teddy graham, but feel free to mix it up!

Poke a few holes in the dough to keep the grahams from bubbling in the oven. Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with any leftover dough and scraps.

Photo by Kelsey Tenney

Bake in the oven at 350° F for about 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your cutout. If you’re making larger grahams, adjust the time accordingly. The dark-colored dough makes it difficult to tell when they are beginning to change to golden brown, so I think it’s easier to tell by carefully picking a cookie up from the sheet. If it doesn’t stick or bend, the cookies are done!

Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. These will keep for several days in a tightly-sealed container. Enjoy!

Photo by Kelsey Tenney

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • DB
  • Kelsey Tenney
    Kelsey Tenney
Food Scientist, blogger, and lover of everything flavorful.


DB February 28, 2016
I made threse cookies yesterday and somewhow the dough was quite soft and hard to cut out shapes. I used a mini bear-shaped cutter and poked holes for face and belly. While baking, the cookies puffed up alot distoring the shape of my mini bears and baked up ugly. Flavor and texture was quite good though, but more grainier than what I am more familiar with store-bought graham crackers and more like a crisp-chewy molasses cookies. I'm wondering if the brown sugar should be packed because that is what I did?
Kelsey T. February 28, 2016
Hi DB! Yes the brown sugar should be packed which I added to the recipe--sorry for the vagueness! I'm not sure why these didn't work for you because it sounds like you did everything correctly, but if I had to guess it might be due to the incorporation of the butter. It should be really cold when you pulse it with the flour, and there should be coarse crumbs. Don't pulse it too much. It's finicky like pie crust. That's my best advice, so I hope that helps? Also, yes these are definitely a bit different from store-bought graham crackers. You often can't find graham flour ground as fine as what large producers use. If this texture bothers you, you can try to grind it more finely in your food processor. Thank you for your comment!