The Weekly Kitchen: When life gives you crumbs, make cookies

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By ANGELA McRAE, The Weekly Kitchen

Ever since the grocery store shortages of early 2020, many of us have discovered that we sometimes have to improvise when it comes to cooking with our favorite ingredients.

Now I always get tickled at those radio programs and websites that swear they can help you create a meal from whatever’s in your fridge and pantry. Just once, I’d love for someone to present a more realistic list of what’s actually in the ol’ cupboard: “Yes, I’m looking for a nice casserole you can make with two-year-old frozen turkey giblets, a half box of cream of wheat, low-sodium soy sauce, blueberries, and a box of pistachio pudding mix.” 

Between the pandemic and now inflation, I’ve heard many friends say they’re being scrupulous with their groceries these days, determined not to waste a scrap of food. I know the feeling. Not long ago, I made a dessert with a graham cracker crust and had some graham cracker crumbs left over, but I saved them. 

And yes, they were “crumbs” and not “crackers.” I used to think cooks were lazy if they didn’t make everything from scratch. Why buy pricey chopped vegetables when you can buy them whole and chop them yourself? Why buy graham cracker crumbs when you can buy the crackers and crush them yourself?

The most valuable thing I possess these days is my time, and groceries like already-crushed graham crackers and pre-chopped veggies make me very happy indeed.

So what do you do when you have a half container of graham cracker crumbs and no dessert you need to make a crust for? I Googled and found quite a few cookie recipes that use graham cracker crumbs, so I experimented and was delighted with the result.

These cookies are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and if you happen to have any extra graham cracker crumbs (or graham crackers, for that matter), this is a particularly delicious way to use them up.

Graham Cracker Snickerdoodles

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and combine well.

In a small bowl, whisk flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and, using an electric mixer on low speed, combine well.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the cinnamon into a small bowl. Roll dough into one-inch balls, then roll the balls in the sugar-and-cinnamon mixture. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to brown. Yields about two dozen cookies.

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