I have recently discovered a new found love for graham crackers. I think this discovery fully unveiled itself due to my husband's serious love of fro yo. Yep, fro yo. One of those discoveries you make in marriage I guess, ha. Can't say I can complain :) I have started keeping a box of graham crackers in the pantry for our frequent fro yo outings. Seems odd, I know, but I do this so that I can have a crunchy non-chocolate topping for my yogurt. The place by our house, and many others, only have granola as a non-chocolate option and it is usually chocked full of almonds or other nuts. So I have resorted to bringing my own toppings (which I often pair with dark chocolate chips, my favorite) or I have them ready to crush on top when we bring it back to the house. To be clear, I don't have a severe nut allergy that prevents me from eating products made in facilities that may have produced nuts and if a nut touched something I was eating I would be fine. However, ever since I turned about 29 or 30, give me a handful of nuts or a couple of tablespoons of almond granola and my face gets red and splotchy and itchy. So, I'll pass on the nuts, thanks. Oiy.
Anyway... these yummy bites I'm sharing today are an unplanned result of these graham crackers I keep stocked and a surplus of melted chocolate left over after another recipe I was trying to make failed. While semi-frantically trying to figure out what the heck to do with all of the melted chocolate before it cooled down, I remembered that box of graham crackers tucked away in the pantry. Funny how sometimes our best or favorite ideas come out of not having a plan at all or from another idea's failure. I often find life making me want to forget this and I constantly have to remind myself of those failed attempts that have lead to something much better. It keeps me reaching out and trying new things, fighting that fear of failure.
These particular treats started simple with dark chocolate on graham crackers. Then I realized I had pumpkin seeds in my drawer. Then I remembered my cinnamon granola. Perfect! These guys are crunchy but smooth, sweet but salty and, of course, chocolatey.
Fast-forward a few weeks when I wanted to make a Halloween treat while, at the same time, trying to think of what else I could do with the chocolate grahams. I basically asked myself, "What foods are Halloween colors?" and chose my ingredients from there (not crazy complex). Can't say I've ever been a huge fan of the orange and dark chocolate combo and I usually can leave coconut alone. However, despite my hesitancy, they were the colors I needed so I committed to giving it a try.
Let me tell you, friends, I'm so glad that I did. They are not my usual sweet, but I will absolutely make them again! They are different and unique. The dark chocolate is very rich and bold and the coconut and orange really balance it out so that there isn't one flavor that overwhelms. The coconut shavings are unsweetened so lend a sort of mild sweetness to balance out some of the bitterness of the dark chocolate. The orange zest makes these little guys lighter with that pop of citrus mixed in. So fun and yummy!
Stay tuned because they will probably be making an appearance again come Christmas, and maybe every other holiday to come. But for now, here are the details on my dark chocolate grahams, both regular and Halloween.
Happy Halloween & Happy Fueling!
Dark chocolate grahams
5 - 8 full graham cracker sheets (will be 20 - 32 grahams)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (65% cocoa or greater)
Toppings for Halloween Grahams:
2 tablespoons orange zest (from 2 naval oranges) - see pic below
1 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut - see pic below
Toppings for Pumpkin Granola Grahams:
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 - 1/2 cup granola
1. Use the zest of 2 large oranges (this came out to about 2 tablespoons)
2. Prep 1 tablespoon of shredded unsweetened coconut.
3. Prep your grahams on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Make a double boiler by adding about 1 inch of water to a large pot.
5. Turn the heat to medium or medium-high and place a heat-proof bowl over the pot (make sure bottom of bowl does't touch the water).
6. Place your chocolate chips in the bowl.
7. Stir the chocolate chips as they begin to melt. I stir pretty continuously to make sure I don't burn the chocolate.
8. Once the chocolate is melted, turn off the burner.
9. Use a small spoon to spoon out about 1 - 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate and spread over each graham. Or dip sides into the chocolate for different patterns!
10. Top with shredded coconut and orange zest.
WANT TO MIX IT UP?
Try other variations like this one below, using pumpkin seeds and granola.
Dried cherries would also be really good on it with pumpkins seeds - maybe around Christmas time (got the red and green thing happening). Or you could, of course do crushed peppermint, which I bet would also be super yummy.
Dark Chocolate: flavonols (the darker the chocolate the higher the content), iron, magnesium, copper, manganese
Orange Zest: vitamin C
Pumpkin Seeds: protein, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, manganese, fiber
Granola (I used KIND Cinnamon with Flax Seeds): protein, fiber, healthy fat (the flaxseeds contain omega-3's)