28 August 2013

Cheap Eats: Graham Crackers with Chocolate Frosting

Dear Lissy,

We're neck deep in the first week of school, and our car's been out of commission for a full week.  It looks like it could be another week before we're back on the road, so I'm having to do some creative things to come up with lunch treats.  And protractors.  But I digress.
Graham crackers filled with chocolate frosting are a New England treat dating back at least 75 years.  This chocolate frosting recipe, named "Chocolate Joy Icing" by the trusty old-fashioned Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, uses a handful of pantry ingredients to make a silky-smooth icing that resembles the filling in Little Debbie treats. 

Chocolate Joy Icing for Graham Crackers
from Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook
Makes enough "for a small cake", or about 10 graham sandwiches
In a medium bowl, sift together:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup soft shortening

3-1/2 Tbsp. very hot water
Beat with electric beater until smooth, fluffy, and easy to spread.

Mom's notes
  • Icing starts out dark, thin, and lumpy, but quickly thickens.
  • Yup, it's got raw egg.  We're daring like that around here. The egg yolk is the single most important ingredient, so don't try to sub it out. It's easy to find egg free icing recipes anywhere online.
  • "Shortening" in the 1950"s refers to any solid fat:  Crisco, butter, margarine, or lard.  I have yet to make lard icing, but you never know.
  • Use coffee for up to half of the water.
  • Spread graham crackers thinly with peanut butter before adding icing for a yummy twist.
You and your brothers are the fourth generation of our family to love these funny treats as an after school pick-me-up.  Have fun keeping the tradition alive!

Love you, Sweetie,

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