Why We #LoveBoston — Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie

Boston is in our hearts this week. To celebrate the strength of the city (and America’s Test Kitchen’s hometown), we present one of our favorite local specialties.

Boston Cream Pie was invented by the Parker House hotel.

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We baked up the traditional recipe (shown above) and found three major challenges that we wanted to tackle in the test kitchen.

1. The original glaze dries to a hard, dull-looking shell that won’t bond with the cake. And who really wants brittle piped frosting on top?

2. The traditional sponge cake is too lean and sweet for modern tastes. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, it will bake up flat instead of airy.

3. It’s all too easy to create a pastry cream that’s too thin, leading to a filling that dribbles down the cake.

After much tinkering and experimenting in the test kitchen, we successfully revived this triple-component dessert into a modern-day showstopper.

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Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie from Cook’s Illustrated

Why This Recipe Works: A hot-milk sponge cake made a good base in our Boston Cream Pie recipe because it didn’t require any finicky folding or separating of eggs. Baking the batter in two pans eliminated the need to slice a single cake horizontally before adding the filling. We used butter to firm up our pastry cream, and we added corn syrup to heavy cream and melted chocolate for a smooth glaze that clung to the top of our Boston Cream Pie and dripped artistically down its sides.

SERVES 8 TO 10

Chill the assembled cake for at least 3 hours to make it easy to cut and serve.

PASTRY CREAM
2 cups half-and-half
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
Pinch table salt
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

CAKE
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar

GLAZE
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

1. FOR THE PASTRY CREAM: Heat half-and-half in medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Add flour to yolk mixture and whisk until incorporated. Remove half-and-half from heat and, whisking constantly, slowly add ½ cup to yolk mixture to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to half-and-half in saucepan.

2. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 8 minutes.

3. Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until bubbles burst on surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is melted and incorporated. Strain pastry cream through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Press lightly greased parchment paper directly on surface and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

4. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and cover to keep warm.

5. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip eggs and sugar at high speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes. Remove mixer bowl from stand. Add hot milk mixture and whisk by hand until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.

6. Working quickly, divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until tops are light brown and toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.

7. Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool completely in pan, about 2 hours. Run small plastic knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto wire rack. Carefully remove parchment, then reinvert cakes.

8. TO ASSEMBLE: Place one cake round on large plate. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spoon onto center of cake. Using offset spatula, spread evenly to cake edge. Place second layer on pastry cream, bottom side up, making sure layers line up properly. Press lightly on top of cake to level. Refrigerate cake while preparing glaze.

9. FOR THE GLAZE: Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk gently until smooth, 30 seconds. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

10. Pour glaze onto center of cake. Use offset spatula to spread glaze to edge of cake, letting excess drip decoratively down sides. Chill finished cake 3 hours before slicing. Cake may be made up to 24 hours before serving.

Taco Night? Warming Tortillas are the Way to Go

Straight out of the fridge, store-bought tortillas are lackluster in flavor, cold, and unbendable.

Here are 2 methods to warm them, a tortilla storage tip, and our recipe for Steak Tacos.

See how to make your own tortillas and learn the secrets to Mexican Classics on America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School.

Warming Tortillas Using a Gas Flame

When you only need to warm up a few tortillas and you have a gas burner, simply place a single tortilla directly over the medium flame and toast it until slightly charred. This usually only takes up to 30 seconds per side.

Warming Tortillas Without a Gas Flame

If you don’t have a gas flame, you can get similar results by toasting tortillas one at a time in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until softened and speckled with brown spots, 20 to 30 seconds per side.

Warming a Stack of Tortillas

When you need to warm up several tortillas the oven is better for the job. Simply divide the tortillas into stacks of 6, and wrap each stack in foil. Heat the tortillas on the middle rack of a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Keep the warmed tortillas wrapped in foil or a kitchen towel until ready to use or they will dry out. (If your tortillas are very dry, pat each with a little water before warming.)

Storing Tortillas

Many tortillas packages (especially corn tortillas) are sold in packs of 24 or more. To freeze corn tortillas, gently peel individual tortillas from the stack and place them between pieces of wax or parchment paper, then freeze up to 12 tortillas in a zipper-lock freezer bag. When you’re ready to use them, defrost stacks of four to six tortillas in the microwave at 50-percent power until thawed, 10 to 20 seconds per stack.

Steak Tacos, originally published in Cook’s Illustrated

Why This Recipe Works: To develop a steak taco recipe with an indoor cooking method that yielded steak taco meat as tender, juicy, and rich-tasting as the grilled method, we chose flank steak, beefy and tender when sliced thinly across the grain. Pan-searing gave us the browned exterior and crisp, brittle edges characteristic of grilled meat. A paste of oil, cilantro, scallions, garlic, and jalapeño applied to the meat and scraped off just before cooking gave our steak taco recipe a flavor boost without sacrificing browning.

SERVES 4 TO 6

For a less spicy dish, remove some or all of the ribs and seeds from the jalapeños before chopping them for the marinade. In addition to the toppings suggested below, try serving the tacos with Sweet and Spicy Pickled Onions, thinly sliced radishes or cucumber, or salsa.

HERB PASTE
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 medium scallions, roughly chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium jalapeño chile, stemmed and roughly chopped (see note above)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

STEAK
1 flank steak (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and cut lengthwise (with grain) into 4 equal pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

TACOS
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
Fresh cilantro leaves
Minced white or red onion
Lime wedges

1. FOR THE HERB PASTE: Pulse cilantro, garlic, scallions, jalapeño, and cumin in food processor until finely chopped, ten to twelve 1-second pulses, scraping down sides as necessary. Add oil and process until mixture is smooth and resembles pesto, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of workbowl as necessary. Transfer 2 tablespoons herb paste to medium bowl; whisk in lime juice and set aside.

2. FOR THE STEAK: Using dinner fork, poke each piece of steak 10 to 12 times on each side. Place in large baking dish; rub all sides of steak pieces evenly with salt and then coat with remaining herb paste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

3. Scrape herb paste off steak and sprinkle all sides of pieces evenly with sugar and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place steak in skillet and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Flip steak and sear until second side is well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, stand each piece on a cut side and cook, turning as necessary, until all cut sides are well browned and internal temperature registers 125 to 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 2 to 7 minutes. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

4. FOR THE TACOS: Using sharp chef’s knife or carving knife, slice steak pieces across grain into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. Transfer sliced steak to bowl with herb paste-lime juice mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt. Spoon small amount of sliced steak into center of each warm tortilla and serve immediately, passing toppings separately.

Make Homemade Corn Dogs for the Best Baseball-Watching Season Ever
A Snack-on-a-Stick Recipe From Cook’s Country
Why This Recipe Works: To re-create this crowd favorite at home, we made a light batter with flour, cornmeal, buttermilk, and eggs. Coating the skewered hot dogs in flour before batter-dipping ensures the batter adheres to the hot dogs. To make coating the hot dogs easy, we transfer the batter to a tall drinking glass for even, hassle free dunking.
MAKES 8 CORN DOGS
Ingredients are linked to our official taste tests and favorite products.
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 3/4 cups buttermilk 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 8 hot dogs 3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
1. Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Whisk cornmeal, 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and cayenne together in bowl. Whisk in buttermilk and eggs until incorporated. Place remaining 1/2 cup flour in shallow dish. Dredge hot dogs in flour and shake to remove excess. Thread hot dogs lengthwise onto eight 8-inch skewers.
2. Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures about 2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Stir batter to recombine, then transfer half of batter to tall drinking glass. Working with one at a time, submerge hot dog in glass and twirl to coat with batter. Allow excess batter to drip back into glass and place corn dog in hot oil. Repeat immediately with 3 more hot dogs. Fry corn dogs, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining batter and hot dogs. Serve.
Related: 5 Buttermilk Questions You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

Make Homemade Corn Dogs for the Best Baseball-Watching Season Ever

A Snack-on-a-Stick Recipe From Cook’s Country

Why This Recipe Works: To re-create this crowd favorite at home, we made a light batter with flour, cornmeal, buttermilk, and eggs. Coating the skewered hot dogs in flour before batter-dipping ensures the batter adheres to the hot dogs. To make coating the hot dogs easy, we transfer the batter to a tall drinking glass for even, hassle free dunking.

MAKES 8 CORN DOGS

Ingredients are linked to our official taste tests and favorite products.

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
hot dogs
3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil

1. Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Whisk cornmeal, 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and cayenne together in bowl. Whisk in buttermilk and eggs until incorporated. Place remaining 1/2 cup flour in shallow dish. Dredge hot dogs in flour and shake to remove excess. Thread hot dogs lengthwise onto eight 8-inch skewers.

2. Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures about 2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Stir batter to recombine, then transfer half of batter to tall drinking glass. Working with one at a time, submerge hot dog in glass and twirl to coat with batter. Allow excess batter to drip back into glass and place corn dog in hot oil. Repeat immediately with 3 more hot dogs. Fry corn dogs, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining batter and hot dogs. Serve.

Related: 5 Buttermilk Questions You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

Spring Risotto with Peas, Fava Beans, and Arugula
A 30-Minute Supper Recipe from Cook’s Country
Who would imagine a risotto cooking in less than 30 minutes? Our clever shortcut lies in using the microwave to parcook the rice, essentially giving it a head start before it hits the stove. This trick lets you make risotto with far less hands-on stirring than usual.
SERVES 4
You can use frozen lima beans or an additional cup of frozen peas in place of the fava beans. Ingredients are linked to our official taste tests and favorite products.
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 cup Arborio rice 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 onion, chopped fine 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup frozen peas, thawed 1 cup frozen fava beans, thawed 2 ounces (2 cups) baby arugula, chopped rough 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)Salt and pepper
1. Microwave 3 cups broth, rice, and 2 tablespoons butter in large covered bowl until most of liquid is absorbed, 14 to 16 minutes.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add parcooked rice and remaining 1 cup broth. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is almost tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in peas and fava beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in arugula, Parmesan, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Related story: From English Peas to Dragon Tongue Beans, how many of these 12 fresh legumes do you recognize?

Spring Risotto with Peas, Fava Beans, and Arugula

A 30-Minute Supper Recipe from Cook’s Country

Who would imagine a risotto cooking in less than 30 minutes? Our clever shortcut lies in using the microwave to parcook the rice, essentially giving it a head start before it hits the stove. This trick lets you make risotto with far less hands-on stirring than usual.

SERVES 4

You can use frozen lima beans or an additional cup of frozen peas in place of the fava beans. Ingredients are linked to our official taste tests and favorite products.

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup Arborio rice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup frozen fava beans, thawed
2 ounces (2 cups) baby arugula, chopped rough
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
Salt and pepper

1. Microwave 3 cups broth, rice, and 2 tablespoons butter in large covered bowl until most of liquid is absorbed, 14 to 16 minutes.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add parcooked rice and remaining 1 cup broth. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is almost tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in peas and fava beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in arugula, Parmesan, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Related story: From English Peas to Dragon Tongue Beans, how many of these 12 fresh legumes do you recognize?

DIY Kettle Chips
Whether thick cut, crinkle, plain, or flavored, potato chips are one of America’s most beloved snack foods. Our favorite is the small-batch, kettle-style chip. These chips have good potato flavor and a crisp, light texture. Though seemingly simple, perfecting a homemade version proved to be a challenge. Frying at too low a temperature made them soggy and greasy, but if we increased the heat, they burned. Targeting the potatoes’ starch as the source of our troubles, we finally landed on a method of rinsing, parboiling, then frying. It was a bit of work, but the reward of fresh, golden homemade potato chips was well worth it. —America’s Test Kitchen
Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook
Makes about 6 cups
Make today, enjoy immediately
1 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/16 inch thick on mandoline 2 quarts vegetable oil Fine sea salt
1. Line rimmed baking sheet with clean dish towel. Set wire rack in second rimmed baking sheet and line with triple layer of paper towels; set both sheets aside. Place potato slices in large bowl and cover with cold water. Gently swirl potatoes to release starch. Drain potatoes and return to bowl. Repeat rinsing step until water no longer turns cloudy, about 5 rinses.
2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add potatoes, return to gentle boil, and cook until just beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain potatoes well, then spread out over dish towel–lined sheet and thoroughly pat dry.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 325 degrees. Carefully place one-quarter of potato slices in oil. Fry, stirring frequently with wire skimmer or slotted spoon, until oil stops bubbling and chips turn golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature around 325 degrees. As soon as chips finish frying (some chips may cook slightly faster than others), transfer to prepared wire rack using wire skimmer or slotted spoon. Season with salt to taste.
4. Return oil to 325 degrees and repeat with remaining potato slices in 3 more batches. Let cool completely before serving. (Kettle chips are best enjoyed the day they are made.)

DIY Kettle Chips

Whether thick cut, crinkle, plain, or flavored, potato chips are one of America’s most beloved snack foods. Our favorite is the small-batch, kettle-style chip. These chips have good potato flavor and a crisp, light texture. Though seemingly simple, perfecting a homemade version proved to be a challenge. Frying at too low a temperature made them soggy and greasy, but if we increased the heat, they burned. Targeting the potatoes’ starch as the source of our troubles, we finally landed on a method of rinsing, parboiling, then frying. It was a bit of work, but the reward of fresh, golden homemade potato chips was well worth it. —America’s Test Kitchen

Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook

Makes about 6 cups

Make today, enjoy immediately

1 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/16 inch thick on mandoline
2 quarts vegetable oil
Fine sea salt

1. Line rimmed baking sheet with clean dish towel. Set wire rack in second rimmed baking sheet and line with triple layer of paper towels; set both sheets aside. Place potato slices in large bowl and cover with cold water. Gently swirl potatoes to release starch. Drain potatoes and return to bowl. Repeat rinsing step until water no longer turns cloudy, about 5 rinses.

2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add potatoes, return to gentle boil, and cook until just beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain potatoes well, then spread out over dish towel–lined sheet and thoroughly pat dry.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 325 degrees. Carefully place one-quarter of potato slices in oil. Fry, stirring frequently with wire skimmer or slotted spoon, until oil stops bubbling and chips turn golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature around 325 degrees. As soon as chips finish frying (some chips may cook slightly faster than others), transfer to prepared wire rack using wire skimmer or slotted spoon. Season with salt to taste.

4. Return oil to 325 degrees and repeat with remaining potato slices in 3 more batches. Let cool completely before serving. (Kettle chips are best enjoyed the day they are made.)

DIY Graham Crackers

There are few things I consider myself good at doing, but among them is cooking. So when I was helping out my daughter’s class and saw her teacher lean over and say,“I know which snack you want, Lola!” as she gave her a pile of graham crackers from a cardboard box, I thought: (1) “Why does that woman know my daughter’s snack preferences better than me?” and (2) “I will make them better!” (I’m good at being competitive, too.) Graham crackers’ flavor traditionally comes from graham flour, yet the supermarket crackers contain mostly all-purpose. This added one more goal; I would bring the graham back to the cracker. —Sarah Wilson, America’s Test Kitchen

Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook

Makes 48 crackers

Make today, enjoy immediately

1 1/2	cups (8 1/4 ounces) graham flour
3/4	cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour 
1/2	cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1	teaspoon baking powder
1	teaspoon baking soda
1/2	teaspoon salt
1/4	teaspoon ground cinnamon
8	tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5	tablespoons water
2	tablespoons molasses
1	teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Process graham flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 seconds. Add water, molasses, and vanilla and process until dough comes together, about 20 seconds.

2. Divide dough into quarters. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap), roll dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper into 11 by 8-inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Remove top piece of parchment and trim dough into tidy 10 by 7 1/2-inch rectangle with knife, and then score rectangle of dough into twelve 2 1/2-inch squares. Prick each square several times with fork.

3. Slide 2 pieces of rolled-out and scored dough, still on parchment, onto separate baking sheets. Bake crackers until golden brown and edges are firm, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Slide baked crackers, still on parchment, onto wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces of rolled-out dough.

4. Transfer cooled crackers, still on parchment, to cutting board and carefully cut apart along scored lines. Graham crackers can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To Make Cinnamon Graham Crackers: Increase amount of cinnamon in dough to 1/2 teaspoon. Toss 1/4 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, then sprinkle mixture over scored crackers just before baking.

DIY Graham Crackers

There are few things I consider myself good at doing, but among them is cooking. So when I was helping out my daughter’s class and saw her teacher lean over and say,“I know which snack you want, Lola!” as she gave her a pile of graham crackers from a cardboard box, I thought: (1) “Why does that woman know my daughter’s snack preferences better than me?” and (2) “I will make them better!” (I’m good at being competitive, too.) Graham crackers’ flavor traditionally comes from graham flour, yet the supermarket crackers contain mostly all-purpose. This added one more goal; I would bring the graham back to the cracker. —Sarah Wilson, America’s Test Kitchen

Find this recipe and 100+ more like it in our DIY Cookbook

Makes 48 crackers

Make today, enjoy immediately

1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) graham flour
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Process graham flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 seconds. Add water, molasses, and vanilla and process until dough comes together, about 20 seconds.

2. Divide dough into quarters. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap), roll dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper into 11 by 8-inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Remove top piece of parchment and trim dough into tidy 10 by 7 1/2-inch rectangle with knife, and then score rectangle of dough into twelve 2 1/2-inch squares. Prick each square several times with fork.

3. Slide 2 pieces of rolled-out and scored dough, still on parchment, onto separate baking sheets. Bake crackers until golden brown and edges are firm, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Slide baked crackers, still on parchment, onto wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces of rolled-out dough.

4. Transfer cooled crackers, still on parchment, to cutting board and carefully cut apart along scored lines. Graham crackers can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To Make Cinnamon Graham Crackers: Increase amount of cinnamon in dough to 1/2 teaspoon. Toss 1/4 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, then sprinkle mixture over scored crackers just before baking.