Ah, graham crackers.
My love affair with you began about the same time that my love affair with Jonathan Taylor Thomas did.
Granted, I was about seven and a bit to young for love affairs. But JTT, he was “Man of the House” in my imaginary, well, house.
And graham crackers were the love of my real house.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning, my family had coffee and crackers before any sort of real breakfast was to be had. Not just a few crackers – I’m talking boatloads of crackers. With boatloads of butter and boatloads of homemade strawberry jam.
Since I have three older (and obviously very hungry) brothers, graham cracker consumption became somewhat of a sport on those early mornings. Meaning that I had to claim my stake early to make sure I had my fair share. (This was also the case with TV, although when I was too busy dunking crackers in coffee – yes I’m sure I drank coffee at 7 – the remote was seized and Sports Center ruled the airwaves for the rest of the morning.)
Lucky for me, Mama Ro anticipated such demand for graham crackers. And for basically every food craving we could possibly have. Because before I could even figure out which brother ate the last one, she would say, “Honey, there is another box downstairs.”
The art of
hoarding smart shopping. My Ma, bless her heart, taught me this skill at a young age. Hence why you will never be without a good box of cereal, variety of snacks, an assortment of pasta or basically any type of canned bean there is if you live with me. I may rack up the grocery bill, but I promise you’ll soon forget how much I cost you when someone eats your last Cheez-It.
And yea, maybe the extra room in our apartment turned into a walk-in food storage closet because of my food obsession. But please, blame my brothers for my psychological damage.
Nonetheless, this recipe ensures that I won’t ever have to worry about my graham cracker supply, as these little babies are ten times better than store-bought brands. After probing the web for the recipe I was to make, I decided to go with Alton Brown’s, as I am sure he’s done the graham cracker research for all of us.
After these came out of the oven, (and after I did my “I’m making graham crackers! dance in the kitchen every five minutes while they baked) I let my inner 7 year-old loose and ate half the pan with an entire gallon of milk. I’m trying reallllly hard to save some for one of my notorious brothers, Dave, who is visiting this weekend. But something tells me I’m probably gonna need to make another batch.
After all, I have a new “Man of the House” that I should probably share with, too.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 5 tablespoons (3 ounces) dark brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (2 ¼ ounces) molasses
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon (1 ½ ounces) whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Place flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until combined. Add in butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. (To be honest, I had to get my container of cornmeal out and compare to be sure.)
2) Add the molasses, milk and vanilla extract and process until dough comes together into a ball, about 1 minute. Pour onto a clean surface and press ball into ½ thick disk. Wrap in saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
4) Take dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap, place on large sheet of parchment paper and top with another sheet of parchment. Roll dough out until it is 1/8 inch thick. (Sidenote to Marbeth – I used my new marble rolling pin for the first time on this recipe, and it is AMAZING!!)
5) Take the rolled dough and parchment paper and place on a large baking pan. Remove top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough (using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter) into 2-inch square pieces. Trim off any access (I skipped this step because any extra bits of dough = snacks to hold me over until the pretty pieces of food have cooled)
6) Take a fork and poke holes over the top of the dough. Then, place pan onto middle rack of oven and back for 25 minutes or until the edges of the dough just begin to darken.
7) Remove from oven (do the graham cracker dance!) and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, break into individual crackers and store in an airtight container.
Now can somebody bring me more milk? And strawberry jam? And all of JTT’s movies on DVD? Thanks!