Nilla wafers make an excellent crust for desserts. I love it as the crust for my Vanilla Bean Mousse Cheesecake. My coworker suggested instead of buying them at the store I could make my own, which he promised would boost the taste of the Banana Pudding dessert on the agenda for this weekend. While this isn’t the recipe he uses, this is one he suggested (as he didn’t have his recipe with him at work while we were discussing the merits of homemade Vanilla Wafers today at work).
- 7 oz all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 oz butter, room temperature
- 3 1/2 oz vanilla sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 T. whole milk
- Position 1 oven rack in the top third of the oven and another in the bottom third. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and vanilla sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after 1 minute. Add the egg and incorporate on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl. Add the vanilla extract and milk and blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just to incorporate. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before scooping.
- Scoop the batter in teaspoon-sized balls and arrange them on 2 parchment paper-lined half sheet pans, approximately 35 cookies per pan. Use the heel of your hand to slightly flatten each ball. Bake, 2 pans at a time, rotating the pans halfway through the baking, until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.
I found this recipe only yielded about 50 really small cookies. I don’t think there’s anyway you could squeeze 70 cookies out of this dough.
The only part of the cookie that seemed to brown was the bottom. After 20 minutes a good portion of the bottom of my cookies were borderline burnt while the top remained white as a Midwestern Christmas.
These cookies are an essential ingredient in the Banana Pudding recipe I’m making tomorrow and thus the stand-alone taste isn’t overly important; still they definitely didn’t knock my socks off – Nilla Wafers would have been a fine alternative and much less effort. Perhaps it was because I tried to crunch the Vanilla Sugar process from two weeks to two hours?