Growing up, Nilla Wafers were a big hit snack in our house. They went into mom’s banana pudding and dad’s chocolate pudding. They were smeared with peanut butter and made into sandwich cookies. They were eaten plain, straight from the box, and enjoyed just as much!
I make Homemade Vanilla Wafers and graham crackers (recipe coming soon) so the The Foodie Baby can have something crumbly and messy to go with her afternoon banana snack. Because you can never scrub too many dried food stuffs out of the cracks of your floor!
I have “plenty” of “extra” time since retiring from the world of technical writing and project management to do “crazy” stuff like this. Truth is, I have approximately 21 minutes of free time during the day. I can whip up a batch of vanilla wafer dough and still have a couple of minutes to knock out a couple of moves in Words With Friends.
It might sound a bit much to make Homemade Vanilla Wafers but it’s a super low-maintenance recipe and it makes a ton. I divide the dough into three logs and get ~15 cookies out of each. The two other logs go into the freezer until we’re ready for more cookies. I slice the frozen dough straight from the freezer, bake, and have cookies for the whole family to snack on for the week.
I was a little disappointed the first time I made the cookies. They spread quite a bit and didn’t hold their shape. They were good, but not pretty. I went back and added an extra 1/4 – 1/3 cup of flour to the dough and they didn’t budge on the baking sheet.
Now, these aren’t copycat or knock-off Nilla Wafers. I think these are much better for at least snacking (I haven’t tried them in pudding, yet). These are buttery, vanilla-y, sweet, shortbread-like cookies. No preservatives or stabilizers. No non-sugar sweeteners. Just good, vanilla wafer cookies.
Homemade Vanilla Wafers
Buttery shortbread-like cookies studded with vanilla bean flecks.
- 2 sticks butter, at room temp
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
- 2 1/3 cup flour
- Put butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on medium-high 3-4 minutes, until butter is light and fluffy. Set mixer to low and add the egg yolks, vanilla, and beat until blended. Scrape down the bowl, and add flour. Beat until thoroughly mixed.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a log 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (or freeze until solid).
- Preheat an oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment/silpat. Remove the plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife and cut each unwrapped log into 1/4 inch slices. Place the cookies an inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies until the edges and bottoms are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Yields: ~45 cookies
Estimated time: 25 minutes