Real Vanilla Wafers**
I love vanilla wafers, specifically, Nilla Wafers. One of the few manufactured foods I buy a name brand of (hate to end a sentence that way – ugh!). Somehow it makes a difference to me – the taste of Nilla Wafers I mean – not the sentence ending part – but that does bug me too. I like them by themselves, but my favorite way is to use them to make a sandwich cookie of them with peanut butter in between. To be specific – creamy Jif peanut butter. It’s great – peanut butter and its salt and the slightly sweet vanilla wafer. Perfection. I can’t even imagine how many times I had this in my (NFL) lunch box as a kid. Yes, I was that much of a tomboy. When I was in second grade I could tell you the names of all NFL teams, what city they were in, who was the quarterback, and some of the other major players too. Guess my dad wanted a boy and I was an obliging kid – and a tomboy. Where does that phrase come from – not sure – must research. One moment.
And after looking about, the term has been around since the very late 1500s – thank you OED* – I never would have thought that. I think it was, initially, pejorative, but now it seems to be a bit of bragging rights – I can hold-my-own-with-the-boys-kind-of-thing. In fact, for me, all thru school my friends were mostly boys.
Okay, back to Vanilla Wafers – lord, how did I get so far afield – ah – school lunches and NFL lunch boxes. Don’t get me started on marshmallow cream. That’s another story entirely.
Here’s how you do it –
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted (4 tablespoons)
- 2 egg yolks
You’ll also want to get out a couple baking sheets and some parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the vanilla, baking powder, salt and sugar by whisking. Add in the melted butter and whisk again until nice and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.
Add the flour in and mix until just combined.
Use a teaspoon to portion out the dough – roll it into balls between your hands and then flatten the balls lightly with your palms. You can fit a ton of them on a baking sheet because they hardly spread.
Bake them for 12 minutes, or until nice and golden around the edges. This recipe will make between 30-40 cookies. Really – 12 minutes works perfectly.
The Boy says the next time I make them (even though I’ve made them twice this month), I need to quadruple the recipe. Think I might.
*One of the coolest books ever – no kidding. Geeky historian here.
** Excellent photo – thank you – MotH. ILY