I love to keep small snacks on hand for small mouths, like when my grandchildren come to visit. One day I was fixing banana pudding, and as opened the box of vanilla wafers and started pouring some into the pudding, I snatched one up and put it in my mouth. My first thought was how glad I was, that I would be putting them in the pudding, and not eating them by themselves. Not only were they hard and crunchy, but lacking in flavor as well. I was suddenly hit with a thought. Why not make homemade vanilla wafers!! They would taste so much better, and my grandchildren would love them. Therefore, I went to work in the kitchen. I knew that I still wanted a slightly crunchy cookie, if I wanted them to hold up in banana pudding, so I started to experiment. My first attempt resulted in a cookie that had a wonderful vanilla flavor but was way too soft. I decided to change the sugar, using half granulated and half powdered sugar and try again. The second experiment was a success. The result was a cookie with a wonderful vanilla flavor, and not too soft or too crunchy but somewhere in the middle. I was very pleased with the outcome.
For this recipe…
I mixed together the cookie dough and rolled tiny dough balls in the palm of my hand, making sure they were very small. The picture on the right above, shows the first batch I made. I rolled them to about the size of a quarter which was really too big for vanilla wafers. The second time I rolled them to about the size of a nickel, no bigger, and of course I forgot to take a picture.
I baked the cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes…
Until they were golden brown on the bottom…
But still very light on top…
And finally, I popped one in my mouth to compare them to those store-bought ones that you see on the right in the picture above. No comparison…a pure vanilla, buttery flavor, with a slight crunch, yet not too hard. Note: You can actually brown these cookies a little more if you want them to be hard and crunchy like the ones in the box. I would only do this if you’re using them in banana pudding and want them to stay more crunchy in the pudding.
These slightly crunchy vanilla wafers are loaded with butter and vanilla flavor!
- 1 stick real unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg together on medium speed, until the mixture is very light and creamy. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, only to incorporate.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop up small amounts of the dough and roll into small balls in the palm of your hand. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, leaving room between them for spreading.
- Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes until cookies are golden brown on the bottom and light on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Store cookies in an airtight container.
- Cookies will stay fresh for up to one week.
- If cookie dough seems too sticky, lightly flour your hands, or place cookie dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- If freezing cookies, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in a freezer for 30 minutes to partially freeze. Place the cookies in a large freezer bag or container to finish freezing.