To my mother’s credit, she never bought us many pre-packaged sweets….well, almost never. Usually, if we were going to have things like cookies, we made them together, but Nilla Wafers were something I only experienced at Sunday school. I vividly remember sneaking extra handfuls of them off the snack table to take home with me and eat in private. They were soft inside with a slightly chewy bite and tons of sugary vanilla flavor — oh, so yummy.
Why can’t pre-packaged cookies be better for us!? That lament is one of the reasons why I love trying to figure out how to make healthier, homemade versions of pre-packaged products. The treats of my childhood are wrapped up with so many wonderful memories I want to share them all with my own kids — just without all the preservatives and artificial flavors.
While you may think that a Vanilla Wafer would be complicated to make in your kitchen, my take on it is easy. After many blunders trying to perfect a homemade recipe, I eventually arrived at this version which tastes as good as, if not better than, the ones I remember. Kenya and Chloe have never tried the box kind, but give them a small handful of these cookies and a tall glass of milk and I don’t think they’re missing a darn thing!
- 1 1/4 Cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tsp baking powder
- 1/4 Tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 Cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place the first 3 ingredients in a bowl and combine.
- Place the butter and sugar in a standing mixer (or bowl using a hand mixer) and cream for 3-4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix for another minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Roll 1 tsp of dough into a ball, about 1 inch, and place on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet.
- Flatten each ball into a disk then bake for 15 minutes.
- Cool and serve.