Recently we hosted my niece Christina and her family during their short visit to Grand Rapids on route from Hawaii to Lille, France where they will be living for the next couple of years. Yay! Trip opportunity for us!!
Prior to their arrival I asked Christina if there were certain things she'd like to have in the house for the children to eat. Kiera, age 9 - string cheese; Liam, age 4 - vanilla wafers.
In a recent post I wrote about making my own graham crackers, and the fact that Liam loves vanilla wafers inspired me to give them a try. I prefer avoiding much of the mass produced stuff in the grocery store, particularly if high fructose corn syrup is involved (it's in the "Nilla Wafer" ingredient list).
I searched online and found an Alton Brown recipe that looked pretty straight forward (and tasty). You can easily find it by googling "Alton Brown's vanilla wafers" - yes sirree!
The dough was easy to mix - cream butter and vanilla sugar; add egg and blend; blend in vanilla extract and a little milk; blend in flour, baking powder, salt to incorporate. Then chill the dough for 10 minutes (or longer if your schedule demands it).
Scoop teaspoon balls of dough onto parchment lined sheet pans . . . .
then flatten the balls a bit with the palm of your hand . . . .
|ready for the oven|
and bake at 350º for about 18 minutes until golden brown.
Side note: in the photo above you can see a log of dough adjacent to the sheet pan. I decided to shape that and freeze it for later. It will be interesting to see how the thinly sliced log cookies bake up.
While these may not have the smooth surface and well defined edges of the store bought variety, they are tasty indeed. I describe them as subtly pleasant with vanilla and a hint of salt on the tongue. The texture reminds me of animal crackers.
I offered one to Liam as a taste test - he took one a bit hesitantly, took a bite and pronounced it good. Off he went, but a couple of minutes later back he came with "may I have another cookie?". Yup - they were a hit!!
From now on these will be known as Liam's vanilla "wayers" as he calls them - what a cutie!
Homemade is pretty much always best.
Oh - I made some pear financier that day too - one of Steve's faves.
|always a treat|
Now it's time to ramp up with some new recipes over the next several weeks. Can't wait!
Ciao for now and happy baking.