You’ll never buy a box of vanilla wafers again.
I’ve been asked to cook for a wedding at the end of next month. One of the special requests from the bride’s mother is banana pudding.
Banana pudding was my granny’s go-to dessert. Helping her arrange store-bought wafers over layers of banana and pudding are some of my favorite childhood memories. Of course, I ate about as many vanilla wafers as managed to get into the pan.
These wafers turn granny’s already great banana pudding into a special treat.
- 200 grams (1⅔ cup) flour
- 4 grams (~¾ teaspoon) aluminum-free baking powder
- 3 grams (½ teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter – at room temperature
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon whole milk
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer for 2 minutes – until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl about half-way through (or use the fancy scraping paddle).
- Turn mixer to low speed and add egg. Return to medium and beat 30 seconds.
- Turn the mixer off, add vanilla extract and milk. Stir at lowest mixer speed to incorporate, then stir at low speed for about 15 seconds.
- With mixer on lowest speed slowly add flour just until incorporated.
If you have a standard KitchenAid mixer you may find a setting slower than the first notched speed (STIR on our machine). Just slowly pull the knob away from OFF and it should start at a really, really slow speed. This is perfect when you’re adding flour.
- Turn the mixer off and use a spatula to ensure everything is evenly mixed.
- Measure teaspoon-sized portions, roll into a ball, and arrange on parchment lined half sheet pan. You should be able to get about 32 or so dough balls on each pan.
Admission: I refrigerate the dough at this point because I like the crisp edges of vanilla wafers. By chilling the dough balls the edges crack as I press them down creating more edge area to get crispy. If you prefer traditional looking (perfect) vanilla wafers skip the next two steps, press the warm dough balls down and pop ’em in your pre-heated (350°F) oven.
- Put the cookie sheets in the fridge and turn oven on to 350°F to preheat.
- When the oven is finished preheating pull the cookie sheets out and press each bough ball to slighly less than ¼ inch thick with the heel of your hand.
- Arrange on two middle racks and bake 10-14 minutes – start checking at 10 minutes. Remove from the oven when golden brown around the edges.
- Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
I have no idea if these need to be refrigerated. Any wafers not used in banana pudding disappear.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe at Food Network.