We all have favorite treats from our childhood, and as much fun as it is to buy a nostalgic treat at the store from time to time, it is even more fun to make them. Mr. Mimi has a great love for the classics, and Nilla Wafers are high on his list, so when I saw a recipe to make them at home I jumped at the chance to recreate one of his favorite after school snacks from his elementary school days.
While these cookies look a little different than the ones from the yellow box, the rich vanilla flavor combined with the crisp, but not too hard cookie, definitely hits all the same notes. I had plans to make cookie sandwiches and dunk some in chocolate, but before I could even make a batch of ganache, these cookies were gone. According to some of my family, the classics are best left alone. Lucky for me, these cookies are pretty easy to make, and I can have a double batch ready to go in no time- half for the purists, and half for the adventurers
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2010makes about 6 dozen
7 ounces all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 ounces vanilla sugar
1 large egg
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole milk
Position 1 oven rack in the top third of the oven and another in the bottom third. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and vanilla sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after 1 minute. Add the egg and incorporate on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl. Add the vanilla extract and milk and blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just to incorporate. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before scooping.
Scoop the batter in teaspoon-sized balls and arrange them on 2 parchment paper-lined half sheet pans, approximately 35 cookies per pan. Use the heel of your hand to slightly flatten each ball. Bake, 2 pans at a time, rotating the pans halfway through the baking, until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.