We both enjoy the occasional vanilla wafer, especially when it is in the form of banana pudding. As we had pudding and bananas on hand, but no wafers, I decided to give homemade vanilla wafers a go. I had tried to make Alton Brown’s recipe for them the week before, but they ended up more like sugar cookies than vanilla wafers, so off I went searching for a different recipe. I eventually found oneat this site. I’ll reproduce the recipe (with my modifications) here. The resulting cookie is very crunchy and light, less dense than wafers from the box, and with a stronger vanilla flavor. My technique for piping the cookies was variable at best, but with more practice that will improve.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
1 large egg white
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk (I used cream)
1 1/3 cups AP flour (160g)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla seeds. When light and fluffy, add egg white and beat until together. Add extract and milk and continue creaming. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, scraping down the sides as needed. Fill a piping bag, and use a tip with about a 1/2″ opening (mine was a #807). Pipe out nickel to quarter sized mounds onto the parchment. If you need to, go back through and poke down any spikes of dough you may have with your finger to make the tops nice and smooth. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating trays as needed, depending on how even your oven is. Once the cookies are nicely toasted, and golden brown, remove and allow to cool. This batch made about 90 cookies, which would probably be enough for two puddings.
These added a wonderfully intense vanilla flavor to the banana pudding and are also really lovely with a mug of tea or coffee.