These Homemade Vanilla Wafers have been a long time coming. Banana pudding was a childhood favorite of mine, yet it was a dish I hadn’t made. Of course, we used ‘Nilla vanilla wafers. I mean, didn’t everyone? I don’t even know if there are any other wafers on the market. They were perfectly sweet, thin and crunchy. Great alone and even better between layers of vanilla pudding and bananas.
I knew it was ambitious to try and make vanilla wafers as home, but if I was going to make banana pudding I had to figure it out. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Nilla wafers are good. I just like to make things when I can and also avoid boxed and prepared things when I can.
So, yesterday I told my husband I was making banana pudding. Had I even made pudding from scratch before? No. Why did I say such a thing? I am sure it had everything to do with the amount of bananas we had and besides putting them in my late afternoon smoothies, banana pudding is the only other appetizing way I prefer them. Since I put my word out there, I had to delivery.
I searched for recipes, but I couldn’t find anything too promising. All of them were extremely different from one another and all of them had mixed reviews. First, some called for granulated sugar. Some called for confectioners sugar and then some brown sugar and others a mix of sugars. Then I found one that was eggless. At this point, I couldn’t reply on other bakers for a recipe that maybe will turn out good. The stakes were too high and it was all up to me to figure it out and get it right.
Trial and Error
So, I ended up making two batches. Before baking the first batch, I rolled these into balls (according to one recipe) and flattened them with my palm. They tasted great, but they looked nothing like wafers. The texture was a little ‘buscuity’ and they were way to puffy and round and craggily on the top, too. I decided to add a few tablespoons of milk to thin them out and at this point, the only way to get them on the baking sheet was to pipe them. Actually, the first recipe I found said to pipe them and I definitely said to myself “I am not doing that” and went to the next recipes. I guess they were onto something.
I think what really made these a hit was my decision to use a vanilla bean instead of the extract.
This is actually only my second time working with a vanilla bean. The first time I used it was to glaze my homemade doughnuts. If you have never worked with a vanilla bean before, it’s super easy. Simple slice it in half and then scrape the seeds out with a knife. The smell is so amazing and one of those scents that will bring you to a standstill.
One thing to note about these wafers is they do not flatten and spread during baking. Since they don’t, you definitely want to make them the size and thickness that you want before you put them in the oven. I ended up using my macaron silicon mat to help me them round, but if you don’t have anything like that just pipe circles onto parchment paper.
How to make Homemade Vanilla Wafers
What you end up with is a batter that is too sticky to handle with your hands. Therefore, the best way is to add it to a piping or ziplock bag and pipe into circles.
These cookies tasted so good and so much better than the original. It had that familiar flavor and the crispy crunch texture that almost melts into your mouth as you chew, but the vanilla flavor was straight bomb. A flavor you just won’t get from an extract. Where have vanilla beans been all of my life?
Homemade Vanilla Wafers
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- vanilla beans from half of a pod you can use the whole pod if you want extra vanilla flavor
- 1/2 stick of butter 4 tablespoons, melted
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 2 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 350
In a large bowl, combine the vanilla beans, baking powder, salt and sugar
Pour in the melted butter and whisk until nice and smooth
Add the eggs and milk
Add flour in and mix until just combined.
Transfer your batter/dough to a piping bag and pipe small circles onto parchment paper and flatten with the palm of your hand.
Bake them for 10-12 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Enjoy!
The original recipe didn't call for milk, so you can definitely try the recipe with and without it.
Adapted from makingjiggy