Sometimes you just need something easy. Something that will satisfy your sweet tooth, but also doesn’t have 43 ingredients or involve a 90 minute chill. Something that turns out every single time without you having to think too hard. Something that will go well with Nutella or ice cream or pudding or coffee. Something that you can pull out of the cabinet when company shows up, and look like Ina freaking Garten because *of course* you have these on-hand all the time.
Well, this is that recipe.
These vanilla wafers are so quick and easy, and they are ten zillion times better than the boxed variety. And I should know–these were the first recipe I “mastered” almost three years ago. I made them over and over again for months! I can practically bake them in my sleep.
The dough comes together in ten minutes flat, and doesn’t involve any special ingredients. If you feel like you have no food in the house, you probably still have all the ingredients to make these wafers. These cookies came to mind last week because I had one egg, one stick of butter, and not much of anything else. Less than 90 minutes later, I had made the world’s simplest dough, rolled it, and baked 152 tiny little cookies.
The most work-heavy part is probably the rolling–scooping dough 1/2 teaspoon at a time can get a little tedious–but that really doesn’t take more than a few minutes. I use my half-sheet pans for making these, and that allows me to bake 54 on a single pan! If you place one on each rack, that means all the cookies will be done in two batches. Easy peasy.
And oh, are they good. For someone who prefers soft and chewy cookies, I sure do love these crispy, crunchy wafers. They’re buttery and full of vanilla flavor, and there’s a divine caramel undertone thanks to the brown sugar.
I love to make these Vanilla Wafers into tiny ice cream sandwiches, dunk them in coffee and, obviously, throw them into banana pudding. But of course, they’re wonderful just on their own.
adapted from Serious Eats
makes about 13 dozen very small cookies
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed*
1 large egg, room temperature
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, combining completely after each addition.
Scoop dough by the 1/2 teaspoon, roll into balls*, and set 1-inch apart on prepared baking pans. Bake 8-9 minutes, or until browned at the edges and no longer raw-looking. Let cool five minutes on the pans before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Wafers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.
1. If you do not have or do not want to use light brown sugar, granulated sugar may be substituted.
2. Dough should be sticky, but still rollable.