Saturday, March 07, 2009

Real Vanilla Wafers

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Have you noticed most cookies aren’t as good as they used to be? Take for instance, the classic vanilla wafer. The ones in the supermarket use fake vanilla and taste like cardboard. Why not make your own? They are so easy and have numerous baking applications. I found this cool recipe in Retro Desserts by Wayne Harley Brachman which I checked out of the Southside Library.

1 1/4 cups A.P. flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) room temp. Butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Set your oven racks in the middle and upper 1/3 of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Into a large bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, powder, soda and salt 3 times. I am serious! In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar till creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and then the vanilla. Next add the 2 extracts and mix till completely blended. With the mixer on its lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture till just combined. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto sheet pan lined with parchment at 2 1/2 inch intervals. With a moistened fingertip, flatten and round out the cookies a little bit then bake for 8 minutes, turning the pan midway through baking. The cookies are done when they are lightly browned around the edges. This recipe makes 4 dozen little cookies. Save the old ones for crumble crusts.