vanilla wafers.


 a haiku:

vanilla wafers / words can not fully express / your magnificence.

And they are magnificent. and simple. and so so pretty! now go make these. don’t sully them with icing or sprinkles. save that for your favorite sugar cookie. These are fantastic as they are; unadorned. And play with these if you want: sometimes, if I want a slightly crispier cookie, I adjust the sugar from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. I’ve also split the sugar to 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated white sugar with a nicely nutty result. The recipe is a great “starter” for those who like to mess with things. It’s so easy, and the ingredients so commonly found in your refrigerator that you’ll never feel like you wasted your time.

Experiment away.

Taken from Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking: Recipes and Techniques for Successful Home Baking.

Vanilla Wafers

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat on low speed until blended. Add the flour and mix until incorporated and a smooth dough forms.

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a log 7 inches (18 cm) long and about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter. At this point i will say you don’t have to be that exact: if you like a smaller or larger cookie, please roll in whatever size you wish. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350˚F (180˚C) If you have 3 rimless baking sheets, like Williams Sonoma assumes you do, line all three with parchment paper. If you have one good rimless baking sheet, as I do, line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife (i use a paring knife), cut each unwrapped log crosswise into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Place the cookies 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared sheets. I usually cut only as many cookies as will fit on my one meager baking sheet and keep the rest unsliced in the fridge until it’s their turn in the oven.

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time (ah-ha!) until the edges and bottoms are golden, 12-15 minutes. Really watch these, because like any simple sugar cookie, it only takes a minute to go from perfect to overdone. Let the cookies cook on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. These freeze super well too, for up to 3 months.

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