April 25, 2022
I am not a fan of the Nilla Wafers from the box. Not my go to cookie. But my kids love them. Perhaps these cookies subconsciously remind them of childhood, sitting in the stroller mouthing at these plain biscuits.
But I am a fan of good old-fashioned vanilla. Pure vanilla extract. Now you can even find/order vanilla bean paste! (Trader Joes, Amazon) I always keep real vanilla beans in the house too. They are expensive but they last forever. They are the real deal. VANILLA at its best. These cookies are very plain like the box version, but the real vanilla in stronger strength
makes all the difference. It turns a simple cookie into something special.
Now in terms of baking times. . . if you like your Nilla Wafers softer in the middle, “cakey” as my next-door-neighbor Samantha described them, bake them till they are just browning, about 20-23 minutes. For more of a crunch let them go for 25-28 minutes. You can even bake one tray so they are cakey and the next crunchy if you want to achieve different textures. But honestly, you can’t go wrong.
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste (see introduction) OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract + the inside of 1 vanilla bean (if you have it)
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder
In a large microwavable bowl, melt the butter on high for about 1 minute 30 seconds. Whisk in the sugar and the salt.
Add the egg whites, vanilla and vinegar and whisk until smooth.
Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients with a spoon or rubber spatula, stirring until smooth. The batter will get very thick and may look like it will not incorporate, but it does.
Using a tablespoon, or tablespoon size cookie scoop, make round balls of dough, placing them on the cookie sheet leaving about 2 inches between each one.
Once you have filled 2 cookie sheets take a glass and flatten each ball to create a smooth surface.
For slightly chewy cookies, bake for 20-23 minutes or until you see light brown edges. For crispier cookies, bake for 25-28 minutes, or until you see golden brown edges.
Let cookies cool completely on the baking sheet.