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Married twenty-three years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids, 1 hand-picked by God from Africa and 1 very hyper-active dog. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. And just recently we have bought ourselves a farm. Do we know what we are doing? Nope. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oh man….that sounded like a challenge

"You can't make those."  It was said at the dinner table last night.

We were talking about vanilla wafers.  My husband requested banana pudding for desert, sooner rather than later.  He drops hints like that.  However, being out of vanilla wafers, which everybody knows is a key ingredient to banana pudding, that poses a bit of a problem.  What's a girl to do?  Go to the grocery….ugh!  Or make it.

I'll take the challenge.

I have learned that you can make anything really.  If it was boxed and put on a shelf in the grocery, then by golly, somebody created it first in a test kitchen.  They had to come up with the recipe before it went to the assembly line.  And if I make it, then I can pronounce everything in it.  Oh that's right, folks.  I am a food snob.  There I said it.

So, let's do this.  Let's whoop-up on this challenge and make us some vanilla wafers.  Who's with me?

Nobody?

Alright, fine.  I'll do it first.  I'll be the guinea pig.

I'm going to use Alton Brown's recipe.  However he used ounces instead of cups in his version.  That's just plain weird, if you ask me.  So I made the adjustments in mine to show cups.  Easier for me that way.  So let's do this…..

Homemade Vanilla Wafers

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup of sugar (he used vanilla sugar - no clue where to find that one right now so I just used regular sugar)
1 large egg
8 teaspoons vanilla extract (his recipe only called for 4 but since I have no vanilla sugar I'm going to double the vanilla)
1 Tablespoon whole milk

Directions:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides.  Add the egg.  Then add the vanilla extract and milk and blend for a moment but don't blend the fire out of it.  Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before scooping.

Scoop the batter in teaspoon-sized balls and arrange them on a cookie sheet.  He says to use parchment paper.  I didn't have any so I just sprayed my cookie sheet.  It came out just fine.  Slightly flatten each ball and bake for 15 to 20 minutes rotating the pans halfway through the baking.  Remove the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

And the results are in….

The vanilla wafers tasted fantastic.  I got the smaller ones a little bit darker than what I wanted but they didn't taste bad or burnt.  Just a bit more crunchy like the ones at the store.

So here's my thoughts for next time.  I'm going to double or triple the batch, for sure.  With this large of a crew I'll be lucky if this small batch makes it through tonight, much less tomorrow.  Also, I think I'm going to try and flatten them a bit more….not too much, but just a tiny bit.  Finally, I think I'll use a teaspoon to actually scoop them all out next time. This time I just rolled them in my hand, not really paying too much attention to that detail, but I think it will help in cooking if they are all closer in size.

Overall, it's a winner winner chicken dinner.





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