We all at some point have had the ubiquitous vanilla wafer, more than likely it was probably half disintegrated in some version of a banana pudding. I have always found the name ill fitting. To my mind they should have been called Nonillas as they never truly taste like real vanilla; and that belly that protrudes up is certainly not reminiscent of the lightness associated with a wafer. It was time for a makeover! This is my version of what a vanilla wafer should be, a pure, sweet, fragrant and dominant vanilla flavor in a light, soft cookie with a satisfying crispy crunch. This particular version has the nontraditional sprinkle of sesame seed since they are playing the role of burger buns in this brownie burger bake.Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups (170 g) unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup (70 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 g) brown sugar, packed
1 egg white, preferably organic
1 vanilla bean seeds, plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste OR may you may substitute a tablespoon of vanilla paste, preferably Nielsen-Massey
1/4 cup of sesame seeds (optional)
How to Use Them:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two half sheet pans with unbleached parchment paper or Silpat silicone baking mats.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
Use the creaming method to beat the softened butter and sugars for two minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, if using a hand held mixer add two additional minutes.
Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise but do not cut all the way through, peel back the top layer and scrape out the vanilla bean seeds by running the back of a knife down the length of the inside of the bean.
Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add in the vanilla bean seeds, the vanilla bean paste and egg white. Beat on medium speed for one minute, then scrape down the sides and beat for another minutes until you have a fully incorporated smooth mixture.
Stir in the flour mixture with a spatula in three stage until just incorporated. Do not over mix.Fill a pastry bag with large round pastry tip, the ½ inch works best however a ¼ inch tip will work fine as well.Fill the pastry bag with the dough, and pipe small round circles on the prepared baking sheets that are approximately 1 ½ inch in diameter, leaving two inches in between the cookies. Lightly and gently tap down the piped batter to smooth and flatten out the tops of the cookies. At this point you can proceed to baking for the traditional vanilla wafer cookies or sprinkle with sesame seeds to resemble “sesame seed buns” for the brownie burger recipe.Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges and bottom of the cookies are slightly golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Yields approximately 4 dozen cookies.