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Mini Vanilla Wafer Cookies

Mini Vanilla Wafer Cookies

Nilla Wafers are good cookies, if a bit on the boring side because they are so plain, and I always enjoyed eating them when I was little. After trying the Trader Joe’s Vanilla Wafers, cookies meant to be a gourmet version of the classic wafer cookies because they are loaded with lots of vanilla bean, I knew that I wanted to make a version myself. I wanted to get a good flavor and to keep their kid-friendly appeal, as that is what drew me to the cookies initially.

I ended up making miniature vanilla wafers. They’re crispy, have a good vanilla flavor and are ridiculously addictive. Their addictivenes comes from the fact that you can literally eat them by the handful. Each cookie is no larger than a dime in diameter! I made them by scraping the cookie dough into a pastry bag with a plain tip and piping the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, making each cookie the size and shape of a large chocolate chip. Over 100 cookies fit onto each baking sheet and I ended up with a total of almost 400 little cookies!

The hardest thing about getting this cookie recipe right was the coloring of the finished cookies. If baked at too high a temperature, they over-browned and ended up with the same kind of dark ring around the edge (butter and caramelized sugar) that the TJs cookies have. If baked at too low a temperature, they either didn’t crisp up properly or didn’t brown at all. The classic Nilla Wafers have a nice golden brown color to them, so to make sure the cookies turn out right, look for your cookies to be a golden color when you take them out of the oven.

Since the cookies are so small, any variation in size will mean a change in baking time. If yours end up smaller than mine, you might need to take them out a minute early. If yours are larger than mine, they might need extra time. Watch the timer on the first batch and try to keep the sizes of all your cookies as equal as possible. Also, try to use a real pastry bag to pipe out the dough instead of a plastic bag. The pastry bag is much stronger and will hold up better to piping all that thick dough.

Mini Vanilla Wafer Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder over the butter mixture and stir to combine. Scrap dough into a pastry bag fitted with a plain piping tip.
Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making each cookie the size of a large chocolate chip. Cookies will spread, but only a little space is needed between cookies.
Bake at 325 F for 10 to 15 minutes, until cookies are a light golden brown. Baking time will vary depending on the exact size of your cookies. Mine were a bit tall, but slightly smaller than a dime. They spread slightly to about dime-size.
Cool on baking sheets.
Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 385 mini cookies (32-dozen)

Makes about 385 cookies (or 285?)

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  • diningoncents
    July 23, 2008

    Ah! These look so simple and delicious. And I have all the ingredients at home! Great recipe 🙂

  • J.
    July 23, 2008

    Oh goodness. I can’t wait to try making these. They look like they’d be great as sandwich cookies–with a chocolate ganache filling or something. Thanks for this post, it got me so excited I came out of lurking to finally leave a reply on your awesome, yummy blog!

  • Liz
    July 23, 2008

    I never thought to make these myself. Great idea. I enjoyed your site.

  • Trisha
    July 24, 2008

    I’ve been looking for a Nilla Wafer recipe–thank you! Can’t wait to try this.

  • TaraP
    July 27, 2008

    I tried these last night and they came out great. I used a plastic bag because I don’t have a real pastry bag, but I didn’t have problems. These are great with ice cream!

  • chumpman
    July 27, 2008

    Yummy! I love this wafer. I’ll take down the recipe and ask my girlfriend to make this for me. even better, i will make it together with her 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  • dancing kitchen
    July 28, 2008

    I made these for my book club…and sandwiched nutella between 2 wee cookies. It was spectacular. Thank you for the recipe!

  • carol
    August 1, 2008

    I will try these! I love Trader Joe’s as a store, but I found their take on vanilla wafers a little cloying and underdone. I love classic Nillas because of their crisp, golden brown, not-to-sweet character. I want to have a recipe to make them from scratch to go into the banana pudding I occasionally make, especially when the Nillas will require a trip to the store at rush hour.

  • gina s.
    August 2, 2008

    i loved these little angels 🙂 i added instant oatmeal to them and they turned out lovely! soft and just the right amount of sweetness.

  • gina s.
    August 3, 2008

    i made another batch again today! and i ate them all by myself

  • Compare Credit Cards
    November 3, 2009

    Very nice,we maka all the time and the kids love them.

  • Lisa
    March 31, 2010

    Hi! I wanted to make Vanilla Wafers so I searched online and found your recipe. They turned out perfectly! I posted the results on my blog. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Lisa @ joyincooking.blogspot.com

  • Credit Card
    May 4, 2010

    YUM! I’ll be truing these out as soon as I get home.

  • Breadbakinggirl
    June 8, 2010

    Oooh!! Yummy!! I am going to try those today!! Thank you for posting this!

  • Katherine
    July 17, 2010

    Do these have the same taste as regular nilla wafers? Is the texture the same?

  • Shelly D
    November 10, 2010

    OH, MY GIDDY AUNT!!! These are absolutely fantastic! I don’t think I will ever be buying vanilla wafers from the store again! I managed to keep enough out of the kids’ mouths…okay, mine too, so that I can make a banana pudding. Thanks a bunch for posting this recipe!!!!

  • LB
    December 10, 2010

    I actually used these to make mini hamburger cookies. They were a hit! Two cookies (buns)- sliced marshmellow (mayo), Nutella (meat), coconut with green food coloring (lettuce) and half a marichino cherry (tomato). Put a tootpick through the center! I used some of the dough to make cookie strips that looked like french fries. Too cute!

  • jovani
    October 10, 2011

    Wow..Just Wow… I got the recipe that was linked to a banana pudding recipe and these were delicious, changed out the egg for 1/2 banana that works really well for banana pudding cupcakes… delicious..

  • melinda gail
    August 17, 2012

    anyone ever tried these using splenda and splenda brown sugar???

  • dimitra
    September 13, 2012

    hello.i made these today.i saw the cookies at half the time and they were puffy,but when they came out of the oven they were flat and with a lot of holes. was the temperature of my oven too high maybe?

  • dimitra
    September 13, 2012

    and i got 60 cookies,not even 100.

  • Michelle
    September 16, 2012

    Oh my goodness, made these today and my family was eating them as quickly as they cooled off!! They are delicous and mine were dime size. Wish I could say how many I yielded, but the boys in this house made that impossible!! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Kelly S.
    December 7, 2012

    Just made these. I used a small tsp scoop so they came out more like regular size wafers and required about 17 min in the oven. While they are very tasty I can’t say they taste like a classic Nilla wafer. That flavor must come from chemical additives! Lol However, I’m sure my little ones won’t be able to taste a difference. Thanks for the recipe, it was fun to give it a whirl!

  • Rebecca
    December 18, 2012

    Hi, your recipe looks very yummy. What should I add if I want them in chocolate?

  • CJ @ Morsels of Life
    February 4, 2013

    Ah, the Nilla Wafer – brings back memories. I’ll have to give these a try. 🙂

  • Maria
    March 5, 2013

    Can these be frozen? Just wanting to know if I can out a couple small bags in the freezer and pull out a bag to use as snacks in the diaper bag.

  • liz
    April 14, 2013

    Going to try these gluten free. Would make the perfect snack!

  • Katie
    June 22, 2013

    I just made these. They are delicious! However, if you want to make 300 and some cookies like the recipe states, you’ll need to triple or even quadruple the recipe. I can’t even believe it says it makes that many. Not even close. Again though, the recipe itself is delicious!

  • Jennifer
    July 12, 2013

    I was going to make watermelon bars which required a 12oz box of vanilla wafers. I was about to run to the store when I found this recipe on Pinterest! They were delicious! Thank you!

  • Jenessa
    July 23, 2013

    Holy cow these are so yummy! And so so easy! I got about 500 cookies so I must have made them smaller than yours…about chocolate chip size. Thank you thank you! These are a perfect little snack!

  • Julie
    December 24, 2013

    I’m hoping to make these so I can make bourbon balls without nasty boxed cookies. Thnx for the recipe! 🙂

  • Julie
    December 24, 2013

    Btw, I made these with 1/2 c sucanat (no other sweetener) & they are plenty sweet! 🙂 And white whole wheat pastry flour. Yummy!

  • Alisha Bache
    September 29, 2014

    Just made my first batch of these cookies, I have never had a biscuit so easy to make and rewarding to eat!!!! So delicious! I ran out of vanilla extract so used orange extract in its place and I can not stop eating them! I have just found my new go to cookie recipe. Their crisp and sweet and sooo addictive! I can see me eating more than my fair share of these! Thank you for sharing this recipe. 😀🍪

  • Medeeah A.
    March 17, 2015

    These cookies are soooo deeeeelicious! My kids, 2 yr old & 11 month old, LOVE THEM so much!! I’ve made 2 batches within 4 days already!!! We just can’t get enough. I love the fact that it’s ingredients that I already have…thanks a bunch for sharing this recipe!!!

  • Eva
    July 4, 2015

    Did these twice and both times it came out tasting like metal. I don’t know what is wrong. I’m using dairy free butter and gluten free flour. Everything is in date.

  • Nicole
    July 6, 2015

    Eve – The gluten free flour and dairy free “butter” are probably negatively impacting your cookies. Gluten free flour blends sometimes contain ingredients – some with a lot of chickpea flour spring to mind – that really need long baking/cooking times, which these little cookies don’t have. Try a different brand of gluten free flour (a rice flour-base might work), however not ever recipe can handle a straight substitution for gluten free flour and still turn out perfectly. Good luck!

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