Monday, July 12

Homemade Vanilla Wafers and Banana Pudding

I was watching Alton Brown the other night and he did a show on banana pudding.  Yum!  I was intrigued from the beginning, as banana pudding/pie are a close second to my very favorite--coconut cream.  But I often opt to make banana cream because DH says he is not a fan of coconut.  But he always eats every bite he is served when I make coconut cream...hmm. 

Anyhow, this is the part I was so excited about.  Alton made his own vanilla wafers.  I KNOW.  I was so reminded me that Gayle always says that whatever you can buy in the store, somebody at some point made from scratch, so you don't have to buy XXX pre-made.  Plus, these are made from ingredients I can pronounce and they are ones that I always have on hand.  They don't look exactly like the ones you buy of course, but hey, these are way better. 

Vanilla Wafers - from Alton Brown

7 ounces all-purpose flour (if you don't have a kitchen scale, that's about 1 3/4 cups)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature (about 1/2 cup)
3 1/2 ounces vanilla sugar (about 2/3 - 3/4 cup, and I didn't have vanilla sugar, but I did use turbinado sugar)
1 large egg
4 teaspoons vanilla extract (personally, I would put more in next time)
1 tablespoon whole milk

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 vanilla sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after 1 minute. Add the egg and incorporate on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl. Add the vanilla extract and milk and blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just to incorporate.

Scoop the batter in teaspoon-sized balls and arrange them on 2 parchment paper-lined half sheet pans, approximately 35 cookies per pan.  (I only got about 55 cookies and since these are made with all butter, I used my chocolate chip cookie tip and refrigerated each pan for about 10 minutes before baking.) Use the heel of your hand to slightly flatten each ball. (I forgot to do this and they turned out fine.) Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway for more even baking. Remove the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

Also, if you get the chance, come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla.

Banana Pudding - adapted from Alton Brown

3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces and chilled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
45 vanilla wafers
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold

Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch and salt in a sauce pan. Add the eggs and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 172 to 180 degrees F, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken and bubble around the edges. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, being sure each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next (I added all the pieces at once, I didn't notice a difference?). Whisk in the vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the pudding with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until the pudding reaches 45 degrees F, approximately 2 hours.

Toss the banana slices with the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

Spread a small amount of pudding in the bottom of a 1 1/2-quart glass mixing bowl. (You can use a trifle bowl, but I don't have one and if a glass mixing bowl is good enough for Alton, it's good enough for me.) Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining pudding on top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding.

Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk just until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely. Top with any remaining cookies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days--if it lasts that long.  :)

This recipe is linked to:

Beauty and Bedlam ~ Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace ~ Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Grocery Cart Challenge ~ Recipe Swap

My Baking Addiction's ~ Virtual Holiday Recipe Exchange


SnoWhite said...

fabulous! I've been looking for a vanilla wafer recipe :)

Domestic Nerd said...

A new follower from TMTT :)
This looks easy enough to try!

April said...

Wow, this seems super easy. Will be trying these cookies soon.

Ann said...

Oh my goodness, that looks so yummy and we love some banana pudding!

the country cook said...

What a great find! I'm totally trying these out someday -

Val said...

DIVINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YUM

Jennifurla said...

Oh yummy, I look forward to reading more of your blog.

zentmrs said...

I watched that episode and have been wanting vanilla wafers since. I even looked at the box on the shelf at the store (don't tell Alton!) but I put it back. Maybe these will make their way into my oven this weekend...

Thanks for sharing!

Katherine said...

I've been looking for a homemade vanilla wafer for a long time. These don't look like your normal wafer, but taste is what matters - so did their texture match a true wafer or not really?

Thanks for your input :)

Jackie said...

Katherine-The texture is certainly different from the store bought variety, so just to eat, they are different. Not bad, just different. For the banana pudding, I thought they were ten times better. :)

Bo said...

Wow...never tried to make vanilla wafers...I bet it really puts your banana pudding over the top.


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