Homemade Vanilla Wafers

homemade vanilla wafers

I am never buying vanilla wafers from the store again!  These were so easy to make and they taste so much better.  Rowan and Jonas both love vanilla wafers so when I found this recipe in Mema’s collection I had to try it out.  It’s from a newspaper clipping but unfortunately the clipping doesn’t have the newspaper’s name or any dates on it.  It is from a column called ‘Common Sense Cooking’ by Ruth McDaniel.  She says in her column that this recipe came from one of her readers (no name is given).

Note: we didn’t use cookie cutters; I rolled the dough into balls and flattened on the cookie sheet.  We also didn’t sprinkle with any kind of colored sugar or decorations.  I wanted a more traditional vanilla wafer.

1/2 c. margarine or butter

1 c. sugar

2 3/4 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 egg (for painting cookies)

1 tsp. salt

2 T. milk (optional)

Beat together thoroughly in mixing bowl the butter/margarine, vanilla, sugar, & 2 eggs.  Mix together flour, baking powder, & salt.  Add alternately to egg mixture with milk (if using) until well blended, finally kneading with hands until smooth.  Dough should be stiff.  Chill until firm.  Roll out on a lightly floured board about 1/8″ thick.  Cut with cookie cutter and place on greased cookie sheet.  Beat the other egg well with fork and using pastry brush, paint egg over cookies.  Sprinkle with colored sugar and other decorations before baking and they come from the oven decorated.  Bake in 375 to 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  Makes about 75 cookies.

I posted a comment but wanted to make sure people see this… these cookies ended up fairly soft, not crunchy like store bought vanilla wafers.  I actually prefer them softer!

Chicken & Dumplings

chicken & dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings but I have never attempted to make them myself.  This was a fairly easy recipe and even my boys liked them (which is saying a lot – my boys don’t like anything in a ‘sauce’).  Mema’s recipe doesn’t mention how to cook the chicken so I just steamed 2 big chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and some Italian seasoning.  I then boiled some additional broth to cook the dumplings in.  I assume Mema probably boiled the chicken and then pulled it out and used that broth for the dumplings.  I just don’t like boiled chicken – steamed seems a lot more tender to me.  That being said, here is Mema’s recipe.

2 c. flour

4 tsp. baking powder

2 T. butter

2/3 c. milk

1/2 tsp. salt

chicken

Mix flour, baking powder, butter, milk, & salt together.  Shape into dumplings [I just rolled a bit in my hand and flattened before dropping in the pot].  Have chicken broth boiling – drop in dumplings a few at a time (do not put too many at a time).  Cook dumplings about 10 minutes.  Add chicken and simmer for a few minutes.

Scalloped Potatoes

scalloped potatoes

This is the second side dish I made with our dinner of Pork Chops with Beer tonight.  It’s the first time I have made scalloped potatoes and Mema didn’t have any measurements written on her recipes so I had to guess at the amounts and just go with it.  They turned out pretty good, a little on the runny side though.  I either didn’t add enough flour or I added too much milk.  But the potatoes tasted great nonetheless!  She didn’t mention adding any cheese to the top once the potatoes were done but I added some parmesan cheese to mine as soon as I got them out of the oven.  We like cheese 🙂

sliced red potatoes

sliced onions

milk

flour

butter

Grease a casserole dish and place a layer of onions and potatoes on the bottom.  Sprinkle with flour and dot with butter.  Repeat this layering until the casserole dish is almost full.  Cover with milk.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until potatoes are done and milk is thickened.