Vanilla wafer cookies, often called nilla cookies, are a friend to dessert cooks. These plain, delicious cookies are a key ingredient in banana pudding, and they also can be crushed and used to make pie crusts. Some people also may have seen the cookies used as the base for cheesecake cupcakes — they’re just that versatile! Of course, nilla cookies also are perfect all on their own, or with chocolate spread, peanut butter or a favorite jam sandwiched between two of them.
Commercially made nilla cookies may contain ingredients that do not fit into some people’s diets. However “Nilla Cookies” from “Eat What You Love” (Ten Speed Press) by Danielle Walker are dairy- and grain-free.
- 2 egg whites, chilled
- 1⁄4 cup palm shortening
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple sugar
- 1⁄2 cup arrowroot powder
- 5 1⁄2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon grain-free baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or using an electric handheld mixer, beat the egg whites, palm shortening and vanilla on medium speed for 30 seconds, until frothy. Add the maple sugar, arrowroot, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on medium speed for 15 seconds more, until the dough is fluffy.
Using a teaspoon, scoop out the dough and roll it into small balls the size of gumballs. Space the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and press down gently on the tops to flatten them slightly.
Bake one sheet at a time for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking, until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months.