What makes the perfect cookie? Crunch , snap and flavor. Nilla Wafers, everyone's favorite cookie fits this bill. They are not only fun to eat with a big glass of milk but also neat to turn into a variety of yummy desserts.These vanilla snaps are not only a kitchen classic but a kitchen staple as well.
Nilla Wafers have been made by Nabisco for only fifty years but their story goes back to over a century to Staten Island, New York. German inventor Gustave A. Mayer, a 19th Century inventor moved his family and confectionery business to Stapleton in the northeastern corner of the island , This German neighborhood appreciated baked cakes and cookies and it was here that Mayer created molds for the sugar wafers that would eventually be known as Nillas. He was also an inventor , designing one of the world's first humidifiers along with preformed sigh letters and sparkling reflectors used as Christmas tree ornaments. Yet it was the biscuit molds that made him famous. and even was awarded a medal from the American Institute of New York for his many contributions and inventions to the industry. How Nabisco acquired the recipe is a mystery.Had they been sitting on it for half a century or did Mayer,s daughters finally relent and gave the recipe away in the mid Sixties? Strangely enough the cookies have always been made with synthetic vanilla or vanillin and not the real deal. Nabisco also makes a low calorie version that taste the same as the original recipe. One is only twenty calories . A small bag of them make a nice snack whether for work or for school.
The cookies are great on their own however they 're also a wonderful ingredient in many desserts. Banana pudding is a popular one , especially in the South. The recipe is an easy one.It's basically a trifle with layers of Nillas vanilla pudding or custard and sliced bananas. It's then topped off with whipped cream and crushed cookies.What I love about Nilla Wafers is that they make great crusts. They're easily crushed in a food processor and can be blended with nuts and melted butter for a shortbread inspired kind of crust for cheesecakes.The cookies also make great mini desserts along the lines of hors d'ouervres . Put puffs of coffee laced marscapone cheese on them or sweetened cream cheese and berries for a fun after dinner bite. Nillas make excellent cookie balls. Again these riffs on cake pops are a snap to whip up. It's just mixing the crumbs with cream cheese and then rolling the mixture into balls. Afterwards they're dipped in chocolate and then chilled for an hour. You can add in some fun morsels such as ripe mashed bananas, nuts,or chocolate chips. Try a tiramisu one with some coffee mixed into the recipe. These are great for a kid's party,Turn them into cookie pops, with dyed white chocolate.and a coating of gold and silver sanded sugar.
Nilla Wafers are not only a nice side to a cup of tea or a glass of milk , but they're a great ingredient to fun desserts. Enjoy their sweet crispness any way whether as a cookie or part of a sweet treat.