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Not So Diet Vanilla Wafers


I think my most important job when I cooked at the Manor was to keep the Mrs happy. Actually in retrospect . . . I think that was everyone's job.  If the Mrs wasn't happy . . . wasn't nobody happy!!  She was always on a diet and so my job was to prepare meals that were relatively low in calories as she was always counting them.  She reckoned that she could not have any more than about 5 or 6 hundred calories a day . . . so not good, and it didn't matter how much I tried to explain the mechanics of nutrition to her . . . her mind was made up.  


I wish I had a pound for everyone of these cookies I baked for her over those almost 8 years I worked for her.  I would be rich now I think!  Maybe she would be working for me!  In any case, this was a recipe that she had found for Diet Vanilla Wafers and she wanted me to bake them for her.  One time I accidentally put too much butter in them . . . and she said they were the best Vanilla Wafers anyone had ever baked for her and that was that.

That was how I had to bake them from then on . . . I didn't dare tell her the reason they were so good was because there was extra butter in them.    Truth be told though . . . even if they had had the required amount of butter in them, they wouldn't have been diet cookies.  Somehow I think the diet/low fat properties of any type of cookie kind of go down if you eat almost the whole recipe in one day . . .

Ahem . . . just sayin' is all!  Don't shoot the messenger!


There was many a night I found myself baking a double recipe of these at three in the morning, as she wanted them to take away with her on one of her frequent trips away.  I would pack them for her in a shoe box (Armani of course) with baking parchment between the layers and cushioning them so they would not break.

I suddenly found myself with a hankering for them at the weekend.  I had not baked them since I finished working at the Manor . . . some 2 1/2 years ago now!  I knew this recipe off by heart . . . and that had not changed.  And they were still moreishly good.  Crisp and buttery and addictive!

I used some of them to make a dessert for Todd . . . kind of like an old fashioned banana pudding but without the meringue on top. He hates meringue.  I just layered them with some vanilla custard and sliced banana and then topped the whole thing with some squirtie cream and a few more wafers for a garnish.


He really enjoyed this very much.  I do confess . . . I had some too.  However today I was eating one and I broke a tooth . . . perhaps that is Karma do you think???  For being so deceitful and feeding her Not So Diet Vanilla Wafers for all those years.  I am sure she still wonders why she could never take off that final two pounds!

*Not So Diet Vanilla Wafers*
Makes about 3 dozen
Printable Recipe

These were supposed to be light, but the mistaken addition of extra butter made them even better, so they are not so diet, diet cookies.  These are crisp and buttery and oh so moreishly good.

low fat cooking spray
flour to dust
95g of granulated sugar (95g)
37g of corn flour (1/4 cup corn starch)
3 TBS melted butter
1 large free range egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
75g of plain flour (3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Spray two baking sheets with some low fat cooking spray.  Dust with flour and then set aside.  (Don't skip this step, it's integral to the recipe.)

Whisk the sugar, cornflour, melted butter, vanilla and egg together in a bowl until well blended.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir this into the wet mixture until smooth.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving some room for spreading.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove baked cookies from the pan immediately and allow to cool on wire racks.  Store in an airtight container. (Or in a shoebox, haha!)

Did you know that Lurpak Butter has a Christmas promotion going on now at the moment, with tips to help you with all of your holiday baking?  They do, and there are contests too.  I was asked to participate and give them my very own tips for making that holiday dinner divine . . . with the turkey and the gravy and the stuffing.   You can see what I had to say about it all here.  
 There are some other tips as well, and some contests too, so pop on over to their page and check it all out!
Marie Rayner
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  1. I love that story. It sounds like something out of Downton Abbey (kinda :) did you really break a tooth?! Oww!! Hope it's okay!! Forget karma, serves the silly woman right, thinking she could live on 500 calories a day. As someone who has eaten nothing but ice for almost a week... No wonder she was cranky!!!

  2. Here in the States, in the 1970s, there was an icebox cake of sorts, maybe it was more along the lines of a trifle, albeit there was no jam, or fruit, and Jello pudding isn't custard and 'nilla wafers wasn't sponge or lady fingers :) Using boxed vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding and sliced bananas. I remember my mom would layer the wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding, in a 9x9 pan, 2 layers each. Cover with cling film, and put in fridge to firm up, oh, I can't remember how long.. maybe 4 hours. Cut into squares and top with a tablespoon of whipped cream

  3. oops, what was I thinking, banana's are fruit, it's just that when I think of trifle, I think of berries, not bananas.

  4. They look sooo good! Just wanted to let you know you are featured in BritMums this month in the seasonal food round up. Emma :)

  5. you certainly had a colorful life at the manor! Do you think she reads your blog, lol, gosh I hope not!!! You are so funny, take care of that tooth! Another dental appointment! yuk!

  6. Vanilla Wafers... Oh, those were one of my favorite cookies as a child. Don't have them here at the supermarkets. And silly me, I never thought to try and make them... LOL! LOVE this recipe--THANK YOU, Marie :o) ((LOVE & HUGS))

  7. I grew up eating banana pudding without meringue and that is how I fix it now. Isn't it funny that the way your Mother fixed stuff is the way you like it.

  8. She probably couldn't lose those last pounds because her metabolism had totally shut down from eating less than half the calories she needed every day! :P I'm sure the butter actually did her lots of good. Butter is definitely MY diet food!

  9. April, Downton Abby would have been a picnic in comparison and there was no Mr Bates to drool over in the Manor! lol

    Laurie, I am sure she doesn't read my blog, but if she did, who cares! I don't work for her anymore! *tee hee* I do admit that for a brief moment I wondered, should I be writing this . . . but then I thought . . . who cares!!

    Tracy, the best part is they are homemade and absolutely tastier than the boxed ones. Plus . . . relatively low in fat, easy to make and utterly scrummy!

    Dee, I totally know what you are talking about. I like things the way my mum maked them too, and to this day I cannot make stuffing that tastes as good as hers.

    Gwenevere, I am sure you are right! Unfortunately butter is my diet food too . . . and it shows! lol

  10. Dear Marie I really laugh with this story and understand you perfect! aah the people want all, light, delicioius, eat and not fat hahah! anyway I love the story and the recipe!!!
    So Todd dont like merengue!!! I love merengue I eating when I making LOL

  11. oh Marie I love the way it looks with the pudding (custard) and bananas!! I searched around on your blog to find a vanilla custard recipe that I 'think' you used...from the Boston Cream Pie posting?? I want to make this homemade pudding and wafers NOW! yummy

  12. Those last two photos could be considered pornographic in food terms for me lol


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