Mixed Seed Wafers
An enticing dichotomy, this Cookie Swap treat is thin and crisp, yet packed with the robust flavor you’d expect of a bulkier cookie! The seeds make it a natural fit for a spring garden party, too!
Yield: 3 1/2 to 4 dozen (2 1/4- to 2 1/2-inch) wafers
Prep Talk: Silicone baking mats are highly recommended, though nonstick cookie sheets can be substituted. Package the wafers in airtight containers as soon as they’ve cooled and store at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flax seed, lightly toasted and cooled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seed, lightly toasted and cooled
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 | Combine the flour, flax and caraway seeds, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
2 | Place the butter in a medium (3-quart) saucepan and melt over medium heat. Remove from the heat and mix in the brown sugar. Cool to lukewarm. Note: Some separation of the butter from the sugar is completely normal.
Go-To Seed Cookies
Photo by Steve Adams
3 | Measure out 1 1/2 tablespoons beaten egg and whisk into the butter mixture along with the vanilla extract. (Save the remaining egg for another use.) Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring just until evenly incorporated. The dough will be quite loose. Let it cool 25 to 30 minutes, or until it can be rolled into balls that hold their shape without much spreading. (You can shape and bake the cookies immediately, but they will bake into more uniform rounds if the dough is allowed to cool first.)
4 | Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line two or more cookie sheets with silicone baking mats. You can also use nonstick cookie sheets, though the cookies will bake more quickly on them, especially if they’re dark.
5 | Portion the dough into small mounds using a level 1- to 1 1/8-inch (#100) scoop or 1 level tablespoon per mound. Roll the mounds between your palms to make them perfectly round; then drop onto the prepared (or nonstick) cookie sheets, spacing them 2 to 2 1/2 inches apart.
6 | Bake 11 to 12 minutes, or until the balls have flattened and turned a rich golden brown through to their centers. Watch the cookies carefully and rotate the cookie sheets as needed during baking to ensure even browning.
7 | Cool the wafers about 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheets, or until set enough to lift with an offset spatula without tearing. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely before storing as directed in “Prep Talk.” Because of their high sugar content, these cookies are quite vulnerable to humidity and should be contained immediately to prevent softening. Note: If the wafers do not turn completely crisp as they cool, they were underbaked. Return them to the oven for a few minutes, cool, and test their crispness again.
I am writing because my mother’s maiden name is Usher. She is an only child. My maternal grandfather was Samuel Thomas Usher. His family was from North Carolina. We all love to cook and entertain.
By Leahne Lightsey on July 07, 2013
Hi, Leahne! Thanks for writing! My paternal grandfather was Theron Usher from Cincinnati, Ohio. Unfortunately, I don’t know much more about the genealogy on that side of my family! That side didn’t much love to cook or entertain - this part of me comes more from my mom and her Lithuanian mom and gramma! :)