Bonus: The dough yields enough for about 5 dozen cookies, but you have choices: Bake all the dough (you'll like these on their own); bake half, forming and freezing the other half to make at your leisure; or half the dough ingredients.
For the pudding:
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons cold unsalted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the wafers:
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into cup and leveled off)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
11⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Directions: 1. To make the pudding: Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the egg yolks and milk until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes, or until the pudding has thickened and large bubbles erupt on the surface.
2. Transfer the pudding to the sieve and strain. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrig) erate until chilled.
3. To make the vanilla wafers: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and milk and beat until combined. With the mixer on the low) est speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
4. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.
5. Drop the cookie dough in walnut-size balls onto the baking sheet 1 inch apart. With the bottom of a floured drinking glass, flatten the dough slightly. Bake for 15 minutes, switching the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotating front to back halfway through, until golden brown around the edges. Let cool for 2 minutes on the pans, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook