Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cocoa Wafers

Most of my baking is related to my participation in the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. The weekly assigned recipes don't leave much time for other baked goods, but every now and then I have an opportunity to explore other recipes for sweets, and when I do, Alice Medrich's book Pure Dessert is one of the first that I grab. Adding to the fun, I can often count on a virtual bakealong with one or two of my online baking buddies. The week before Christmas I baked these chocolate wafer cookies with Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook. The best thing about this recipe is that it performed double duty: it gave me some additional Christmas cookies, and I used some of the wafers to make the crust for the chocolate cheesecake that we enjoyed for our Christmas dinner (this was Di's suggestion: thank you!).

n.o.e.'s notes:

- Medrich says that she tinkered with the recipe until she produced wonderfully crisp yet tender chocolate cookies that can be eaten on their own or used in other recipes, such as for the crust of a cheesecake. You can find the recipe here, on Smitten Kitchen, accompanied by Deb's high praises about the versatility and deliciousness of these cookies.

- The recipe is dead-easy; it uses cocoa powder (Medrich prefers a good quality natural cocoa; I used Scharffen Berger) and there is no solid chocolate to chop and/or melt. In a matter of minutes the cookies were mixed in the food processor and the logs of dough formed and put in the fridge to chill. Even before I baked or tasted the first cookie, this recipe reached favorite status based on ease alone!

- I used parchment and a long straight-edge ruler to form the logs, and my cookies were the roundest I've ever gotten from a slice-and-bake recipe.

- It took me several days to find the time to bake the wafers, but slicing them and popping them in the oven couldn't have been more straightforward. I baked the first sheets of these cookies for the lower end of the recommended time, and they were delicious and soft-ish. For a crisper cookie for the cheesecake crust, I baked the remainder of the cookies for a few minutes longer.

the verdict:

These cookies are a real find - they have great chocolate flavor on their own, and they are wonderful as a chocolate crust for a cheesecake or icebox pie. They are crispy but still a bit soft at the same time; a great combination.


Katrina said...

These sound awesome, because sometimes I want that chocolate crust, but not made with Oreos and chocolate wafers are hard to find and expensive! Thanks.

Di said...

I'm glad we ended up making these--they were perfect for the cheesecake crust and great by themselves as well. I'll definitely be making these again--I want to try some of the variations! We'll have to do another bake-along soon; your turn to pick. =)

j. said...

hello.ive just found your blog and really enjoyed your photos and stories.

would like to try your cheesecake and the chicken recipes.

still learning to bake.

might have to burn some more.hehe.

happy new year!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you were baking these cookies. I actually had them tagged to bake during my pre-christmas cookie explosion, but ran out of time/energy to make them. I'll definitely have to make them soon. They sound/look delicious!

mike said...

Don't you just love "icebox" cookies... they are so nostalgic, timeless and downright delicious. I've read one of Alice's book (or checked it out at the library) - I'll have to research here more. These look spectacular set against that pattern! And a chocolate wafer - a homemade chocolate wafer - should never be taken for granted. So much better than bought in a bag!

margot said...

Those look like perfect chocolate wafers. I made chocolate wafers from "Baked" for an icebox cake over the holiday season. They were good, but you rolled and cut the dough, which took forever for the number of wafers I needed - I'll try Alice Medrich's next time.

Unknown said...

Your wafers look wonderful Nancy! I finally got around to baking mine the other day so now it's just a matter of blogging about them. (They were yummy!) I wish I'd made them in time for the TWD cheesecake because they'd have made a great crust.

Kayte said...

These all look so perfectly formed, and you picked such a great try to display them all...feels all festive like a party here!

Leslie said...

What a find indeed! These look so chocolatey and now you tell me they're easy, too? Sign me up. Your photos of these are very creative.

Samantha Kate said...

I ate around 8 double-stuffed oreos today.... shameful I know. But, these cocoa wafers would be perfect for HOMEMADE oreos!