Friday, July 27, 2012

Cocoa Wafers

Fair warning: This may be the last time you buy chocolate wafer cookies. Alice Medrich has a recipe that is so easy and so delicious, you really won't be able to spend money on packaged cookies again without feeling a tinge of doubt and/or regret.

These cocoa wafers live up to their reputation. They're thin, super crisp and full of a deep dark cocoa sensation that captures your approval at your very first bite. Not too sweet, not too buttery, not too rich, they're ready in no time flat. And really, it doesn't get any easier. The cookie dough is made in a food processor with basic ingredients and then formed into logs. Once the logs have thoroughly chilled for a couple of hours - the wait is the hardest part - you just slice up the cookies, plop them on a lined baking sheet and in 12 minutes, you're in the zone.

Go ahead. Pour a steaming hot cup of good strong coffee or an ice cold glass of milk and congratulate yourself. You've just had the perfect chocolate wafer.

Bench notes:
- I made these with undutched (natural) cocoa powder. I haven't tried them with dutched.
- If you're short on time, place the logs of cookie dough in the freezer for an hour.
- I baked mine exactly 12 minutes. The cookies crisp up as they cool. If they don't, you didn't bake them long enough. Just put them back in the oven for a couple of minutes and then let them cool.
- Cookies will store airtight for up to 2 weeks or frozen up to 2 months.
- This is a great cookie for small ice cream sandwiches, icebox cakes or crushed to make a cookie crust for cheesecake or cream pies.

Cocoa Wafers
Makes about 50 1 3/4" wafers

1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C cocoa powder (natural preferred)
1 C + 2 T sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
7 oz (14 T) butter, slightly softened
3 T milk
1 t vanilla

Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor and process until thoroughly mixed. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the bowl. Process for about 10 - 15 seconds.

Combine the milk and vanilla. With the processor running, add the liquid and pulse until the mixture clumps around the blade or at the sides of the bowl. The dough will be very soft.

Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment and form a log about 14" long and 1 3/4" in diameter. Roll the log up in the parchment, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 1 - 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats.

Cut the cookie dough into scant 1/4" slices and place them 1 " apart on the lined baking sheets. Bake 12 - 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets set on a wire rack.


Sue/the view from great island said...

This is so exciting, I recently used the store bought variety to make an ice box cake, and I'd love to try to make these from scratch.

pastry studio said...

Sue, convenience is nice but I think you'll find these are a snap to make and they're so delicious! Hope you enjoy them.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I love having the option of a scratch version of these cookies. Thanks for posting the recipe :).

Katerina said...

I'm sure they are delicious! I'm gonna try this recipe, thanks for sharing! ...also I love the photos :)

Kate said...

Thank you for the quick and easy way to crispy chocolate nirvana ;)
These would be grand to have on hand in the freezer - along side of your delicious turkish ice cream for a unbelievable ice cream sandwich on these hot summer evenings!

pastry studio said...

You're all so welcome!

Kate, I think you are reading my mind. These would be stellar with coffee ice cream and the Turkish recipe is one of my favorites.


Beth said...

I still don't own a food processor (am I the last one to hold out?). Can these be done in the stand mixer or by hand if I'm careful about not over mixing?

They look so good I want to eat my screen. Excellent post as usual.

pastry studio said...

Hi, Beth. I don't see why you couldn't do this in a stand mixer. Just don't cream the butter and sugar excessively. Here's how I would approach it:

Sift flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
Beat butter and sugar together just until combined but not fluffy.
Add the milk and vanilla.
Add in the dry ingredients.
Chill the dough logs until firm.

Let me know if this works out for you! I hope you enjoy them.

Yumgoggle said...

it is always more rewarding to make a homemade variety than a store bought one. I am not being a purist here. Of course, I use store bought ones more often, I am just starting my homemade stuff streak, but I am just more proud of myself if I make something really cool out of scratch. Love to try this!
Anyways, your phenomenal photos have caught our attention, we have been in the lookout for unique and interesting bloggers since we have launched our food photo gallery This will allow you to showcase all your great work and share it with our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

pastry studio said...

Yumgoggle, thanks very much for stopping by and for the invitation. Hope you find this recipe easy and delicious!

Beth said...

I am happy to report you can make these quite successfully in the stand mixer. Thanks for the tips! They are cooling now, crisping up as promised. I made these to celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day tomorrow so they will be stuffed with vanilla or mint chocolate chip ice cream. It's a dangerous cookie as I will almost always have the ingredients on hand. Thanks (I think).

I did reduce the sugar just a little to about 3/4 cup and they are still sweet enough for me. I think next time I might also experiment with putting in some sea salt, orange zest or even crushed cocoa nibs (you know, just to be extra decadent).

pastry studio said...

Beth, I like your style! Love your suggestions for additions and delicious ice cream sandwiches. These cookies are a great chocolate canvas.

Thanks so much for letting me know they mixed well for you in the stand mixer. And yes, we really should just call them Dangerous Cookies.

Wishing you a very happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

Beth said...

FYI, these made amazing ice cream sandwiches! I took them to work with a half gallon of vanilla ice cream, and they were gobbled up almost instantly. The cookies remained crispy, and the salty undertone was a nice foil for the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream. Ym yum yum (I'll stop now).

pastry studio said...

YAY!! Thanks so much for this feedback, Beth. It's good to know they stay crispy when combined with ice cream. I'm sure they'd be really great in an icebox cake!