Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chocolate Wafer Cookies

Difficult: Nope
Time consuming: About 10 minutes to whip up the dough, about an hour chillin' in the fridge, then 12 minutes per round of baking.

These chocolate wafer cookies are the cookies you can use to make a variety of yummy things with.  For starters, whip these up if you want a great icebox cake (the Nabisco box of chocolate wafers can be hard to find and is kinda pricey).  Or fill them with an Oreo cream frosting for copy-cat Oreo's.  The rich chocolate taste pairs well with almost anything (like home made marshmallow fluff or peanut butter buttercream, just to name a few...I did have to try the cookies, just to make sure they weren't accidently poisoned or anything.  At least that was always the excuse growing up).

Or you can make them for the same reason I did: ice cream crunchies.  Ya know, that amazing crunchy layer in Dairy Queen or Carvel ice cream cakes.  Yea, those.  Except I'm making my crunchies to put in between the layers of my birthday cake, which is gonna be a doozy :P

Note: this recipe yields about 20 ounces of finished cookies. A typical nabisco box is 9 ounces, so halve the recipe if you are following an ice box cake recipe that calls for a box of wafers. If you are making them to put in between layers of birthday cake (like I did), you can quarter the recipe and have just enough. But extra cookies never hurt anyone :)  Also, this dough is egg free, so if you happen to eat some, well, accidents happen :P

The Recipe:

6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)
2.4 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder (3/4 cup) (I used Kroger brand because it was what I had on hand and I thought they tasted super, but better quality cocoa powder like Valrhona will produce better chocolate tasting cookies since chocolate is the star flavor)
1 1/8 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
14 T (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 T milk
1 t pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer, pulse or stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

2. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized chunks and add them to the bowl. Pulse or stir (with the paddle attachment) until the butter is in pea sized chunks (this will take a little longer in the stand mixer, and you shouldn't mix faster than the lowest speed or you will poof flour everywhere).

3. Add the milk and vanilla in a steady stream to the running processor or mixer. Continue to mix until the dough clumps around the blade or paddle.

4. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead a few times so that all the flour is evenly mixed in and the dough ball is cohesive. Roll the dough into a log no smaller (bigger?) than 14 inches long and about 1 3/4 inch wide. I wanted smaller cookies so I rolled mine to about 24 inches long. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and have the racks positioned in the upper and lower thirds. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the log of dough into slices no thicker than 1/4 inch, but thinner if you'd like. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back, top to bottom, halfway through baking.

6. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 4-5 minutes, then transfer to baking racks. If the cookies aren't crisp when cooled, put them back into the oven for a few minutes. They should not be soft when cooled.

Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks or freeze.

To make the ice cream crunchies, crush 9 ounces of cookies (about half of the above recipe) and mix with one 7.25 ounce bottle of magic shell.  Don't make this ahead of time, because once the magic shell hardens on the cookie, that's it, that's the shape you're stuck with.  Although I haven't tried it, I suppose you could just microwave it 'til the magic shell softens then you can reshape it.

And if you wanna be even more extra special, you can home make your magic shell.

Also, I had leftover crunchies after I put them in my cake, so I pressed them into muffin tins to make "cookies."  I popped them in the fridge to harden, then stored in a bag in the freezer.  They are great to eat out of hand or served with a dish of ice cream!

Chocolate wafer cookie recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

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