This week's post is perhaps a touch boring. Chocolate wafers. You could absolutely eat them by themselves, but mostly I think of these as an ingredient for something else. Usually that something else is pretty amazing, in fact, I can't think of anything that I wouldn't want to make this afternoon. Yet, taken by themselves, they might seem like a bit of a chore. I have to admit, I used to buy my wafers. But, it has gotten harder and harder to find them in the store and more and more recipes I see are using Oreos instead. I have nothing against Oreos; I just don't want to use them as an ingredient. It doesn't really fit with my current "made from scratch" obsession. Besides, these guys are so easy to make. You just need a little prep and they keep really well in the freezer. If you separate when you make these from the day you want to make the dessert to use them in, at least it won't be overwhelming.
I wanted them to be dark, just like the wafers I used to buy at the store. (Bonus, if they could taste like Oreos too, but maybe even a little better and all natural). As luck would have it, I had been getting barrage of emails lately about various kinds of cocoa, including black cocoa. I had come across black cocoa before, in a cake decorating class, where the instructor all but put it up on a pedestal as the best way to get the deepest, darkest chocolate cake out there. He wasn't wrong. I decided it was time I add this cocoa to my arsenal.
Black cocoa powder is really strong stuff, so you don't need much. (I know, I'm swapping out one hard to find ingredient for another, but it's worth it). Black cocoa powder is cocoa that has been heavily treated with an alkalizing agent to lower acidity.It's intensely chocolaty and intensely dark. Black cocoa is the key; it is what makes the wafers almost black, deep and wonderful. I use it in concert with dutch processed cocoa.
I rolled out the dough just like a pie crust (which reminds me, this would make a great crust for a pie. File that for a future project). Then I took a small circle cookie cutter and cut out a couple dozen cookies about an 1/8" thick. I was making Mickey Mouse cupcakes this time and I wanted the wafers to be perfectish little circles so I could use them for ears. But just about any shape would work, as long as they are about 1.5" in diameter. Much larger and you would need to adjust the baking time to a bit longer.
A quick turn in the oven and these are done. They crisp up as they cool. If your wafers don't crisp – then they weren't baked for long enough. You can toss them back into the oven for a little while and allow them to cool again.
After they are cool you can eat them as is or use them to make something awesome. Like Mickey Mouse cupcakes. ;)
Chocolate wafer cookies, they are crisp and chocolatey and not too sweet. These staples can be used for crusts or homemade thin mints or ice cream sandwiches or anything you can think of, really. Or you can just eat them plain. Makes between 50 and 60 wafers.
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (approx 50g) dutch process cocoa
- 1/4 cup (approx 18g) black cocoa
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter (slightly softened)
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1. Combine the flour, cocoas, sugar, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Cut the butter into tablespoon size chunks and add them to the bowl. Pulse until the mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle the milk and vanilla evenly over the flour mixture and pulse just until no dry flour remains and the dough begins to clump together into small balls.
2. Turn the dough out on a cutting board or into a large bowl and knead a little to make sure the dough is uniform. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refridgerate for at least 30 minutes or freeze. Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling out. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
3. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or a sil pad. On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to 1/4" to 1/8" thick. (I like mine on the thinner side). Using a small round cookie cutter (mine was 1.5" in diameter), cut out as many cookies as you can and place them 1" apart on your lined cookie sheets (the cookies will spread a bit). Reroll any unused dough and cut out the rest of the cookies. Stash the cookie sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 min while your oven preheats. (If your oven takes longer than 10 minutes, you could always start it earlier. You might be able to skip this step too, I found it helped keep the cookies uniform.)
4. While the cookies chill, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°. Once the oven reaches temperature, bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets (top to bottom and back to front) halfway through. The cookies will puff up and then deflate. They should be done about 1 minute or 2 after they deflate.
5. Cool the cookies in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then carefully move them to a rack to cool completely. They should crisp up as they cool.
After baking, cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks or frozen for up to two months.