I made these cookies without knowing what I was getting into. Based on the picture, I thought they’d be a rich, soft chocolate cookie topped with sweet vanilla icing. I didn’t bother reading the part of the description specifically referring to them as “crisp” until it was too late and I was committed.
So, they’re crisp cocoa-flavored cookies with vanilla icing. They’re Oreos. I don’t dislike Oreos, but I don’t think they’re worth making at home.
Especially with Martha Stewart’s recipe. She’s nitpicky. The recipe instructs that the dough should be flattened, chilled, rolled out, chilled, cut, chilled, and finally baked. Wow. I skipped all that. I rolled the dough into a cylinder and put it in the freezer until I was ready to bake it (which was two months later). Then I cut off slices.
Martha’s method would definitely produce more perfectly-shaped cookies. Mine weren’t nearly as uniformly round. But I’m happy with the easier method.
I underbaked the cookies slightly in the hopes that they’d end up more chewy than crisp. They were softer, which was nice, but they were overwhelmingly cocoa-flavored. My kitchen smelled like a nice cup of hot cocoa when the cookies came out of the oven. Not a bad smell, but I was hoping for a deeper chocolate flavor.
So what do I do with a batch of cookies that I’m not impressed with? I make an oreo-cookie crust.
Mmm…chocolate pie…I definitely enjoyed these cookies, in their proper place!
Chocolate Wafer Sandwich Cookies (from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)
Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies
MS note: These crisp cookies can be sandwiched with Vanilla Cream Filling, freshly whipped cream, or your favorite ice cream.
Bridget note: If you’re not picky about your cookies being perfectly round, you can skip the rolling, chilling, and cutting, and simply roll the dough into a cylinder of 1½ inch diameter, wrap it in parchment paper, and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. When you’re ready to bake, remove dough log from wrapping and, using sharp chef’s knife, slice dough into rounds 1/8 inch thick.
1¼ cups (6¼ ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup plus 2 (1 1/8 ounces) tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream Filling (recipe follows)
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium sped until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and divide in half. With floured hands, shape each piece into a flattened rectangle, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Place one rectangle of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough to a scant 1/8-inch thickness, stopping every so often to release the dough by running an offset spatula underneath. You should end up with a rectangle that’s about 14 by 11 inches. Transfer dough to a prepared baking sheet, and freeze until very firm, about 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place one rectangle of dough on a clean work surface. Working quickly, cut out rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter. (If the dough begins to soften too much, return to the freezer for a few minutes.) Using a wide metal spatula, transfer rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1½ inches apart. Gather together remaining scraps, reroll, and cut out more rounds. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining rectangle of dough.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the centers of the cookies feel firm when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Using an offset spatula, spread 1 tablespoon desired filling onto the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping the flat sides down. Unfilled cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Once filled, cookies are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Vanilla Cream Filling
Makes enough to fill 2 dozen sandwich cookies
Bridget note: I used all butter in my filling, because butter is good.
1 1/3 (5 1/3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Let soften at room temperature before using.