Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Icebox Cake

These chocolate wafer cookies are so good, they may never make it to the may wish to bake a second batch, just in case. The dough is very soft, so I will caution you to chill it very well, and handle it as little as possible. I use a flexible cutting board for rolling them out, and then lift them off with the help of a sharp, thin knife. I am able to roll them without any additional dusting with flour, which really helps keep them from being tough. I have extremely cold, arthritic hands-if you have hands of a normal temperature, you may wish to use a rolling pin cover, flour, and other things designed to help keep dough from getting warmed and overworked. At the very least, try to work fast.

The cookies don't spread, so place them close on baking sheets. You should be able to get them baked in two batches. Cool on racks (where they will continue to crisp) and store in airtight containers (I use an old coffee tin).

I wish I could give credit for this recipe (as it is well-deserved!) but I've long-since lost the source. It is a wonderful recipe, but I can't take the credit for it.

For The Chocolate Wafer Cookies:

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup powdered cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark (not a paid endorsement) but any dark cocoa will do)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup +2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter until light, add sugar slowly and then the egg, water and vanilla. Beat until it has turned a lighter colour and texture. Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Shape into a flattened disk, wrap in clingfilm and chill several hours (really, it needs to be quite cold and firm).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpats (or in a worst-case scenario (gasp) you can butter the pan (that was sarcasm, which i shouldn't need to point out).

Roll that sucker out, handling it as little as possible and cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter (or a round cutter, or really, whatever shape you like. I'm not dictatorial that way). You must roll them very thin-1/8 inch thickness. Sometimes it is easier to give them a bit of an extra press after you've cut them. Do as you wish-but make certain they are thin.

Bake the cookies 17-18 minutes. You won't be able to tell if the edges are browning, so you really need to keep an eye on the puffiness of the tops and whether you smell burning. I know, that's helpful.

Remove the cookies to a rack and cool completely before assembling cake.

For the whipped cream:

No really, you don't need a recipe. Beat the ice-cold heavy cream in a cold bowl, when it forms peaks, add the confectioner's/icing sugar and vanilla extract to taste. Difficult, huh?

Grab yourself some cookies and spread whipped cream between the, Place the stack on a plate sideways, and frost the outside with whipped cream. Invert a bowl over the plate and chill in the icebox overnight. Next day, you have cake.

Next day, you have cake...and it is a million times better than store-bought whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookies. Really, it is. Once you master the cookie recipe, you'll find all sorts of uses for the wafers from cheesecake crusts to ice cream sandwiches.

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