I have made my love for Alice Medrich known many times. Especially in regards to her newest book, Pure Dessert. It is a beautiful book, with many fantastic recipes. I have probably baked more out of Pure Dessert than from any other book I have - with the exception of Baking from My Home to Yours, of course.
The first time I saw these cookies was on Smitten Kitchen, where Deb made a beautiful Icebox Cake out of them. This is incredibly intriguing to me, and one day I'll make one of them.
Then, quite a few weeks ago, Di and Nancy baked these cocoa wafers together via Twitter. I wanted to join in, but I wasn't able to on their appointed day & time. Plus, after looking at the recipe I noticed that it uses a food processor. Normally, I would just use my mixer and call it a day, but I was waiting on a 14-cup food processor to come in the mail - it was my big Christmas present this past year. It finally came at the beginning of February. It took me a couple of weeks to actually use it, but when I did I knew what I would be making first!
I wanted to do something special with these wafers, I didn't think a plain old thin cookie would have really done it for me. I was wrong. These are no ordinary cookies.
These cocoa wafers are magnificent. They taste purely of chocolate, and are on the bitter side. They are very thin, and very crispy. There isn't a hint of softness or chewiness in them. These would make a fantastic cookie crust (and I think Nancy and/or Di used them that way); you could make your own Thin Mints with them, or oreos, or fill them with some homemade dulce de leche as I did.
The sweetness of the dulce de leche is tempered by the deep chocolate of the cookie, and the result is a wonderfully satisfying cookie; crisp on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside, perfect.
My recipe is for Dulce de Leche is here. Cocoa Wafer recipe below.
adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and baking soda in bowl of food processor, and pulse until thoroughly combined. Add butter and pulse several times. Stir together milk and vanilla in small bowl, and add to bowl with food processor running. Process until dough clumps around blade, scraping bowl as necessary. Turn dough out onto board, and using your hands, make sure it is evenly blended. Form into a log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut slices 1/4 inch thick* from the log and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies look dry on top and are fairly firm to the touch. Cool completely on baking sheet.
* For these sandwiches, I rolled the dough out to a scant 1/4" and used my smallest biscuit cutter to cut them out.