I don’t know if you’ve ever decided to make a yummy looking recipe and realized that it had “chocolate wafer cookies” as an ingredient. They are a tasty simple cookie, that I think used to be readily available in stores, but now are limited to gourmet shops (Gourmet shops don’t exist in Cordova). These little cookies can be used in cookie crusts or in sandwich cookie desserts or pies or tarts or anywhere a bit of chocolate crunchiness might be a welcome addition–i.e. crumbled on top of pudding or ice cream or used to decorate the sides of a cake or as one layer of a trifle. At any rate, I had typically avoided such recipes because I didn’t have a ready source for chocolate wafer cookies, and I also don’t like to use a lot of processed foods in my cooking because, I’m a little perverse that way.

This weekend, I needed to make a dessert for a progressive dinner and I was devoid of inspiration. I felt tarted and pied and caked out from all of the fall fruit I had baked and birthdays I had fêted over the last few weeks. So it was time for something new. Thumbing through my cookbooks, I got a little obsessed with cheesecake. I had never made a cheesecake with actual cream cheese–In my days as a vegan chef I’d made plenty of delicious “cheesecakes” with tofu. But we’re in using things up mode since we’re travelling over Christmas, and I had a bunch of organic neufchatel cream cheese in the fridge from a bulk order earlier in the fall (when Jay was big in a bagel eating jag). Selma said, “Make a graham cracker crust!” But that didn’t really appeal to me. I definitely wanted chocolate involved. On top of that, my spring form pan has gone missing, or more likely didn’t make the move because the movers left my house without taking any of my baking pans, and tho’ I rushed a box down to them at the warehouse, it wouldn’t surprise me if something got left out.

One thing led to another, and I only had about three hours left before the party, so I got to work making the batter for some mini chocolate cheesecake bites, in tiny mini muffin tins with no crust. While the cheesecakes were cooling, I improvised this recipe for chocolate wafer cookies which served as the base or “crust” for the cheesecakes after they had cooled.

Chocolate Wafer Cookies

1 1/4 c flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 T baking powder
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. blackstrap molasses (important for giving the cookies a nice dark color and rich flavor)
1/2 c. maple syrup
3 T – 1/4 c. water

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, molasses and maple syrup. (TIP: if you measure the oil first, then the molasses and syrup will slide right out of your measuring cup). Add wet to dry and stir to combine, kneading with your hands when the mixture is too thick to stir. If it seems to dry to hold together, add a Tablespoon of water at a time until the dough can form a ball. Use immediately, or chill until ready to use.

To make the cookies, roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper to a thickness of 1/8 – 1/4 inch. Cut with a small biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Bake for 9-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. It is very hard to tell if the cookies are done by sight, if you can smell them, they’ve probably been in there too long.

Makes approximately 2 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter. This recipe is easily doubled.

I’ll post more about the cheesecakes soon.

The Elusive Chocolate Wafer Cookie