1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons (45 grams) margarine (or Smart Balance)
2/3 cup (140 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large (30 grams) egg white
Chocolate Wafers: In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and margarine until well blended. Add the sugars and vanilla extract and beat on high speed for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg white. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
Place the dough on your counter and, using your hands, evenly form the dough into a log shape that is about 9 inches (23 cm) long. Carefully wrap the dough in aluminum foil, parchment paper or wax paper and fold or twist the ends. Try not to flatten the log. Refrigerate until firm. This will take several hours or you can even chill it overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife, slice the log into about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick wafers. Place the wafers on the baking sheet spacing, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake for approximately 10 - 12 minutes or until the the cookies puff and the tops of the cookies have cracks (ripples). Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 10 days. They can also be frozen.
Makes about 36 cookies.
These Chocolate Wafers have so much to offer. They are relatively low in fat, their texture is wonderfully crisp and crunchy, they have an appealing chocolate flavor, and they store very well. They will remind you of those very popular commercially made chocolate wafers, only better. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite books by Alice Medrich, Cookies and Brownies. Although it is one of her smaller books, with just 50 recipes, every recipe I have tried is delicious.
Chocolate Wafers use the most basic of ingredients, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, and cocoa powder. What is so different about this recipe is the reduction in fat. This chocolate wafer recipe has just three tablespoons (45 grams) of butter along with three tablespoons (45 grams) of either margarine or a soft buttery spread, like Smart Balance, that contains oil but not hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. But keep in mind that if you use a soft buttery spread the batter needs a longer chilling time to become firm. Also, instead of using the whole egg, only the egg white is used which also keeps the fat content down. Another way to keep the fat content to a minimum is to use cocoa powder instead of semi sweet chocolate. Cocoa powder has a lot less fat in it than semi sweet chocolate and this is because cocoa powder is made when chocolate liquor that is pressed to remove three quarters of its cocoa butter. You can use either regular unsweetened or Dutch-Processed cocoa powder in this recipe. Now, something to keep in mind when making these cookies, is that all brands of cocoa powder are not alike. Each brand has its own distinct flavor and that flavor will affect how these cookies will taste. Some of my favorites that you might like to try are Droste, Valrhona, Equal Exchange Organic Baking Cocoa, and Scharffen Berger.
Once the cookie batter is made it is formed into a log shape and refrigerated until firm and this will take several hours or you can even chill it overnight. (The unbaked log can also be frozen, so you can bake the wafer cookies on demand. This makes them very well suited for Christmas baking, as you can make the recipe up to a month in advance, freeze it, and then the just slice and bake the Chocolate Wafers when you need them.) Then slice the log into thin wafers and bake until they are puffed with cracks (ripples). The longer you bake these cookies the more crisp and crunchy they will be. So if you want a softer textured cookie, bake them a little less than stated. These chocolate wafers will keep for about 10 days in an airtight container. What I also like about these Chocolate Wafers is that you can process them in your food processor until finely ground and use the crumbs in recipes, like pie crusts, that call for finely ground chocolate crumbs.