The cute little girl got herself into the school auto when she was barely 3, got everyone at home panicky, searching for her all over the town. Innocently held out Rs.100(meant to be her school fee) at the school canteen when all she wanted was a packet of biscuits, now flashes her own cards. Did her first few Bharatnatyam poses as a kid on the porch of her granny's house and now recently did her arangetram. Walked with me and hubby up the steps, holding hubby's hand as we stepped on the dias for our wedding reception. Now insists that I sit with hubby in the front seat in the car always. From Barbie's kitchen to baking her first focaccia recently! Cute little shy girl to the pretty and confident teenager with her own driving license! From Tom & Jerry talk to talk about her first prom and outrageously high heels, the 5-year-old I saw when we got married is now a big girl! Big enough to travel half way across the globe to India all on her own. Well, well, time certainly flies!
When hubby's niece was visiting us last month, she seemed to have only three preferences when it came to desserts and bakes. Congratulations! You guessed it right! Chocolate, chocolate and some more chocolate! Second on her preference list was coffee. So it was Coffee Walnut Cookies, Two Minute Microwave Brownies, Queen Of Sheba Cake, a one bowl chocolate cake, Cappuccino Muffins and Chocolate Wafers and Coffee Cream sandwiches. The wafers here are cookies sliced from chilled cookie dough and baked till crisp - ice box cookies. Aren't they so convenient? Extremely easy to put together, good enough to eat as is. This again is another recipe I had bookmarked from Smitten Kitchen. Debbie has made Icebox cupcakes with the wafers. Cookies and whipped cream sandwiched in layers and chilled so that they are softened when you eat, like cupcakes. If you want to eat them as soon as the cookies are off the cooling rack, no real harm sandwiching them with some coffee cream and eating them right away. Crisp chocolate wafers, soft and cool coffee cream...You could of course add any choice of flavoring to the cream, vanilla, coffee, some roasted nuts, chocolate chips, what's your fancy today?
Adapted AGAIN from Deb's Smitten Kitchen, original recipe from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert. I halved the below recipe to give me about 30 cookies. The number of cookies you get depends on how thin you slice the dough, which again varies the baking time. So a test batch really really helps when you bake cookies of any kind..
I would suggest weighing of ingredients for accurate results. More butter or less flour will lead to cookies spreading too much.
1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder (see Note)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 tablespoons whole milk ( I used 2%)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Procedure: Combine the milk and vanilla in a small cup. Keep aside. Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in the butter into the dough using your hand mixer. Once the dough becomes sandy, add the milk mixture. Knead lightly to form a dough.
If using a food processor for this, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix thoroughly. Cut the butter into about 12 chunks and add them to the bowl. (You could use butter that's chilled ,need not be slightly soft) Pulse several times. With the processor running, add the milk mixture and continue to process until the mixture clumps around the blade or the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or a cutting board and knead a few times to make sure it is evenly blended.
Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or until needed. If you have used slightly softened butter, your dough needs to chill a little longer as it needs more time to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350°F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the log of dough into slices a scant 1/4-inch thick or about nearly 1/8 of inch as Deb has done. Place them one inch apart on the lined sheets (cookies will spread). If using a huge oven position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven. Bake, rotating the baking sheet from top to bottom and back to front about halfway through baking, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes. You can detect more than a trace of envy here?
The cookies will puff up and deflate; they are done about 1 1/2 minutes after they deflate.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on racks, or slide the parchment onto racks to cool completely.
These cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks or be frozen for up to two months.
Deb's Note: These cookies should crisp as they cool. If they don’t, you’re not baking them long enough, says Medrich - in which case, return them to the oven to reheat and bake a little longer, then cool again.
Enjoy them as fresh cookies or as sandwiches with ice cream or flavored whipped cream or as Ice-box cupcakes.