Along with glimpses of green through the melting snow and the cheery chirp of a brave bird returned from the south comes another harbinger of spring: a craving for lighter, cooler desserts than winter’s warm puddings, apple crumbles and crisps. In the spirit of taking advantage of spring’s revitalizing energy, tie on an apron and bake these diminutive delights from scratch with ingredients that are probably already in your pantry. Flour, butter, cocoa and whipping cream are the basis for creating a sublime flavour sensation you won’t be able to resist eating – or sharing, for that matter. Go ahead and indulge yourself, just a little, with this crave-worthy chocolate recipe that take you back to the time when milk and cookies cured all ills.
For chocolate wafers
- 1-½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp each: salt and baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 3½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp peppermint extract
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tbsp water
For whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
- 1 tsp honey
1 To make the wafers, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix ingredients. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the mixer. Pulse to combine until the mixture becomes crumbly. In a small bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla. With the motor running, slowly pour the milk mixture into the processor until the cookie mixture forms a dough, clumping around the blade. Transfer the dough onto a cutting board and knead a few times to be sure all ingredients are blended completely. Form the dough into a log about 6" long and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
2 Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the log of dough into ¼" rounds and lay them 4 centimetres apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking time. Cool the cookies completely on baking sheets.
3 To make the frosting, cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 5 to 10 minutes. If frosting is too stiff, beat in a few drops of water. Spoon into a large piping bag fitted with a plain tip.
4 For the whipped cream, beat the cream with the vanilla seeds and honey in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spoon the piping bag fitted with a plain tip.
5 To assemble, ice half the wafers with peppermint frosting and half with whipped cream. Stack the topped biscuits four or five cookies high. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
NOTE: Store wafers in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Makes 12 cookies.