My public service for the week —

You know about “icebox cake”, right? One of the easiest and most appealing desserts ever, where you simply layer chocolate wafer cookies with sweetened whipped cream in a bowl and set the bowl in the fridge till the cookies soften and turn into cake?

Or, if you’re really into decadence, you can add cocoa powder to the cream along with the sugar when you whip it, intensifying the chocolatey goodness of the “cake.” I’d suggest whipping each C of cream with about 3 Tbsp of cocoa and up to 1/3 C of sugar if you want chocolate whipped cream. (Without the cocoa powder, 1/4 C of sugar is plenty pler C of cream.) And you can’t go wrong beating in 1 tsp of vanilla whether you’re adding cocoa or not.

And, hey, if you’re a real demon for complexity, you can make individual “cupcakes” by stacking up cookies with layers of whipped cream. Want to add just a little elegance to the whole idea? Just drizzle a bit of warm chocolate ganache across each stack before serving and poof! You immediately have a pretty dessert for company. Just don’t forget that you will need to chill any form of icebox cake for 24 hours or so to let the cookies soften.

The only problem with this whole idea is, where are you supposed to get chocolate wafer cookies? Because half the time you just can’t find them in the stores. Which is simply pathetic. Even Amazon is not your friend here: you can certainly buy ’em on Amazon, if you’re willing to buy $80 worth of wafer cookies at a time, which seems a little extreme no matter how enthusiastic you are about icebox cake.

So! If you, too, have found this sad state of affairs a blight upon your existence, here you go! This is the easiest-ever recipe for chocolate wafer cookies. Now you can make your own whenever you like.

Here is the recipe, with all its original commentary and pictures and stuff, from Smitten Kitchen. It is a fun post to read, but just in case you don’t feel like clicking over to it, here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Wafer Cookies

1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C cocoa powder, and people, both I and Smitten Kitchen advice you to go all out with Ghirardelli or some other really good brand for this
1 C + 2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
14 Tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened — I cut it up, piled the cubes in a bowl, and microwaved the bowl for ten seconds
3 Tbsp whole milk — I used cream, which I had on hand, rather than milk, which I didn’t
1 tsp vanilla

Now, the reason this is so extraordinarily easy is, it’s a food processor recipe which turns into a slice-and-bake recipe. However, I imagine if you don’t have a food processor, elbow grease would get the job done.

Combine the dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse two or three times. Add the butter and pulse several times. Combine the milk and vanilla. Turn the food processor on and pour the milk mixture through the tube in a thin stream, continuing to run the food processor until the dough clumps up around the blade or sides of the bowl. At that point, turn off the food processor, dump the dough out on the counter, and knead a few times to make sure it’s evenly blended. Then form the dough into log about 14 inches long, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least an hour or overnight. Unwrap, slice into thinnish (scant 1/4 inch) slices, place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the parchment a couple of minutes, then cool completely on racks. If the cookies don’t turn crisp as they cool, you should bake the next batch a mintue or two longer. You will get about 60 cookies, which is enough to make icebox cake a couple of times.

There you go! Enjoy.

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