Sunday, October 13, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Wafer Cookies & Icebox Cake

There are quite a few uses for wafer cookies in baking: they can be ground into crumbs for use in pie crusts, layered into retro desserts or even used as a candy base. Unfortunately, most store-bought versions are not vegan. When you make your own version you can customize them even further for special diets. I’ve made a sugar free variation, for example, which worked quite well.

Chocolate wafer cookies


Vegan Chocolate Wafer Cookies

¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
6 Tbsp cocoa or carob powder
½ cup sugar or sweetener
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee or caffeine-free coffee substitute
¼ cup oil
¼ cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together all dry ingredients. Stir together wet ingredients, and then pour over dry ingredients. Combine until homogenous, trying not to overmix.

Form into 1 or more logs of 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap with wax paper or plastic wrap and freeze for about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpat. Unwrap each log and slice into ¼ inch discs. Arrange cookies on cookie sheets. Press and shape each cookie with your fingers a little to help it hold together.

Bake for about 11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cool completely before assembling into icebox cake or other dessert.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Icebox Cake


And here’s one of those retro desserts I was talking about. An icebox cake is a dessert made of cookies (usually store-bought) layered with either whipped cream or pudding and then chilled overnight. When it is sliced the next day it resembles a layer cake in miniature. Icebox cakes come in many shapes and flavors, most of them not vegan, but some with promise for modification : ).
Here I’ve used a tofu-hazelnut mousse in place of the whipped cream and these homemade wafer cookies in place of storebought ones.

Chocolate Hazelnut Icebox Cake


Vegan Icebox Cake

Vegan Hazelnut Mousse (whipped topping substitute):
1 12 oz pkg firm silken tofu
½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/3 cup sugar or sweetener
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp soymilk (optional)
dash of cinnamon

One recipe Vegan Chocolate Wafer cookies (above), cooked and cooled completely

For Hazelnut Mousse: Puree all mousse ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth, adding the soymilk if necessary to help out the blender.

To assemble:
Spreading the lined pan with mousse
Line one large loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans with plastic wrap. Smear the bottom of the lined pan with a thin layer of the hazelnut mousse.

Take one cookie and smear it with mousse. Press it against one inner edge of the plastic-lined loaf pan. Take another cookie, smear it with mousse, and press it against the first cookie.

Arranging the cookies in layers

Keep smearing cookies and pressing them against each other until the row reaches the other side of the pan. Make sure the last cookie in the row is smeared on both sides.
If you’re using the large loaf pan, start another row and keep going until you fill up the entire pan. If you are using the small loaf pans you will probably only need the one row per pan.

Covered and chilled

Smear more hazelnut mousse over the top and into the corners and edges.
Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.
The next day, peel back the plastic wrap, and then slice and serve.




If you don’t want to use wafer cookies, you can use thicker cookies (such as chocolate chip) as long as you briefly dunk each one in soy milk before you put the cake together.

Icebox cakes can be made in different shapes. You could try a round one, or a tall tower.

The sugar-free version of this icebox cake (with both the wafer cookies and the hazelnut mousse made with stevia or splenda in place of sugar) was one the best-received sugar free desserts I have made. It’s definitely worth a try.

If you have access to a commercial version of vegan whipped topping, you could certainly use that in place of the hazelnut mousse.

Icebox cake made with store-bought vegan whipped topping

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