Update: Sad news. I’m glad there are homemade Famous Chocolate Wafers recipes, but the real Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers have been discontinued.
One of our favorite easy desserts is the Original Famous Chocolate Wafer Refrigerator Roll from Nabisco. Made with the namesake wafers, it’s basically thin chocolate wafer cookies sandwiched with whipped cream that get soft and cakey after a few hours in the refrigerator. It requires absolutely no baking and can be paired with your favorite berries, making it an excellent summer dessert.
Best of the Chocolate Wafers Recipes
Unfortunately the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers are expensive, which is why I finally tried a few recipes for homemade chocolate wafers. After a some trials, the winning recipe was the one from King Arthur Flour. The dough is a little sticky and requires chilling to make it workable, but if you have free time and a round cutter, these are just as good as the store bought type — maybe better. And they do soften up like the originals.
Homemade Almost Famous Chocolate Wafers
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. (240 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2-3 teaspoons water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
In a separate, larger bowl, beat the butter until light and creamy Add the sugar and continue beating until it’s well incorporated. Add the egg, water, and vanilla and beat for at least 2 minutes, until the mixture has lightened both in color and texture. Gently mix in the dry ingredients.
Flatten the dough into a big disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. It will be very soft and will need at least 4 hours of chilling.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. and line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper.
On a clean, floured work surface, roll the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness, and use a round cutter to cut it into 2¼-inch circles. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. They won’t expand a great deal, so you don’t need a lot of space between them.
Bake the cookies for 17 to 18 minutes. Note from KA says to watch carefully because it’s difficult to tell when they’re done, as they’re so dark you can’t see if they’re brown, but when you start to smell them they’re probably done. If you smell even a whiff of scorching, remove them from the oven immediately.
Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool them completely.
Yield: 8 to 9 dozen cookies
Ditto on the smittenkitchen recipe.
I use crushed wafers as a “bed” for a scoop of ice cream on a plate next to a chocolate dessert. It keeps the ice cream from sliding and adds a bit of texture. A trick used by many restaurant pastry chefs. You can do the same with graham crackers or animal crackers or crushed toffee to change flavors.
PJ, thanks for stopping by! I probably should have made the KA version first.
Katrina, I like math when it’s applied to a task I’m trying to accomplish or, um, gambling. LOL.
Susan, that recipe didn’t work for me. The wafers seemed to have a bit too much fat and definitely too much butter to be used in the pie crust recipe I was making. In hindsight, it might have worked out had I adjusted the butter in the pie crust. Luckiy, the high-butter wafers worked out beautifully in the little icebox cake I made Todd.
Louise, you read my mind! I’m trying to collect a bunch of uses for chocolate wafers. Bookmarked!
Did you see this as a possible use for some of the cookies? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Cream-Pie-109139
Did you try Smitten’s recipe (http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/homemade-chocolate-wafers-icebox-cupcakes)? This is the one I’ve been using for several months and LOVE them – you don’t have to roll & cut – dough is in a log that you slice. 14 T. of butter but they don’t turn out greasy – very crisp. They have baked up perfectly for me every time. I refuse to pay $4.99 to Nabisco!
I hate math, especially fractions. Fun for a baker. Oh well. 😉
Hey, glad our chocolate wafers recipe worked out for you. I like to use these cookies for all kinds of nefarious purposes – e.g., the Famous Chocolate Wafer Cake (where you sandwich them with whipped cream…) Enjoy! PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour baker/blogger
oh those choco cookies look luscious!
A 9 oz pack of cookies sells for $3.99. If we use 7 oz (the recipe calls for 7 oz, not 7.5) then wouldn’t that be $3.99/9 oz = 44 cents per oz. and 44 cents x 7 oz = $3.08?
Also, from a cost analysis standpoint, wouldn’t you have to include the fact that the $3.00 spent on making the homemade cookies would give you double the cookies?
The point was, I saved $3.99 by using what was on hand rather than run to the store for a new pack of cookies.
I don’t disagree that Nabisco Wafers shouldn’t cost $3.99, but among my many talents, I’m an old cost accountant. Even if you already own something, there is a cost associated with it. 2.5 oz of an 8 oz can of Hershey’s Cocoa @ $2.99 per can is $.937. 1.5 sticks of butter @ $2 per pound is $.75. An egg is about $.10. Just those three things, all of which you’d replace, add up to $1.7875 and we haven’t included all the ingredients. 7/12 of the Nabisco package @ $3.99 is $2.32. Enough said.
Finally someone who understands! I completely agree that $3.99 (they are $4.99 at my local Safeway) is too much to pay for the Nabisco chocolate wafers and it’s unfortunate that there are no “store brands” that fit the bill. I made the brownie mosaic cheesecake (from Smitten Kitchen) last weekend and doubled the crust – the crust itself totaled $10!
Thank you for chronicling this topic and potential substitutes!
Sue, thanks for the recipe!
Louise, technically I could have saved money. I already had cocoa, butter, flour etc. So if my first batch had worked out, everything would have been perfect. The most expensive thing in the recipe was butter and our store sells butter for $2.00 a pound.
That being said, I wasted more time and money trying to find a good recipe! But at least I have a good one now.
Also, I think $3.99 is too much to pay for those cookies. Nabisco, as much as I love them, dominates the chocolate wafer category and gets away with it. LOL. I usually substitute Oreos because with Oreos, you get enough for a pie crust and some leftover for eating. But in the end, crusts made with chocolate wafers are a tad bit less soggy.
Katrina, I decided to just make icebox cake and serve it with fresh raspberries.
And, so, did you/are you making the pie (it looks good) with the KA wafers?
I wanted to bake today, but it’s just too hot! Sigh. Been spending half the afternoon thinking about no-bakes.
LOL How much did you think you were going to save by making your own chocolate wafers? A 12 oz. box of Nabisco Famous Wafers is $3.99 at Wegmans. You only need 7 oz. for the raspberry dessert. 🙂
It sounds as if you’re going to have a lot of cookies to use as cookie crumbs. Maybe you’ll have to have your neighbors over for home made ice cream, and use all of those you have in the freezer as mix ins!!
This cookie recipe: http://basicallybaked.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/mint-chocolate-sandwich-cookies/
makes a nice crispy cookie once it’s completely cooled. You could skip making them into sandwich cookies. I think they’d be good in a pie crust.