Faced with the task of consuming chocolate, I decided to reference a book that I had gotten for Christmas: The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe From Each Year 1941- 2009. It’s a cool anthology that reflects the changing tastes of the last 70 years. I wanted a rich, chocolately cookie, and I found this recipe for Chocolate Wafers from Valentine’s Day, 1950:
“Chocolate Wafers: Good cooks were pleasing their menfolks with chocolate cakes back during the early settling of the New England colonies…Modern ways are upon us, atom bombs bedevil our dreams, standardization of taste haunts our mealtimes–but chocolate is still chocolate.”
Intense! But also inaccurate–chocolate cake recipes didn’t start appearing until the later half of the 19th century. Just FYI.
From Gourmet magazine, Feb 1950
As Reprinted in The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe From Each Year 1941- 2009
3/4 cup Butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 tb Rum Extract (I didn’t have any, I used rum)
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 cups Flour
3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Cream butter. Add sugar gradually and cream together until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg and rum. Beat thoroughly
4. With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. When completely mixed, refrigerate overnight.
6. Roll out dough 1/8th of an inch thick; cut into fun shapes; bake in a 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.
This recipes mixes up very quickly, but the dough is hellish to work with. It was somehow both dry and crumbly and extremely sticky. It did allow me to use some of my vintage cookie cutters as well as a vulgar cutter my roommate gave me for Christmas.
The cookies are tasty. I liked the texture best when they first came out of the oven: they were really crispy and flaky. They got a little more dense as they cooled, but still very good. If I was going to make an artisanal Oreo, I would use this recipe.
These cookies are getting shipped off to Washington DC for a friend’s very belated birthday present. Not the vulgar ones, though. The balls got a little burned.