These gluten free soft chocolate wafer cookies are perfect for enjoying alone, making into homemade chocolate sandwich cookies or crumbling over ice cream. They also make the most lovely ice cream sandwiches.
What these soft cookies are—and aren’t
When you bite into a soft chocolate wafer cookie, it yields. There is little to no effort involved. It practically melts in your mouth.
Soft cookies like these make for the absolute perfect ice cream sandwich cookie. The sandwiches don’t have to be made in advance and allowed to sit for the ice cream to soften the cookies.
They’re not for making no-bake icebox cakes. Oh, no no no. I’ll ask you to please leave that job to our thin and crispy chocolate wafer cookies. The same goes for making the crust for, say, a classic gluten free cheesecake.
When I took a bite of that sandwich cookie you see just up there 👆🏻I barely had to finish biting it. It practically bit itself.
I’m not saying that because it’s the perfect cookie for lazy people. Even lazy people can bite all the way down, especially when it comes to cookies.
Rolling out cookie dough
Please just wait and hear me out. I know you don’t like to roll out any dough, including cookie dough. For some of you, it’s even a deal-breaking “page-turner.”
You see a recipe that calls for rolling out cookie dough (or cracker dough (lots of rolling out dough tips in that link)), and you’re out of there. But this recipe is different, for real.
The dough is so incredibly soft when it’s first made that it rolls out incredibly easily between two sheets of parchment paper. And since you’re not rolling it thin, but instead 1/4-inch thick, before you start to roll your eyes 🙄it’s already rolled out plenty.
Then, you just press a cookie cutter into the dough, and chill it before you even attempt to remove the shapes from the surrounding dough. That way, it pulls off the paper easily.
Drop cookies were an absolute failure for these soft chocolate wafer cookies. Since the dough doesn’t spread much at all, you would have to press the pieces of dough so flat or you are left with these little blobs.
Before you know it, you’re so frustrated that you’re covering the blobs with a sheet of parchment paper and rolling them out. Then, you figure you went this far let’s just use a cookie cutter and make nice, neat edges. You see where that left me.
Slice and bake
I tried extra hard to make this recipe into a slice-and-bake situation. It was a moderate success. If you are dead-set against rolling out the cookie dough and cutting out shapes, I give you permission to slice and bake.
Here’s how. First, press the cookie dough into a very thick cylinder, at least 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap the cylinder tightly in parchment or plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator. Chill the dough for at least an hour or until it’s firm to the touch.
Once the dough is chilled, unwrap it and slice it by cross-section into disks about 1/3-inch thick. Place each disk gently in the palm of one hand and reshape it into a proper round with the fingers of your other hand.
Consider how much longer this whole thing has taken than just rolling out the dough and cutting it with a cookie cutter. Roll your eyes at me and make your own life choices. 🙂
Ingredients and substitutions
Dairy-free: The only dairy in the cookie recipe comes from the unsalted butter. The original recipe that I created in 2012 called for mostly nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, and just a bit of butter. It helped the cookies to spread less since shortening has no liquid and butter has a fair amount.
If you’d like to replace the butter in the recipe as written now, I’d replace the 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter with 5 tablespoons of Earth Balance buttery sticks and 5 tablespoons of nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. Earth Balance is quite salty, though, so eliminate the salt as an ingredient.
For the stiff sandwich cookie filling, you can use shortening in place of butter. You’ll need to add a bit more milk, though, to make the filling the proper consistency.
Egg-free: As always, 2 eggs is my limit for optimism on replacing eggs in any recipes. You can try replacing each egg with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).
You may also want to try adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, though, if you use an egg replacer. The eggs in this recipe do provide structure, but also some lift as there are no chemical leaveners in the recipe as written.
Sugars: You may be able to replace the granulated sugar and light brown sugar with the Swerve brand alternative sweeteners that mimic each of those sugars. Swerve does tend to be drying, though, so you may need to add some water to the dough to get it to the proper consistency. Simply eliminate the optional coarse sugar for sprinkling on top.
Cocoa powder: If you do not want to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder, use an equal amount by weight of natural unsweetened cocoa powder and add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to the dry ingredients.