Hello, everyone! Welcome to "A Taste of Transcona" - a food blog series that will chronicle our adventures in the kitchen as we prepare recipes from the 1964 Cook Book Edition of the Transcona News. Shall we begin?
Full confession #1: I have a great love for sweet-tasting foods. It's no real surprise then that I would choose a dessert item, and having never made cream wafers before, I thought this recipe would be a good, simple start for this blog series.
The recipe read very simply, with only six ingredients needed from my pantry and fridge. As a general rule, I always allow my butter/margarine and eggs to adjust to room temperature before baking. I find it helps to make for even cooking and a lighter texture.
Using my mix master, the wafer dough came together very nicely. I had no issues with this portion of the recipe. The dough was sticky, so I made sure to flour my baking surfaces well before rolling out the wafers. At this point, I found the recipe to be rather vague as to how I was to roll out and cut my wafers exactly (i.e., dough thickness and wafer size). The recipe states: "roll out 2 x 1-1/4 inches". For clarification, I had to look up a couple of other cream wafer recipes online and I found most suggested to roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. I also cut the wafers into 1-1/2 inch rounds, as it was the easiest method for me.
As mentioned previously, the dough was very sticky and I found I was constantly re-flouring my countertop and rolling pin throughout this stage of the recipe. Once the dough was rolled out and cut, I transferred the wafers into a baking dish filled with a layer of granulated sugar. Only one side of the wafers was pressed into the sugar. I then placed the wafers - sugar side up - on an ungreased cookie sheet fitted with a piece of parchment paper, about 1 inch apart. Before going into the oven, I pricked each wafer with a fork about 4 or 5 times. The wafers were baked at 370 degrees for 12 minutes.
A note on the baking: A couple of my wafers were rolled out too thin, which meant those wafers browned along the top, unlike the others. You can see these browned wafers in the image below. Generally, the wafers come out of the oven slightly puffed and golden brown on the bottom. I had about four batches of wafers that I baked in the oven. Using the majority of the dough, I had 32 wafers total.
Once the wafers were baked, I proceeded to make the cream filling. Full confession #2: I am very fussy about my buttercream icing. When baking, I want a buttercream recipe that is dependable, simple, and workable. That being said, I was very impressed by this buttercream filling! Using my mix master, this French buttercream comes together smoothly and did not separate. My one critique is that the recipe did not make very much, so I decided to double the recipe.
A note on the filling: This recipe is wonderful because it allows for variation in flavours and colours. For this particular recipe, I decided to stay with vanilla flavouring and no added food colouring. I did have some leftover buttercream at the end, which I simply put into an airtight container and placed in the freezer.
The remainder of the recipe was simple: Assemble the cream wafers. Once the wafers were cooled, I spooned some buttercream onto a wafer (non-sugared side) and placed another wafer on top. Et Voilà! The baked wafers were very delicate and would crumble easily if I handled them too hard. In the end, I came out with 16 cream wafers.
In conclusion, I was very surprised by how simple and easy this recipe turned out to be. The finished cream wafer is delightfully sugary and flaky, with a not-too-sweet richness from the buttercream. The recipe yields a manageable amount of cream wafers (approx. 16 cookies), which is perfect if you want to whip up a small, quick dessert.
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1/3 cup whipping cream
Mix together, roll out 2 x 1-1/4 inches, press one side in sugar (sugar side up) prick with fork. Bake at 370 degrees for 12 minutes. Put together with cream filling.
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
Add red food colouring to make it pink. Mix well.
Recipe courtesy of Mrs. F. Beaubien of Transcona