baking, chocolate sundae, eggless chocolate sandwich cookies, espresso hot fudge sauce, honey tuile recipe, hot fudge sundae, hydrox cookie history, Hydrox Cookie recipe, ice cream sundae making, ice cream sundae with hydrox cookies, No Waste Food Challenge, raspberry hot fudge sauce recipe, summer desserts, The Franklin Fountain, the original oreo cookie, We Should Cocoa
I’m the sort of person who doesn’t think that you have to wait until it’s hot outside to eat ice cream. Perched atop a slice of apple pie in fall, melting alongside a slab of sticky toffee pudding in December, dished out at birthday parties in March—it doesn’t matter what time of year, I enjoy a scoop.
Earlier this summer, I finally made it to The Franklin Fountain in downtown Philadelphia, to try the storied ice cream confections that I’ve been reading gushing praise about for years. After waiting in a jaw-droppingly-long queue that snaked at least 30 feet down the sidewalk outside the store, I sunk my long-handled spoon into a luscious black raspberry-chocolate chip sundae, complete with hot fudge sauce and a smattering of crumbled Hydrox cookies. As soon as I had my first taste, I decided that all the hype was deserved and the long wait definitely worth the final result. It was a great way to start off the summer ice cream consumption.
Sunshine Biscuits, a smaller company that first came up with the crisp chocolate cookie-and-creamy vanilla filling combination, couldn’t compete with the marketing powerhouse Nabisco that created Oreos, and so never got the credit they deserved. The product was shunted around from one corporation to another, and eventually was discontinued. In 2008, in honour of the Hydrox cookie’s centennial celebration, they were briefly re-introduced to the market, and have been available for sale on-and-off from various vendors since then. Leaf Brands owns the right to the Hydrox recipe now, and intends to have them put back in supermarkets by the end of the year.
But even if Hydrox cookies are not in supermarkets at the moment, the Franklin Fountain could find them, and I got to try them. Maybe I’m just biased towards the underdog, but I prefer them to Oreos. So, when I was thinking of an ice cream sundae to make for this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, I decided to try making my own Hydrox cookies. They are supposed to be a little sturdier than Oreos, so that they don’t soften too quickly in milk (or ice cream!), and have a tangier filling.
I happened to have a few tablespoons of crème fraiche languishing in the fridge, so I added that to my filling; and I love the way the touch of acidity tempers the sweetness of the vanilla cream. The one in Oreos, quite frankly, is achingly sweet if you taste it on its own. Not so here.
Then the cookies are just as crisp and so-dark-they’re-nearly-black as any Oreo, and they will not crumble into a soggy mess—even after they’ve been sitting in a cup of ice cream for a much too long photo shoot.
And if you crumble them into a sundae glass filled with vanilla and salted caramel ice cream, douse them with a ladleful of raspberry-espresso hot fudge sauce, and serve them with a honey tuile as a final flourish, you get a dessert beyond magnificent.
I am also submitting them to the No Waste Food Challenge run by Elizabeth, which is being hosted this month by Anne of Anne’s Kitchen, as the vanilla cream filling proved a brilliant way to use up the scrapings left in the bottom of a tub of crème fraiche!
Ingredients:For the Hydrox cookies: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature ½ cup granulated sugar ⅓ cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 tablespoons whole milk 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1 tablespoon hot water ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting (preferably use Hershey’s Special Dark) ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon baking powder ½ cup rice crispies, crushed to a powder For the cream filling: 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons crème fraiche For the honey tuiles: 4 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup all-purpose flour For the raspberry-espresso hot fudge sauce: 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate 3 tablespoons unsalted butter ⅔ cup boiling water ⅓ cup brown sugar 6 tablespoons corn syrup 2 tablespoons honey ½ cup seedless raspberry jam 1 teaspoon espresso powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Vanilla and salted caramel ice creams
- Make the cookie dough first. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, and then slowly beat in the oil, milk, and vanilla.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water; stir into the creamed mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and crushed rice crispies. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly to form a stiff dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface dusted with cocoa powder and roll out ⅛-inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 2-inch cutter.
- Use a metal spatula to transfer the rounds to ungreased baking sheets—the dough is quite crumbly, so don’t try to pick them up with your hands. Re-roll trimmings and cut into rounds as well. You should get about 4 dozen in all.
- Bake the cookies, one tray at a time and rotating halfway through baking, until they are firm to the touch and beginning to crisp around the edges, 13 to 17 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Repeat with the remaining trays of cookies.
- Once the Hydrox cookies are cool, beat together the ingredients for the cream filling. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
- Flip half of the cookies over, so that their bottoms are facing up, and pipe a spiral of cream filling onto each one. The cream should almost reach the edge of the cookie, but not quite.
- Take the remaining half of the Hydrox cookies and press them securely on top of the cream-filled ones.
- Chill the sandwiched cookies until the cream filling is firm.
- To make the honey wafers, turn up the oven temperature to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and honey over medium heat. Once the mixture reaches a boil, immediately remove from the stovetop and whisk in the flour.
- Pour half of the batter onto the prepared pan and spread into a thin layer, using an offset spatula. It should almost be thin enough to see through.
- Bake until the entire piece is amber-coloured (the edges will be even darker, almost brown), 6 to 8 minutes.
- Slide the Silpat or parchment off the baking sheet onto a cutting board and let the tuile cool for 1 minute.
- Use a 3 ½-inch cutter to cut the tuile into rounds; then use a sharp knife to cut each round into four triangles. Work quickly. If the tuile cools too much and begins to crack when you try to cut it, slide the Silpat/parchment back onto the baking sheet and return it to the oven to warm up for a minute or so.
- Set the cut tuiles aside in a single layer on a piece of wax paper.
- To make the fudge sauce, melt the chocolate and butter together in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Whisk in the boiling water, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, jam, and espresso powder; turn up the heat; and bring to a boil.
- Boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 9 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- When you are ready to serve your ice cream sundaes, place one or two scoops each of vanilla and salted caramel ice cream in a glass, crumble over a few Hydrox cookies, ladle over some hot fudge sauce, and garnish with a honey tuile.
Yield: 24 Hydrox sandwich cookies, 4 dozen honey wafers, and about 2 cups of hot fudge sauce–in other words, a lot of sundaes!