Earlier this year, Nabisco discontinued its Famous Chocolate Wafers, one year short of
the cookie’s 100th anniversary. Makers of icebox cakes and chocolate crusts were incensed, and you know what happens when a bunch of bakers get outraged? They riot in the streets! They organize sit-ins! They protest their local grocers!
Well, not really, but I wish they did. Bakers are much too practical for that. They lodged complaints on the internet for a few days and then got in their kitchens and angrily figured out substitutes.
One such unhappy baker was my mom, Judy Hesser, who’s been using the chocolate wafers for decades to make her sour cream cheesecake. In the comments of our story on the discontinuation of the wafers, she weighed in: “Since I will no longer be able to obtain the chocolate wafers for the crust of my cheesecake, I shall invent something new and will inform you at that time. Very sad that Nabisco discontinued the chocolate wafers but I will not use Oreos as a replacement, nor will I add cocoa to vanilla wafers.”
Sometimes in the heat of the moment, we say things we don’t mean. Judy tried using Tate’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookies as a substitute, but didn’t like the results. Later, after comparing the ingredient lists of the chocolate wafers to Nabisco’s Nilla Wafers, she realized they were very close in nature, so she ate her words and tried out the Nilla Wafers mixed with some cocoa and butter. The experiment paid off, and she created a chocolate crust worthy of the original. And, as Judy promised, she’s now sharing it with the community.
More baking inspiration from Food52
Have you discovered your own favorite substitute for Nabisco’s chocolate wafers? Share yours below!
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I’ve written several books, including “Cooking for Mr. Latte” and “The Essential New York Times Cookbook.” I played myself in “Julie & Julia” — hope you didn’t blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.