Just like that, summer’s over and it’s back to school, back to work, and back to busy! Even when I’m still busy with work and events during the summer months, there’s always a feeling that time has slowed down just a little bit and things don’t always feel quite so urgent. But when September starts, it seems like everything hits fast forward and I’m just racing to keep up. That’s why I like the idea of easy meals and snacks that everyone can make without a lot of fuss.
I love to explore ethnic markets because there’s always something new to play with in the kitchen — you’ll find foods that are both familiar and different, and generally the people who work at the markets are really helpful when you come across unfamiliar ingredients. For today’s No Bake Wafer Treats, I played with wafer sheets that are commonly found in Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European markets (and, like everything else these days, can also be purchased online) — they are inexpensive and can form the basis of some fun recipes.
Commonly, these wafer sheets are used to make versions of torte desserts like mazurka or oblate — the sheets are layered with jam, chocolate, fruit, and custard, kind of like a mille feuille, but it’s not nearly as much work! For my version of a wafer sheet torte, I spread the first few layers with a mixture of softly whipped cream and raspberries, stacking each layer on top of the other, then put a thick layer of more stiffly whipped cream on top that was lightly sweetened, then finished it off with whole raspberries and fresh lime zest. It was that easy.
The wafer sheets also reminded me of those little rectangular wafer cookies that I can remember from my childhood, usually filled with vanilla cream, and so it seemed like it would be fun to turn them into a great after-school snack or lunchbox treat by filling them with peanut butter and jelly. It’s the kind of thing that kids can also do on their own, and you might even put out an assortment of fillings — like raisins, cream cheese, lemon curd, tahini, and mini chocolate chips —so they can have some fun experimenting!
• Use a pizza wheel to cut the wafer sheets into the size you want — just follow the lines!
• For the whipped cream filling, take the fresh berries, lightly chop them and then spread them on a baking sheet and let them freeze for 30 minutes before folding them into the softly whipped cream. This will help them hold their shape a little better and not bleed into the cream.
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