How to Make: Lace Wafers

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Welcome back to Tenacious Genealogy! It’s been a while since I’ve done a historical recipe. Life’s been busy and it’s hard to cook when you’re dealing with morning sickness. 🙂 But now that I’m feeling better around food, I wanted to share a recipe that I got to attempt making a while back. Lace Wafers.

Back in December, I volunteered to make cookies for an event. The event was for an American History scholarship, so the cookies were to be presidential favorites. I chose to make Herbert Hoover’s favorite cookie – Lace Wafers.

And it was interesting.

Lace wafers aren’t a common cookie, but generally, when you see them, they are supposed to be rolled into a delicate cylinder shape. This is a difficult feat, that while I have attempted, I have yet to succeed at.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a delicious cookie. Dipped in chocolate (milk, dark, or white), lace wafers are both delicious and fancy – even if they aren’t rolled.

Herbert Hoover’s Lace Wafers

Original Recipe

1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp light molasses
3 tbsp butter
4 tsp water
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a saucepan, combine sugar, molasses, butter, and water.
  4. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat and stir until butter is melted. (Honestly the butter will probably be fully melted at this point.)
  5. Add dry ingredients to molasses mixture. Stir until well blended.
  6. Stir in pecans (or almond flour).
  7. Spray/rub the baking sheet liberally with oil/butter or use a silicone mat.
  8. Bake only 2 or 3 cookies at a time (or several if you don’t plan on curling them – they don’t really spread a lot).
  9. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool.
  11. If you want to try and curl them, wait about 30 to 60 seconds before trying to curl them around a dowel or spoon handle.


Lace Wafer Ingredients


For this recipe, I really didn’t change up the recipe except for using almond flour instead of finely chopped pecans. So the original recipe works fairly well. I also tried adding a smidge more molasses the second time around to see if that would make the cookies curl easier. While the dough was more flexible, the cookies still wouldn’t roll.

So if you’re like me and either failed to make the cookies roll/didn’t want to deal with the hassle, the next step is to dip the cookies in chocolate. What type of chocolate? I used milk chocolate, but you could use dark or white chocolate depending on your preference. I also used Trader Joe’s Pound Plus chocolate, but you could use any kind of baking or dipping chocolate available. The only thing I would shy away from is using the plain chocolate candy bars (like Hershey’s) and only because I’ve never had any success using the candy bars as dipping chocolate.

Then you melt the chocolate – you can use a fancy double boiler ( I have one and I love it) OR a saucepan and a metal bowl that fits in the edge of the saucepan. The idea is that you put water in the saucepan, then put the metal bowl in the saucepan (but not deep enough for the bottom of the bowl to be in the water) and use the steam from the boiling water to melt the chocolate, but keep it from burning. This also keeps the chocolate from resolidifying while you are using it.

Once the chocolate is melted (and the cookies are cool), dip the cookies in the chocolate as much as you want. Then put those cookies back on a cookie sheet covered in parchment or a silicone mat (so the chocolate doesn’t stick).

Let them cool in the fridge until the chocolate is hardened.

Lace Wafers dipped in chocolate

Voila! Lace Wafers dipped in chocolate!

While these cookie may not be exactly what Herbert Hoover ate, they are still delicious and relatively easy enough to make, especially as an activity or for an event.

Questions? Comments?

Questions or comments about this recipe? Were you able to wrap them? If so, let me know your secrets and show your success in the comments! Have other recipes you think I should try? Let me know! And if you like what you’ve been seeing here on Tenacious Genealogy – please subscribe to our email list. Not only will you stay up to date with the latest blog posts, but you’ll also get access to freebies such as ’10 Tips for Starting Your Genealogy’ and other fun ‘subscriber only’ items!

One thought on “How to Make: Lace Wafers

  1. Eric says:

    It might be that the reason that wrapping didn’t work is that the cookies turned out thick and not lacy; the almond flour substitution is the likely culprit. Here’s the thing: the finely chopped pecans in the recipe are not a type of flour — they are small nut chunks (1/16~1/8″ in size) which add flavor and texture, but have little to no effect on the batter consistency. When made without the flour substitution, the cookies turn out more like a soft, but not runny, candy-like wafer — and they _do_ spread… a lot. And they stick… a lot. And they have a lot of holes, which I notice are missing in the picture above. Thus the “lace” in the name. They bend easily when they are warm, and can be draped over other objects such as bowls or muffin cups to make interesting shapes. (Think ice cream cups, but eat quickly!)

    These cookies do not store well, because they absorb a ton of water from air. The crisp “snap” which comes with the initial cooling will disappear. If left stacked on a plate for a couple of days, they will turn into one big, chewy, cookie.

    All of that said, I’m sure that the almond flour is an excellent flavor addition to one of my favorite cookies.

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