Chocolate wafer cookie crusts are a delicious delivery vehicle for many different flavors of pie. They go particularly well with chocolate fillings, but can lend a wonderful contrast to fruity fillings, like a zesty key lime pie. It is easier to buy chocolate wafer crusts rather than to make them, largely because chocolate wafer cookies themselves are surprisingly expensive. I’ve used the ends of Oreo cookies to make chocolate wafer crusts, but separating dozens of cookies is a labor-intensive process. One option is to make a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust instead.
This Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust starts with plain graham crackers, the type that you probably use to make graham cracker crusts for cheesecakes or to sandwiches summertimes s’mores. The graham crackers are crushed into fine crumbs and combined with cocoa powder, brown sugar and butter to make a chocolate crust with a wonderfully crisp texture. Cocoa powder has a strong bittersweet chocolate flavor and dominates the mild flavor of the graham crackers, giving the crust a very good chocolate flavor and a deep cocoa color. The color of the crust won’t be as dark as one made with nearly black chocolate wafers, of course, but you won’t be sacrificing any flavor with this option.
This crust is mixed up in a food processor and comes together in just a few minutes. You could press it into a pan then chill it to use it as a no-bake crust in a frozen pie (such as a pie with an ice cream filling), but I prefer to bake it to ensure that it maintains a crispy texture. It can be difficult to judge the doneness of the crust due to the dark color, however if you touch it with your fingertip, it should feel firm and set. The crust should be cooled before use and should be used within two days of baking for best results.
Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
approx 5 oz (10 large/double) graham crackers
6 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa pwoder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a food processor, combine graham crackers, brown sugar, cocoa powder and salt, and pulse until mixture is ground into fine crumbs. Add in melted butter and vanilla extract and pulse until butter is well incorporated and mixture begins to clump together, about 30 seconds.
Pour crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Press crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate, packing them down firmly.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until crust is firm to the touch and lightly browned at the top edge.
Allow crust to cool completely before using. Crust can also be covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and saved for 1-2 days, if you want to bake it in advance.
Makes 1 crust.