Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend Cooking...Sweetzels Spiced Wafers

How do you know when fall has arrived?

Well the days start to get colder and shorter and of course, the leaves start to change color and then drop to the ground But if you live in the Philadelphia area, one sure sign of the arrival of the autumn season is the appearance of the iconic Sweetzels Spiced Wafer boxes in your grocery stores. Made in the little town of Skippack, PA, "Spiced Wafers have been tasty harbingers of Fall in Southeast Pennsylvania for over 90 years. Made using real ginger, Lancaster County molasses, allspice, cloves, cinnamon. and other natural ingredients, these cookies are born to be dunked." Well we will come Back to that dunking part later, but I do like these cookies. The mini Creme version is new as a last year I belive, and while good, I am a purist and prefer the plain Spiced Wafer. Very crisp (unless you intentionally allow them to get stale and sopt) and rather spicy, they just shout fall. Can you hear them?

Yes, they are a gingersnap, but with an extra bit of snap and spice and although they are for sale in a bit wider area these days..and even on Amazon, of me they also shout Philly. And we in south Jersey who are in the greater Philly metro area.
Cheesesteaks and Sweetzels make it almost worthwhile to be that close. :-)

OK, I went in search of a recipe including Sweetzels and came upon this one some time ago. So long ago that I can't remember where I got it or the picture from. And I must admit I have not made it yet but it looks and sounds delicious and so seasonal. And it is vegan! And of course for you folks with no Sweetzels, you can use any crisp gingersnap.

Pumpkin Streusel Cake
adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
makes 16 servings
This vegan streusel cake bakes up very moist. Skip the streusel top, if you'd like something more pumpkin bread-like. 


7 Sweetzels gingersnaps, broken into pieces
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Pulse gingersnaps in a food processor until a flour-like consistency.
Mix pulsed gingersnaps and brown sugar together in a bowl. Sprinkle with canola oil, and mix until combined. Add pecans and mix.

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup soy milk
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons light molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, soy, milk, oil, sugar, molasses and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking poser, salt, and spices.
Adding half of the flour mixture at a time to the pumpkin mixture, gently mix the ingredients by hand, avoiding over mixing.
Pour batter into the prepared baking pan. Top evenly with the streusel mixture.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until done, or a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Of course, you can follow my example and eat them straight from the box with an ice cold glass of milk. Dunking is optional, although I really not approve of the habit. I like the cookies crisp and I HATE crumbs in my milk.
But dunk or not, you better hurry up because before you know it winter will be here and the brief Sweetzel season will be over, the cookies disappearing for another year.

Hmmm...I bet they freeze well..

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I love the idea of a pumpkin streusel cake, which I suppose you could do with ANY gingersnaps (is that sacrilegious to say?)

  2. I love gingersnaps and one with extra snap and spice sounds divine to me!

  3. I'm a gingersnap lover too so this looks very good. Actually, the streusel sounds the best. I would not leave it out.

  4. I want! I want! I'm a huge lover of gingersnaps and I am loving the idea of using them in a streusel. I think I'm going to have to try this!

  5. Cake looks delicious! Great idea to use gingersnaps in the streusel.I've never heard of Sweetzels but they look good.

  6. These are made in Skippack? I had no idea. I love Skippack and now I love it even more. LOL. I have a pumpkin cheesecake recipe I like, I may just make the crust with Sweetzels. Now to remember to get my in-laws to save me a box or two -- I can't always get them here in central PA.

  7. My mom grew up in Lancaster County, and we visited there all through my childhood and later years, as my grandmother and aunt lived there, but I don't ever remember seeing these cookies. I have to ask my mom about them.

    My mom always dunked her cookies in water, which we found really odd, but she said that's what her mom did -- always water, never milk.

  8. I have never seen those before but they look like something I need to try. The cake looks delicious!

  9. Beth...actually, when I was looking for Sweetzels recipes I saw one for a cheesecake..they used it for the crust and then pressed the crushed cookies onto the sides too. looked delicious.

  10. I love these things! Gonna pick up my own box very soon … and it will be gone in a few days.

  11. oh yum. I don't think the cookies would last long enough to actually use them as an ingredient.


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