Can you substitute chocolate wafer cookies for graham crackers in graham cracker crusts and other cookie crusts?
To test this, we made our standard graham cracker pie crust using plain graham crackers and pitted it against two other crusts: one made with chocolate wafer cookies and another made with chocolate graham crackers. For good measure, we also made three batches of our Easiest-Ever Cheesecake, which features a graham cracker crust, using the same three products.
While tasters liked the “intense” chocolate flavor of the crust made with chocolate wafer cookies, the textures of the two crusts we made with them suffered. The unfilled pie crust slid down the sides of the pie plate, and the cheesecake version was greasy and soggy. Previous testing has shown us that crumb crusts containing too much sugar or fat slump when baked. The combined weight of fat and sugar in both types of graham crackers is about 35 percent of their total weight; the combined weight of fat and sugar in the chocolate wafer cookies is about 10 percent heavier.
On the other hand, the two crusts made with chocolate graham crackers were nearly identical in texture to those made with standard honey graham crackers. But although the chocolate graham crusts had excellent textures, tasters found their chocolate flavor a bit muted.
The bottom line: Chocolate graham crackers are a good substitute for regular graham crackers in a crust. But if you want to make a crust using chocolate wafer cookies, use a recipe that specifically calls for them.