Sugar wafers are made from wafer sheets that are baked in a specialized wafer oven. The oven consists of an enclosed chamber through which pairs of plates, which can be brought together and separated, as required, are transported. At the beginning of the process, a fluid batter is deposited on the bottom plate, and then the other plate in the pair is immediately brought near the first to form a closed chamber within which the batter rapidly expands under the influence of heat. The plates are patterned on their contiguous surfaces so the baked wafer emerges with a sort of waffle pattern or any other desired pattern. In fact, there are many points where the process resembles home baking of waffles. The baked wafers are removed from the griddle, cooled, spread with a filling, topped with another wafer, cut into desired shapes, and packed.
Sandwiching machines assemble two cookie wafers (usually of the molded type, but sometimes wire-cut) and a layer of filling to form a sandwich cookie. Many variations in shapes and flavors are possible; in fact, crackers can be sandwiched with cheese or peanut butter filling to make a nonsweet snack. The cookies, called basecakes, arrive at the sandwiching machines from cooling conveyors leading from the oven or from chutes. Vibrating conveyors align the basecakes into a stacked-on-edge orientation. Basecakes are fed by the conveyor into magazines or chutes in the proper orientation for sandwiching; they are removed one at a time by means of double pins on double chains. As the bottom cakes travel through the machine with their embossed side downward, they receive a deposit of soft creme extruded through a rotating sleeve having shaped orifices. As the bottom basecake with its creme deposit reaches the second set of magazines, the top cakes are dropped onto the creme. Then the sandwich is gently pressed together to ensure adherence of the components, and to establish uniform thickness of the finished cookies. A much more complete discussion of biscuit equipment has been published elsewhere (4).
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