Saturday, June 2, 2012

Individual Icebox Cakes

Part II of my mom's birthday!

My mom doesn't have a huge a sweet tooth. I can't decide if I'm jealous of her or not. Unlike me, she does not crave sugar, chocolate, peanut butter, candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, and anything dessert related constantly. Seriously, sometimes it's a battle to make myself stop baking cupcakes, seal the bag of gummy candy, and eat some real food. However, she also doesn't understand the happiness and satisfaction that I feel when I sit down each evening and indulge in my nightly dessert at exactly 9:30. Pure. Bliss.

Anyway, I asked my mom what she wanted for her birthday dessert. I sort of expected her to say "nothing" or name someone else's favorite dessert. But she surprised me and immediately told me that she had been craving a mint icebox cake. Your wish is my command, mom!

delivering the requested goodies!

My grandmother always used to make an icebox cake with creme de menthe in the traditional log form. As I've mentioned before, I'm not in love with mint. And if I'm going to make a dessert, I want to be able to enjoy it. I prefer my refrigerator cake flavored with Kahlua. Coffee and chocolate is always winning combo in book. I know my mom agrees because, though my sweet tooth is a personal struggle, I get my coffee addiction from her. However, my mom specifically mentioned mint and her boyfriend despises coffee so I was torn. That's when I came up with the idea to make individual icebox cakes!

The individual icebox cakes are far more tedious to make than the log but I like them better. The traditional icebox cake is supposed to be sliced at an angle so that you can see the cookie layers. In reality, it always ends up looking like a bowl of mush because the cake is too soft to slice or dish out. The individual cakes are so cute and the layers stay in place as you dig into it with your fork. Also, it's perfect portion control! And you can make exactly as many servings as you want/need without any guesswork. The individual desserts solved the problem of flavors because I was able to make half of cakes with creme de menthe and half with Kahlua. Most of the people wanted to try both so I ended up cutting the cakes in half. I stuck strictly with my Kahlua and my mom's boyfriend stuck to his mint... the true stand-off of flavors. Everyone enjoyed the cakes and thought the individual desserts were a great idea!

my mom satisfying her tiny sweet tooth :)

Individual Icebox Cakes (yields about 15 individual cakes) adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  •  2 package of Nabisco chocolate wafers
  • cupcake liners
  • Hershey's chocolate (optional)
  • chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)
For the whipped cream (adapted from How Sweet It Is)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  •  1/4 cup alcohol (I used Bailey’s Irish Cream and creme de menthe)
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  1.  Flatten 15 cupcake liners.
  2. Whip the whipped cream ingredients until the whipped cream holds firm peaks. Spread about two teaspoons whipped cream between each cookie, to the edges, and stack them on a cupcake liner until you reach the height you’d like (I made each cake using 5 wafers). 
  3. Use a knife to spread frost the entire individual icebox cake with whipped cream. 
  4. Garnish cakes with chocolate shavings and/or espresso beans.
  5. Set them in the fridge at least overnight or up to a day. The cookies will soften as they set, and become cake-like.
  6. Serve immediately from the refrigerator. 

creme de menthe whipped cream
5 cookie stack!
creme de menthe and kahlua

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