Summer may be long gone, but with a new baby in the house, I’m every bit as much in the mood for fast and fresh ideas to save time in the kitchen–just like I am when the weather is nice outside. And really, recipes that look impressive but are actually simple to make are my M.O. all year round. That’s why I was excited to test Martha’s chocolate chip cookie icebox cake–and it’s a recipe I’m now tucking into my back pocket for those times when I need to entertain or bring a dessert to a gathering. This is a perfect imperfect cake, which is what I love about it since I’m not one for fancy, complicated desserts. Just three easy steps–bake chocolate chip cookies, stack them in layers of mascarpone whipped cream, and refrigerate overnight. The result is pretty decadent, but the execution is terribly easy.
You’ll notice I fully left perfection by the wayside and allowed my layers to get a little lopsided (in favor of extra-generous layers of cream)…but I promise you, once your friends or co-workers dig into a slice of this cake, no one will care about symmetry. For extra credit, stack your cookie-and-cream layers on a pretty, domed cake stand–this one’s from the Martha Stewart Collection (available exclusively at Macy’s). Good servingware can make the presentation of a simple dessert look fancier than it is. Even our everyday celebrations deserve to be put on a pedestal!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Icebox Cake
4 cups cold heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey (optional)
8 dozen cookies from Chocolate Chip Cookie Base (Tip: use half butter, half shortening to prevent flat cookies)
Chocolate shavings, for garnish
Whisk 3 cups cream and the mascarpone in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whiskey. Whisk until medium-stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use (or up to 3 hours). Arrange 9 cookies in a circle (with cookies touching) on a cake stand or a plate. Place 2 cookies in center. Carefully spread 1 cup cream mixture evenly over cookies, leaving a slight border. Repeat to form 7 more layers, ending with cookies (you’ll have a few cookies left over). Refrigerate, lightly draped with plastic wrap, overnight. Whisk remaining cup cream until soft peaks form. Spread over top of cake just before serving. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
*Disclosure: Cake stand was provided by Martha Stewart.