I had my first-ever cold food-themed dinner party last weekend. With a 100+ heat index, my oven was not invited to participate in this one.
But I am known for my desserts. I wanted to serve something impressive that I could make when the heat was oppressive.
After scouring my recipes, I decided to play with an old favorite that's as easy as it is tasty. I turned an Espresso and Mascarpone Icebox Cake into a Mascarpone and Gingersnap Icebox Cake. The rich cream paired with thin gingersnap cookies was like a Newman's Ginger-O cookie on steroids. It was seriously delicious. All the adult guests agreed.
As always, the real test was with the trips.
Bitty needed convincing. After numerous attempts at force-feeding her—that girl's a fighter—I got a tiny bit on her lips. Sure enough she licked it off. Her eyes opened wide. She tried to find a leftover morsel with her tongue, and when there wasn't one she drew her full attention to the bowl in front of her.
The Dude was the hard sell. He wanted nothing to do with it. He pushed it away without even looking. As soon as I picked up his fork he started crying, "no special mommy cream!" Then Zeke asked for his portion.
Even at two-and-a-half, kids know an opportunity when they see one.
Mascarpone and Gingersnap Icebox Cake Recipe
Adapted from Gourmet
2 cups chilled heavy cream
6 Tbsp sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese (about 9 ounces) at room temperature
1 package thin gingersnap cookies, like Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Cookie Thins or Anna's
Beat cream and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks, two to four minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add mascarpone and mix until combined.
Spread 1 ¼ cups cream evenly in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and cover with cookies, overlapping if necessary. Repeat for two more layers of cream and cookies. Spread remaining cream mixture on top and smooth. Crush remaining cookies (put in a Ziploc bag and crush with a can or rolling pin, or put them in the food processor) then sprinkle them over the top. Cover pan with foil then chill in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold.