Sunday, July 25, 2010

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

My favorite thing about New York summers are the picnics. So many picnics. True, some of them end up happening on concrete or gravel or against the sides of buildings in the pouring rain, but still - blankets and food and conversation shared among friends make me happy. Picnics are good things.

Lucky for us, picnics are also prime taste-testing opportunities. Recently, a conversation with a friend went like this:

Friend T: Want to come see this great Shakespeare company on the Hudson River? We can have a picnic beforehand!

K&B: Totally! We'll bring a treat to share! (Duh.)

Friend T: Yay!

The day before the show...

B: Kate, what should we make for the picnic tomorrow?

K: Something with chocolate?

B: No - too melt-able.

K: Oh yeah. Bummer, dude... Bar cookies?

B. Nah. We ALWAYS make bar cookies. I'm tired of making bar cookies. I mean, I love me some Peanut Butter Magic Bars. And Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. And Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars. And Oatmeal Carmelitas. on and so forth. But I'm feeling like doin' somethin' different.

K: What about cupcakes?

B: No way, Jose! I ain't carrying cupcakes on the subway, AND on the train, in THIS heat. Are YOU?!

Oh, the challenges of baking in NYC. You gotta love 'em, and you gotta live with 'em. In the end, we decided on something easily transportable that sports a bit more wow-factor than your regular old bar or drop cookie: cake in cookie form.

Alone, the spiced, moist cookies that bookend these delectable sandwiches are nothing special. But squish 'em together with some cinnamon cream cheese frosting and, voila! You've got a genuine carrot cake taste in finger-food form. Just picnic-perfect!


Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies via Picky Cook
Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cups toasted chopped walnuts (I forgot to toast them, and they turned out fine!)

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until well combined.

3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix on low until just combined. Do not overmix!

4. Stir in oats, carrots, raisins, and walnuts by hand. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Scoop dough by level tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. (I used a cookie scoop to do this, which worked well.) Using the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand, flatten each cookie to approximately 1/2 inch thick.

7. Bake until browned and crisp around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Cooled cookies can be stored in airtight containers overnight. If stacking, separate layers with parchment or wax paper to prevent cookies from sticking to one another. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Place cream cheese in medium bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth.

2. Gradually add butter and continue beating until well blended.

3. Add confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and continue beating until smooth.

4. Spoon frosting into a large piping bag, or make your own by cutting one corner off a ziploc freezer bag.

5. Pair cookies by size, turning one upside down. Pipe one to two tablespoons of frosting onto each upturned cookie.

6. Place top cookie on frosting and gently smoosh down until frosting reaches edges of cookie.

Cookies may be stored in airtight containers for two days. If stacking, separate layers with parchment or wax paper to prevent cookies from sticking to one another. If storing overnight or if it's especially hot outside, store in refrigerator (the sugar in the cream cheese frosting should keep it fresh for about a day, but it's best to keep them in the fridge to be safe if you're not serving them that day. Let come to room temperature before serving).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Ice Cream Day & Mint Chip Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for...


Today is National Ice Cream Day, and it's time to celebrate! I love ice cream. I mean I really, really love ice cream. Really, really, really, really, really, really absitively-posilutely love it. Here are a few examples to prove my point:

Example #1: Our crowded kitchen cabinets contain three types of bowls designed for one purpose only - eating ice cream.

Example #2: Freshman year of college, my favorite Friday night activity was chatting about life's mysteries over a bowl of pistachio Häagen Dazs with the Jesuit priest that lived across the hall. Now, the chats were awesome, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't stick around the dorm some Friday nights just for a taste of that contraband goodness from the Jesuits' well-stocked freezer. Weird, or wonderful? I'd say the latter.

Example #3: When it came time to choose a topic for my valedictorian speech at the end of high school, what did I pick? The lifelong friendships we'd made over the last four years? Nope. The great adventure of life upon which we were about to embark? Nah. Gratitude towards our parents and teachers? Academic and moral excellence?! World peace?!?! Cliché, my dear friends, all too cliché for my tastes. I chose something I could really talk about - ICE CREAM.

I'm serious.

I stood up in front of hundreds of people, not to mention my peers, and talked to them about ice cream.

Now THAT'S serious love, or at least a healthy obsession.

And no, you can't read the speech, because it's long been lost in the deep dark depths of hard drive disaster. Believe me - I've looked. What was my 18-year old mind thinking?!

Today, my love for ice cream is as strong as ever (hence the last two blog posts here and here). While my thighs keep reminding me I'd be better off spending Friday nights with a lower calorie friend, I still turn to ice cream when I feel lonely, nostalgic for simpler times, or spectacularly happy. For me, it's the best shoulder to cry on, the ultimate indulgence, and the greatest form of culinary celebration.

My favorite flavor? Mint Chocolate Chip, hands down. Always has been, always will be. Who's with me?

David Lebowitz's recipe uses mint leaves, not extract, to give this classic its intensely fresh flavor and barely-there green hue. I'm a big fan of the florescent ice cream shop stuff (ah, good ol' Baskin Robbins), but this all-natural taste and look could grow on me. My taste buds can be slow learners, though - I might have to eat a whole bunch of it to find out. Darn.


Mint Chip Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebowitz's The Perfect Scoop, via his website
Makes about 1 quart (1l)

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
2 cups packed (80 gr) fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
5 ounces (140 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. Gently rinse mint leaves and pat dry with a clean tea towel.

2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, salt, and mint over medium heat.

3. When the mixture begins to steam, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.

4. Set a large strainer (or colander) over a large bowl. Pour the mixture through the strainer, then firmly press down on mint with a spatula to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. (You can also use your hands to do this, making sure the mint isn't too hot to safely handle.) Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan. Rinse your large bowl and strainer if you don't have any more on hand.

5. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set a strainer (not a colander) over the top. In a separate large bowl, prepare an ice bath.

6. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then reheat the infused milk mixture over medium heat until warm to the touch. Slowly pour about a cup of the warm milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly (this tempers the egg yolks so they don't curdle). Scrape the warmed yolks into the saucepan.

7. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF (77ºC).

8. Immediately strain the custard into the cream, then stir the mixture over the ice bath until cool. Cover and thoroughly chill, preferably overnight.

9. When ready to churn the ice cream, place a storage container in the freezer. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.

10. While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

11. When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate into irregular pieces. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go. When finished, cover and freeze until firm (about 3 hours, or overnight).

Note: Using an exact quantity of mint leaves isn't imperative for this recipe, nor is the type of mint used. I ended up buying three small bunches of mint from two different markets, each with a slightly different color and scent. I pulled the best leaves from each bunch to measure approximately two packed cups (though I've never been sure of how packed "packed cups" are supposed to be.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Honey-Peach Ice Cream

Happy National Peach Ice Cream Day!

The heat wave here in NYC continues. We've broken all previous high temperature records by about a million degrees...which makes sense, considering a million degrees is pretty much how hot it feels outside.

And if it's a million degrees outside, it's a million and ten degrees inside our tiny apartment. We'd all have melted into big ooey-gooey piles of sweat and nastiness by now (talk about a messy kitchen!) if it wasn't for one thing:

Ice cream.

Well, okay, modern AC technology has considerably helped, too, but I choose to focus on the tastier of the two appliances running to our rescue: our mighty and marvelous ice cream maker.

So far this summer we've made chocolate ice cream (one of mine and Katie's favorites), vanilla ice cream (the Music Man's favorite), and cheesecake ice cream (quite possibly my new favorite). But when Katie found a recipe for honey-peach ice cream, we knew that our charming-chugging-churning-machine wasn't going back in the cupboard anytime soon. What says 'summer' more than ripe, juicy, flavorful peaches? Nothing, that's what.

The combo of peaches and honey in this recipe reminds Katie of the honey sticks we used to devour each summer at the local farmer's market. Me - I just love peaches. I've been known to eat the canned variety right out of the, um, can. What can I say - they're just frickin' good.

But this ice cream is WAY better. Enjoy.


Honey-Peach Ice Cream
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours” via Ezra Pound Cake
Makes about 1 quart
  • For the best flavor, and to make sure you don’t have little icy peach pieces, let this ice cream sit at room temperature before serving, or warm it in a microwave using 5-second bursts of heat.
  • You can replace the peaches with nectarines, which won’t need peeling, or apricots, which can be peeled with a serrated vegetable peeler.

4 large ripe peaches (or about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

STEP ONE: Peel & pit the peaches (say that ten times fast).

1. Fill a large pot with enough water to submerge your peaches. Bring water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside. Using a paring knife, lightly score the bottom of each peach with an X.

2. When water is boiling, gently add peaches to boiling water and boil for 45 seconds. Transfer peaches to ice water for 30 seconds.

3. Remove peach skin with your fingers or a paring knife. It may be helpful to do this under cold running water (like you do with hardboiled eggs).

4. Cut along the seam of each peeled peach to the pit, running your knife all the way around the fruit. Twist each half in opposite directions to free one half from the pit, or simply pull the two sides apart. Remove the pit with your fingers or the knife.

STEP TWO: Prepare peach puree (bonus points for adding that to the first tongue twister).

5. Coarsely chop half the peaches into 1/2-inch chunks, and toss them into a small saucepan. Add honey, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Puree the mixture using a blender, food processor or immersion blender. Set aside.

STEP THREE: Make custard and chill (the custard). YOU can chill too if you want - you've worked hard thus far.

6. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together.

7. Once milk and cream is boiling, drizzle about one third of the hot liquid into the egg/sugar mixture while constantly whisking – this will temper the eggs so they don’t curdle. Still whisking, slowly pour in the remaining cream mixture.

8. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. The custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and pour the custard into a 2-quart glass measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla and peach puree.

9. Refrigerate the custard at least 2 hours or until chilled before churning it into ice cream.

STEP FOUR: Churn ice cream and freeze (the ice cream). YOU can freeze too, if you happen to be playing freeze tag. If so, I call "not it"!

10. Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker, and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. While the ice cream is churning, finely dice the remaining 2 peaches, then, just before the ice cream is thickened and ready, add the peaches and churn to blend. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cheesecake Ice Cream and...vampires?!

These last few weeks have posed a bit of an ethical and vocational challenge for Beck and me.

See, it's been hot in NYC.  Like, really hot.  Record-breaking hot.  Be-glad-you-live-with-your-sister-and-can-therefore-hang-out-in-your-underwear hot.

Wait.  Not that kind of hot.  Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have gone there.
Anyway, with such high temperatures, it's either been turn the oven on and therefore the air conditioner too (thus consuming 200% our usual energy and feeling guilty for being such irresponsible citizens), or deny ourselves our passion of baking.

But just as we were running out of no-bake ideas, we remembered that we had an ice cream maker way up there in the cupboard behind the fridge - the cupboard that requires one to climb on a chair and move everything off the fridge in order to open it.

Suddenly, climbing on a chair and moving everything off the fridge sounded like a REALLY exciting afternoon activity. We've now made three batches of ice cream in about a week.
Ice cream making can be complicated (heating cream and sugar; tempering eggs yolks; straining said cream, sugar and eggs; chilling it; churning it), or it can be simple, where you throw everything in the food processor, chill it, and churn it.

This ice cream falls into the latter category.  It's not as "fluffy" as regular ice cream - it's more like eating really creamy, frozen cheesecake. Which is a-okay with me, because I swear that my DNA is programmed to hunger for cheesecake like a vampire thirsts for blood.

Wait a sec.  What's that?
That looks like...
OMG OMG OMG!  A vampire ate my ice cream!

Nah, I'm kidding.  But this raspberry sauce did remind me of Adam Rex's FAT VAMPIRE, a hilarious YA novel that Harper's Balzer + Bray imprint will publish at the end of July:

That cover is disgusting and genius at the same time, right?*

Whether or not you're a vampire, the ice cream, raspberry sauce, and sugar cone bowl are all really simple to make.  Best of all, the ice cream allows Becky and me to practice our passion without feeling like irresponsible citizens.  Now let's just pray the vampires don't come knocking at our door to collect some "raspberry sauce" of their own...


*Full disclosure: When not baking, I do work for HarperCollins.  FAT VAMPIRE will be available in hardcover, as an e-book, and as downloadable audio on July 27, 2010.

Cheesecake Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes about 3 cups (750 ml)

8 ounces cream cheese
1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

  1. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces.
  2. Zest the lemon directly into a food processor.
  3. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, half-and-half, sugar, and salt. Puree until smooth.
  4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  5. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. (We have this Cuisanart, but any ice cream maker - even the old fashioned crank kind! - should do.)
  6. For ideal scooping texture at serving time, freeze churned ice cream for a few hours or overnight.
Notes: We didn't have a whole cup of sour cream, so we substituted in about 1/2 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt. We also used heavy whipping cream instead of half-and-half.  It turned out fine!

Smooth Raspberry Sauce
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 1 cup (250 ml)

2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 water
A few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. Puree the raspberries in a blender or food processor with the the sugar and water until smooth.
  2. Press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.
  3. Mix in the lemon juice. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Sugar Cone Bowls
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 6 cones

1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large egg whites)
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla, then add the salt and half of the flour.
  3. Mix in the melted butter.
  4. Beat in the rest of the flour until smooth.
  5. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the top half of the parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread into a smooth 6-inch diameter circle.
  6. Repeat step 5 above to make a second circle of batter on the bottom half of the baking sheet.
  7. Place cookie sheet in oven. Begin checking the cones after about 10 minutes (total bake time could be up to 15 minutes, depending on your oven.) When circles are deep and golden brown throughout, remove the baking sheet from the oven. It's ok if there are some lighter or darker spots, but most of the circle should be golden brown.
  8. Using a thin metal spatula and working quickly, immediately flip one disk over and onto the bottom of a small, upturned bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and press firmly to mold the cone over the bowl.
  9. Let the cone cool slightly on the bowl until it feels firm, then flip it off and onto a plate or cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 above with second disk. (If it's too firm, return the cookie sheet to the oven for a minute or two until it's pliable again.)
  11. Repeat steps 5-9 with rest of batter, making sure the cookie sheet cools between batches (or, use a second cookie sheet.) A warm cookie sheet will make the batter more difficult to spread.
Batter can be made up to four days in advance and stored in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before using. Baked and cooled sugar cone bowls can be stored in an airtight container until ready to serve, but are best on the same day they are baked.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Star Hand Pies

I can't really think of anything more American than pie, can you?

So when we were invited to a BBQ this Independence Day weekend we knew whatever we brought had to involve pie.  So we spent an evening making these:

Mmmm...Peach Pie Bars - they look good, don't they?

Problem was that they weren't.  They were bland.  They didn't pack any punch, and on a holiday where exploding things are the main attraction, we wanted whatever we brought to generate at least one or two oooo's and aahhhh's.  It's only right.

I'd been wanting to try Bakerella's Pie Pops for some time; I even had all the ingredients on hand.  Star-shaped pies on a stick - sounds fabulous, doesn't it?

Problem was that they weren't.  Or, better said, they might have been, had I been able to get them to stay on the sticks.

But no matter.  I pulled the sticks out of the first two sheets, and for the last sheet, just baked them without the sticks.  And off to the BBQ we went.

I'm not sure they got oooo's and aahhh's exactly, but in their defense, they had some stiff competition in the form of blueberry pavlova and lemon-lime cheesecake.  What can we say? We love to bake, and so do all our friends.  It's a rough life.

You can make these from scratch, or if you're in a pinch like we were, all you need is a box of refrigerated pie crust, a can of pie filling, an egg, and some sprinkling sugar (or even just regular sugar).

Happy Fourth, everyone!


Star Hand Pies
inspired by Bakerella's Pie Pops
1 box double-crust pie dough makes approximately 20 hand pies

Dough for one double-crust pie (our favorite recipe here)
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (the kind that's rolled up, not already in a pie tin)

Homemade pie filling
1 can pie filling, any flavor

1 egg white, lightly beaten
Sparkling sugar

1.  If pie crust is frozen, remove from freezer and allow to thaw for 15-20 minutes.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll out pie crust to 1/8 inch thick.  Flip dough, sprinkling with more flour as needed.

3.  Use star cookie cutter to cut shapes and place on cookie sheets*.  They can be fairly close together since these don't spread much.  Feel free to re-roll the scraps to make your dough go further, though re-rolling more than once may make the crust a little tough.

4.  Place 1 teaspoon filling in the middle of each star.  Place second star cutout on top.

5.  Using a fork, gently press around edges to seal top and bottom stars together.  Don't sweat it if pie filling oozes out a bit.

6.  With a pastry brush, gently brush each star with beaten egg white, then sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until tops begin to brown.   If filling oozed out, take a toothpick or knife and run along edges of star to separate from oozed-out filling. 

7.  Remove stars from parchment and allow to cool on wire racks, or slide entire sheet of parchment onto cooling rack (you should change parchment for each batch anyway, otherwise later batches will stick to the melted sugar from previous batches).

*We used the second-smallest cookie cutter in this set.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chocolate Wafer Love

Today is National Chocolate Wafer Day!

What's that? Oh. Yeah...I know it's past 10pm and therefore a lot of good this recipe does you now if you were wanting to celebrate National Chocolate Wafer Day but-

What's that? Normal people don't celebrate holidays like Chocolate Wafer Day?


Sorry. I'll calm down now. I just really don't understand why people wouldn't want to celebrate the genius that is the Nabisco Chocolate Wafer. If you're not already convinced of its merits, perhaps a five-stanza haiku will help my case:

Chocolate wafer:
perfect for parties with a
theme of black and white.

Cream plus six hours
in the refrigerator
equals dreams come true.

In addition, they
are so fragile that at least
some always break which

means you must eat them
because otherwise they'll be
wasted. The horror.

The special bonus
is the retro packaging.
Feels like Nana's here.

Our family has been making the traditional black and white refrigerator cake recipe that's on the wafer box for as long as I can remember. It's so easy and simple, but tastes so good without being too sweet, and the presentation is really impressive. It's probably mine and Becky's favorite dessert.

Today though, we wanted to change things up; these mini icebox cakes are the result.

If you can't tell from the design, we heart chocolate wafers.

So our apologies that this post is so late - just consider yourself well prepared for next year's celebration. Or, if you want to celebrate a little late, we won't tell!

Chocolate Wafer Love Mini Icebox Cakes
inspired by this recipe
Makes approximately 10 mini cakes

1 box Nabisco chocolate wafers*
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup milk chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips
muffin cup liners
Heart shaped or other small cookie cutters
offset spatula

1. Place 12 or so cookies on a cutting board or plate and cover with a quite-damp, but not dripping wet, paper towel. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until slightly soft. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. Place a bowl for whipping the cream in the refrigerator to chill.

2. Mix 1/2 cup cream and marshmallows in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until marshmallows melt. Remove from heat; whisk in chocolate until melted. Scrape into a bowl; let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Remove softened cookies from refrigerator. Working on a cutting board or other flat surface, gently use small cookie cutter to cut out shapes from cookies.** Discard or eat scraps. Place one cutout cookie in the bottom of each muffin cup.

4. Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups cream into your chilled bowl; whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold a cup of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Gently fold chocolate mixture into remaining whipped cream, taking care not to deflate cream.

5. Spoons tablespoonfuls of whipped cream into muffin tins, cover with chocolate wafers and press down to spread out cream. Repeat two more times (should use cutout shape plus three whole wafers per muffin cup). Finish layering with a layer of whipped cream, smoothing the that last layer flat with an offset spatula.

6. Cover muffin tin with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least six hours or overnight.

7. When ready to serve, remove muffin tin from freezer. With the help of an offset spatula or knife, gently remove cakes from tin. Carefully peel off muffin liners and invert onto serving plates.

* We suggest having a second box of wafers on hand; because they are so fragile, many cookies in the box are usually already broken.
** I had some success cutting out the shapes without softening the cookies first, but seemed to have more success with the softened cookies. Feel free to experiment.