BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

The Heat is On

46 Comments

Despite the great number of quirks and traits that I share with my family members, there are still times when I can’t help but wonder if I might have been adopted. Some differences are glaring, but others are more subtle, such as the great range of temperaments we each have- And I’m not just talking about moodiness here. Almost always the first to run for the AC, it would seem as though my internal temperature runs a good 10 or 20 degrees hotter than most, making for some unusual sources of conflict. Just the other night, I woke up sweating through my sheets, and popped out of bed to turn on the air conditioning. Well, as you can imagine, that did the trick and I fell right back to sleep… Leaving the fan churning the air, until my mother was in turn awakened, claiming to be nearly frozen to death. There’s just no winning in this family!

Regardless, there are always compromises that can be made, and dessert is no different. Though I would be perfectly happy to eat nothing but ice cream for the next 3 or 4 months, I accept the fact that I can’t avoid the oven forever. The trick is to minimize its utility, baking off little treats quickly before the whole kitchen turns into a sticky, sugary sauna.

Cookies fit the bill quite nicely, but what fun is that? No, a mere biscuit isn’t enough to bring to a big dinner party, or say, 4th of July potluck, now is it?

However, try layering gently spiced, soft cookies with a bright and tangy lemon custard, chill the whole concoction into a a cool, refreshing cake-like assemblage, and now we’re talking! File this one under “looks ultra-impressive but is a breeze to make.” If you can bake cookies, you can throw this one together, and yes, keep it on hand in the freezer until it’s needed. Can you tell I’m into that sort of thing these days?

This is another recipe inspired by a request from Nasoya, but should you be unable to find the Vanilla Silken Creations, just use a regular block of silken tofu, plus an additional 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Lemon Gingersnap Icebox Cake

Gingersnaps:

3/4 Cup Margarine
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 Tablespoon Flax Seeds, Ground
2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Plain Soymilk

Lemon Custard:

1 13.5-Ounce Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk, Chilled
Zest of 2 Lemons
1 Package Vanilla Silken Creations
1/4 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/3 Cup Instant Clear Gel
Pinch Salt

To make the gingersnaps, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line 4 baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

With your stand mixer, cream together the margarine and sugar thoroughly. Add in the molasses and flax seed, and mix well until completely homogeneous.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together, to evenly distribute all of the dry ingredients throughout the mixture. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into your stand mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The resulting dough will still look a bit dry, so go ahead and add in the soymilk.

Once a smooth dough has been achieved, scoop out about 2 – 3 teaspoons per cookie, roll them into balls, and flatten them slightly onto your prepared sheets. If they begin to stick to your hands, simply wash your hands and leave them slightly damp when you go back to work.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until slightly cracked on top and lightly browned around the edges. The longer you bake them, the snappier they’ll be! Cool the cookies on the sheets, and make sure they are completely cool before using.

To make the custard, begin by removing the coconut milk from the fridge and DO NOT shake it. Skim off the top layer of thick, white cream, and place it in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment installed. Start on low speed for a minute, and then increase to high, beating the coconut cream for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy light whipped cream. Add in the vanilla silken creations and lemon zest, and stir well.

Mix the confectioner’s sugar, instant clear gel, and salt together in a small dish before slowly adding the mixture in, making sure that the motor continues running the whole time. Stop periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. It’s very important to continue agitating the mixture while introducing the instant clear gel, as it will create clumps if it isn’t dispersed throughout the liquid quickly.

The custard will begin to thicken after another 3 – 4 minutes of whipping, and will continue to thicken once chilled.

Now you’re ready to assemble the dessert. On a large plate, start by placing 6 cookies in a tight circle, plus one more in the very center. Place a generous dollop of the custard on top, reaching out almost to the edge of the circle but leaving a good amount of the outermost cookies visible. Place another circle of cookies on top in a similar manner, followed by more custard. Repeat this process into you run out of both; You should end up with around 6 cookie layers and 5 custard layers. Chill thoroughly overnight before serving; it gets better when the cookies have time to soften and become part of the custard itself!

Serves 8 – 12

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

46 thoughts on “The Heat is On

  1. That is amazing Hannah and as inventive as ever!

    I spent a good 20 minutes the otherr day looking at every single frozen offering at my local supermarket. I stopped short of getting into the freezer but was very tempted!

  2. Oh, LOVE it! I’ve seen recipes for cookies + cream-like substances where they’re formed into a log, but that’s never looked appealing to me. This, on the other hand, looks like a layered cookie cloud.

    In fact, I think Les Miserables got it wrong… “There is a Cookie on a Cloud…. I like to go there in my sleep…” :D

  3. Now who wouldn’t turn around to stare in excitement if I walked into a 4th of July party hauling that baby?! Yum- it looks delicious!

  4. Wow! That cake looks amazing. I am still so jealous of your photographs. I want a cookie cake! One year, my mom made me a vegan ice cream cake for my birthday. It was so sweet!

  5. This reminds me of Southern apple stack cakes! The longer you let ‘em sit, the better! I love the ginger and lemon combination!

  6. Great idea! I don’t think I’ve ever survived a summer without baking–even in 90-degree weather in an apartment occupied by cheap college students haha.

  7. Looks gorgeous. I love that you found a way to elevate the cookies into something more unexpected and elegant.

  8. This is super fun. Why just have a cookie when you can have a cookie cake! That’s what I’m talkin’ about. ;)

  9. I am sitting at my desk sweating. We don’t have AC, but I think your ice boy cake would do the job better anyway! It looks amazing!

  10. This is so pretty. I’m curious about serving a slice. Does it maintain the layers?

  11. That cookie-cake looks awesome! I love that idea. I like cake, but I am more of a cookie person.

    I know what ya mean about being different from your family. I ask my mom if I’m adopted all the time! lol

  12. OOOOO it’s so pretty!! How unique! It looks impressive, but I can see where that would be easy to assemble. Ya know, the weather is only started to get into the 80′s where I am so I (and keeps falling back into 60′s and 70′s), so AC is not yet necessary. Actually, I don’t know if we HAVE AC!
    VEGirl

  13. This looks incredibly refreshing and delicious. Melody is always running hot. The poor thing sweats rivers and buckets. I have a fan on in her room, plus a/c in the house, and she will wake up from her nap completely drenched.

  14. Oh Hannah, what a nice treat…love how you put it together, and the lemon custard with coconut milk must taste so yummie!

  15. Nice idea! I love how you can just “take” a piece off the cake and not fuss with utensils and plates. :)

  16. this looks beutiful and i bet it tastes crazy delicious! i think i might be making this sometim soon as it is incredibly hot here in arizona.

  17. That looks so amazing!

  18. I’m always cold and even I have been hot lately…so I can only imagine how you feel!

    This icebox cake looks fantastic. I have to cook a vegan dessert for this school event I’m hosting and this might just be it! It looks so refreshing.

  19. Lemon custard and gingersnaps, oh my! I’ve been avoiding making cookies recently but I think I found an excuse to make some.

  20. Very clever cake! I just bought a cake plate like that at an antique store. And I thought I was buying some unusual.

  21. A stunning creation, dear Hannah!

    I am so going to make these luscious cookies & that coconut milk vaniila silken custard! Yummmmmmmmmmmm,…!!!

    Kisses from brussels!

  22. DANG! I want this SO badly. I wish this was in the icebox when I visited! hehe.

  23. What a gorgeous dessert. Wow.

  24. out of control…. creative, decadent and i’m sure, delicious! cookie and ice cream madness!

  25. You are a genius!! That’s one beautiful and inventive dessert. Love this idea so much!

  26. Love your fun, inventive desserts! This one looks like a dream, and sounds quite manageable!

  27. THIS IS GENIUS! And absolutely perfect for summer parties. I love the flavor combinations and I love what a show stopper it is. I can’t WAIT to make this!

  28. i always love the look of icebox cakes but have yet to make one!! this one looks delicious!

  29. What a great idea, Hannah! Love the presentation, too.

  30. what a great treat, I love the layered look and using cookies instead of cake oh how inventive, i love the wowo factor of this, bookmarked, great job

    sweetlife

  31. Hannah, you always have the most interesting recipe around :)

  32. What an awesome idea. Your creativity impresses me again, Hannah. Living with me would probably drive you crazy in terms of temperature. You see, I run colder than all others most of the time, then I turn into a veritable furnace when I fall asleep! Weird, right?

  33. Looks fantastic–perfect for a big buffet or BBQ celebration. And I’m just like you re: temperatures. I think you need one of those in-window air conditioners for your room alone! :)

  34. That is so clever and brilliant idea. Combining ginger snap and lemon custard. I want some of those.

  35. absolutely gorgeous! that’s too pretty to eat.

  36. OMG YUM!!! It’s gorgeous and sounds delicious! I love ginger snap cookies =D

  37. Delicioso y lindo, muchas gracias.
    Besos.

  38. Love the look of this icebox cake and how you can see all the cookies poking out!

  39. Such a creative idea. And I’m a fanatic for lemon flavored desserts so this is right up my alley.

  40. That looks awesome and delicious! I’m always so impressed with your food styling skills, great job!

  41. Wow, this is stunning, Hannah! I love anything ginger, and you’ve taken it to a whole new level. Yum!

  42. I simply couldn’t leave your site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info a person supply to your visitors? Is going to be again often to check out new posts

  43. I was looking for something for my son’s bday and I stumbled on this. While he says “mommy that is not a cake” this would do for me just fine. Cookies and custard – what could be better!

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