Did your mom ever make the classic Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer icebox cake? Both my husband and I have childhood memories of it. The recipe dates all the way back to the 1920s, soon after the cookies first came out. Somebody discovered that if you stacked the the thin chocolate wafers with layers of sweetened whipped cream in between, and then refrigerated them, the cream seeps into the cookies and results in an ice cold creamy cake. It’s been a summer staple ever since. I took the concept and ran with it. I used instant espresso, Kahlua, whipped cream and dark chocolate, along with the classic wafer cookies, to make a quick faux Icebox Tiramisu.
Ice Box Tiramisu
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 tsp confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
- Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping until it’s firm and holds it’s shape.
1/2 cup cold instant espresso (or brewed espresso, or very strong coffee)
2 Tbsp Kahlua
- Mix together the espresso and kahlua and set aside.
16 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies
1 square (1 oz) semi sweet chocolate
- Take four glasses or small dessert bowls and layer one cookie at the bottom of each. Spoon 2 tsp of the espresso mixture on top, spreading it around so the entire cookie gets soaked.
- Grate a layer of chocolate over the top of the cookie, using a microplane or small grater.
- Put a dessert spoon full of cream on top of the cookie and chocolate. Take another cookie and lay it on top of the cream, pressing down slightly to spread the cream out. Continue layering until you have 4 layers, ending with whipped cream and a final sprinkling of chocolate.
- Cover loosely and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two, to get really cold.
Notes: The layers held up really well in these, I think because the wafers were first soaked in the coffee/Kahlua mixture, and then topped with a barrier of grated chocolate, so the whipped cream stayed in a thin, clean layer instead of being absorbed by the cookie.
I made individual desserts in pretty vintage glasses I got at a thrift store. Thrift stores are full of these kinds of old glassware and they’re perfect for this, but you can play around with whatever glasses you have, and see what works.
These were amazing. All the flavors of tiramisu, very elegant looking, with very little effort involved. I kept the serving size small, so they’re refreshing and not too heavy or caloric. I’m already planning some different versions; you’d be surprised how many kinds of thin wafer style cookies are out there if you keep an eye out for them. One of my grocery stores even has their own store brand.
Craving still more tiramisu? Try my SLAB TIRAMISU