It’s a BIG day.
A big birthday day that is. Someone in this house has a birthday today and it’s not me. And it’s a BIG birthday. A really big one.
Two weeks ago I asked him what kind of dessert he wanted for his birthday. Well, scratch that. Two weeks ago I said, if you could have any dessert in the world, what would it be? Like what is your all-time favorite dessert on the planet?
He looked at me like I was nuts. Apparently not everyone loses their mind over food.
So I was like… okay, forget that. I’m just trying to make something for your birthday (well, your FAKE birthday, like your blog birthday, since I have to make the recipe ahead of time to post ON your birthday, such is life) and wanted to know what your favorite dessert in the universe was?
Perhaps I should know this after five years of marriage. And I actually do know it. But I’m such a scatter-brain, lack-of-decision-making-and-constantly-wanting-the-new-favorite-thing woman that I was hoping for a new answer.
I didn’t get it. But I got close.
He replied with, well I like chocolate chip cookies. Duh. That is no secret. Didn’t he want something a little more, say, indulgent on his birthday? His BIG birthday? My prayers were answered. Next came… but I also really like cheesecake. [Which is a new feat in itself, but that's another story for another day.]
And all I thought of was… chocolate chip cookie cheesecake. YES.
I knew it couldn’t be real cheesecake though, because who has time (I definitely do but like to pretend that I don’t) to do all that water bathing and cheesecake cracking stuff? Plus, I love eating little things out of jars and I knew he’d really want the actual chocolate chip cookies IN his cheesecake. I though they’d taste best if they still had a bit of crunch and were literally just – crushed – into the cheesecake.
They so did.
This is a ridiculously easy (and borderline embarrassing) recipe in which you just whip up some no-bake cheesecake and crumble up chocolate chip cookies. It’s up to you if you want to bake your own or buy them or convince somebody to make you a batch. The little cookies are a makeshift graham-like crust, but with bigger pieces, more texture and lots of flavor.
The parfaits are, in a nutshell, super fun to eat.
I asked the birthday boy what he’s learned in forty years and while it took him a while to think about it, one of his responses was, I don’t need to have meat with every meal when that meal includes brown butter.
I think that sounds about right. HAPPY BDAY EDDIE!
Yield: serves 4
Total Time: 2 to 4 hours
12 chocolate chip cookies
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
whipped cream for topping
In the bowl of your electric mixer, add the cream cheese and mascarpone. Beat on medium speed until the cheeses are mixed and slightly creamy, then drizzle in the condensed milk with the mixer still going. Add in the vanilla extract and beat the mixture until it is creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides if needed.
Take 10 of the chocolate chip cookies and either add them to a food processor or place them in a resealable plastic bag. Pulse (or crush) the cookies into small pieces. You don't want them to be as fine as graham cracker crumbs - but you still want them crumbly. Having some larger pieces in there is okay too. Take a few spoonfuls of the crushed cookies and stir them into the cheesecake mixture. I'd say about 1/4-1/3 cup.
Take 4 (6-ounce) jars and add a tablespoon of two of cookie crumbles to create a "crust." They aren't going to be as solid as graham crusts, but just layer them in there. There is no rhyme or reason to how I layered the parfaits - I simply added some cheesecake layer on top of the bottom crust, did another layer of cookies, another layer of cheesecake, then one more layer of cookies. Place in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours - just until the cheesecake sets. Remove the jars from the fridge and top them with a little whipped cream and extra cookie crumbs. Break apart the remaining cookies and stick the pieces in the whipped cream. Serve!
These actually stay fresh in the fridge for a few days - cover them in plastic wrap and skip the whipped cream until right before serving. The cookies get slightly soft, but they still taste delicious.
[cheesecake layers adapted from my no bake cheesecakes]
Oh and P.S. last night we sat on the couch wearing face masks… to prepare for birthday festivities I guess? Yes, I said we. What is this life?