One of my fave show-stopper desserts is a Cookies & Cream Trifle. I make it for parties, showers (like my friend Stacie's baby shower above) and for holiday desserts. At this time of year, our local Trader Joe's sells "Mint Joe-Joe's," which are chocolate sandwich cookies with a mint cream filling. Think chocolate meets candy cane in a delectable cookie. They help transform the Cookies & Cream Trifle into a Mint Holiday Trifle.
Warning: This recipe includes many specialty items that are already prepared. If you don't live near a Trader Joe's store, you might need to check on other alternatives. I'm happy to help with ideas. Leave a comment.
-1 pint organic whipping cream
-1 tablespoon raw organic sugar or honey
-2 packages instant chocolate pudding mix (Trader Joe's brand skips all the preservatives and other junk. I have also made my own chocolate pudding, which is very simple to make if you have time.)
-4 cups raw milk, divided
-1 package cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
-2 boxes ladyfingers cookies (Trader Joe's sells a soft version but you can get these at other Italian specialty stores as well.)
-1 box Mint Joe-Joe's cookies (or other chocolate sandwich cookies like Oreos)
1. Pour whipping cream into mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Blend in sugar/honey while the cream is beating. Set aside.
2. Place the 2 packages of chocolate pudding and 3 cups of milk in the mixing bowl and blend until pudding thickens. Add cream cheese and blend in. Set aside.
3. Place chocolate cookies in a large ziplock bag and use a mallet to crush. (You could also use a food processor but you want to make sure the cookies stay coarse, not emulsified.) Set aside.
4. Begin assembly of trifle. In the bottom of your trifle bowl, arrange a layer of ladyfinger cookies. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of remaining milk. Spread about 1/4 of the pudding mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Spread about 1/4 of the whipped cream over the pudding. Top with 1/4 of the crushed chocolate cookies.
5. Repeat these layers three more times and finish with the crushed chocolate cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
**Sometimes I garnish with chocolate shavings or a chocolate-dipped strawberry to really add pizzazz. I also have made a kids' version with gummy worms between layers for a garden dessert.