Easy as pie, and decadently delicious – you really need to try these. The adults in your life with thank you, I promise.
Growing up in an Italian family, we learned early on that a touch of grappa enhances just about any dessert. That’s what my mother taught me. And mothers are always right, right?
She always added a splash of this strong liquor to her homemade Gubana, the classic Northern Italian cake she made for special occasions. Another splash in the tiramisu. And if dessert was served after a big dinner, the men around the table would douse their serving with a shot from the grappa bottle that was always handy.
Who am I to mess with tradition? So when it came time to update my recipe for Little Icebox Cakes, I pulled out my trusty grappa bottle. This particular bottle comes from my dad, like many of the delicious things in my life. He says it’s good quality, and he knows his grappa. So I suggest if you’re going to try this for yourself, and you want the best results, make sure you get the good stuff. Ask your trusty liquor store expert for a recommendation. Or any handy old Italian man you find.
I often like to make Little Icebox Cakes when I need something delicious and quick that still feels special. You can throw these together in no time at all, and the best part is – no baking required! Read the instructions here for my original all-ages recipe. And if you want to make an adult-only version, here’s all you need to know.
The secret ingredient, besides the grappa, is Mr. Christie’s Chocolate Wafers. Normally, I like to bake from scratch, but these are perfect when you need a fast, no-bake dessert. The deep chocolate flavour is delicious. And it goes perfectly with grappa!
The recipe is simple: all you do is layer the cookies with fresh whipped cream, and frost with whipped cream. I add peanut butter to one layer, since we are fans in this family. I stacked the cookies 5 high. And in this adult version, I gave 2 of the cookies a quick dip in a shallow bowl of grappa, old-school style! This just gives you a hint of flavour, without overwhelming the taste. And make a few without the grappa for the under-19 crowd while you’re at it.
Allow the cakes to rest in the fridge for about 8 hours, or as long as you can stand to wait. They will soften up, and you’ll have delicious mini-cakes with a grappa twist. I’m sure my parents would approve.