Recipe by Kate Wood
Can you just feel the excitement? Surely it's not just me. At our house, the tree is up and our stockings are hung. I've already made an unnecessary amount of Christmas cookies and my kitchen smells like a cinnamon stick/ fir tree hybrid. My Christmas socks are back in rotation, and I'm about one Mariah Carey song away from my husband refusing to ride in the car with me anymore. Surely this holiday cheer isn't reserved just for me- IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!
Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake
For the cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup hot cocoa mix
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the icebox cake:
16 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pound of peppermint bark, finely chopped.
To prepare the cookies:
Beat together the butter and sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour, hot cocoa mix, salt, and baking powder. Stir on low until well combined.
On a clean surface, pat the dough out into a flat, round disk. Allow to chill in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a clean surface with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder, roll out the dough until 1/8” thick. If the dough feels too sticky, allow to chill a bit more in the fridge or add more cocoa powder to your surface or rolling pin. Cut 2-1/2" round cookies out of the dough with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Place 1-1/2" apart on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven about 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature prior to using in the icebox cake.
To prepare the icebox cake:
Add the mascarpone cheese, cream, sugar, and extract to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low for a minute to combine and then slowly increase the speed, whipping just until stiff peaks form.
Prepare an 9" springform pan by spreading 3 tablespoons of cream on the bottom of the pan. To begin forming your cake, arrange one layer of cookies over top of the cream, breaking the cookies as needed to fill in large gaps. Spread 1/5 of the cream (a heaping 3/4 cup the mixture) evenly over top of the cookies. Sprinkle a small handful (approximately 1/5) of the peppermint bark over top of the cream. Repeat this process 3 more times, stacking layers of cookie, cream, and bark.
Add one final layer of cookies and the remaining cream to the top of the cake, smoothing out the top until flat and even. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 12 hours, to allow the cookies to soften and the flavors to blend together.
When ready to eat, decorate with any remaining peppermint bark, or even Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Snow. Slice and serve chilled.
For a taller cake, use a smaller (7"-8") springform pan, lining the sides with a tall sheet of acetate which will serve as extended sides to the pan. You'll end up making about 6 layers of cake using this method.
In a pinch, store bought chocolate wafers can be used instead of the cookies. You'll need approximately 18 ounces of wafers.
*This post is sponsored by William-Sonoma and Feedfeed, but as always, all opinions are my own.