TGIF my friends! Who needs something chocolate????
So we all know that “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”……but second to that is creating decadent and festive treats to share!
Clearly I have a thing right now for taking photos with around the Christmas tree. It’s just the best background, don’t you think? Well I think it is anyway.
I don’t know about you but personally my favorite desserts involve different flavors and textures mixed together to create something epic, preferably served with a spoon! These trifles fit that criteria and go above and beyond it by looking super Christmasy.
We recently got some knew glasses to add to our kitchen and immediately upon seeing them I knew they were destined to be trifle cups. So you guys have my mom to thank for these because she’s the one who got the cups.
Alright, so tell me, have you made cut-out cookies of any kind this season? I’m not gonna lie, I don’t make them as much as I’d like to because I always think about how much easier it is to not make the mess all over the counter-top and just make cookies that can be rolled into balls and baked. For these trifles though, they needed to have gingerbread men so I sot over my laziness and just went for a new cut-out cookie recipe.
I have a few versions of gingerbread cookies that I make every year but for these I wanted them to be both soft and chewy, yet hold their shape and none of my recipes work for that. That’s why I decided to create a cross between two recipes that I use a lot and I’m really happy with how they turned out. You can still make cut-outs that hold their shape fairly well, but also very chewy and soft, unlike most cut-out cookies. They are just what your holiday season needs and you have to admit they look super cute on the cups.
Actually, these trifles, the whole package deal, that’s what you need. Oh and I should note that I made these pretty big for photo-value because that’s what you do when your a food photographer needing the perfectly layered trifle. You can decide how big to make them or make them sharing size.
Have a great weekend, guys!
Want to dive into layers of yummy happiness? These festive trifles are the perfect dessert to serve during the holiday season combining all the flavors of vanilla, gingerbread, chocolate, and cheesecake!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 (8-ounce package) cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
- 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- chocolate chips or chocolate shavings for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Beat butter and sugar together until creamed. Mix in egg and molasses until combined then add salt, vanilla, soda, spices and flour; mix well.
- Scrape the dough out of bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a ball and flatten into a disc then place it on a large plate and cover with plastic wrap to seal. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or freezer fr 10) to make it easier to work with.
- Once cold, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a layer about 1/2 inch thick. Use a sharp knife or cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. (For an easier option you can skip rolling them out and simply form the dough into 1 inch balls for round cookies. Another easy option is to form the dough into a, 2- inch in diameter log, and chill until hard enough to slice and bake.) Place cookies about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until very lightly browned on edges. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
- Melt chocolate using a double-boiler (alternatively you can use a microwave safe bowl and microwave it in 30 second intervals) until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the cold whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and again whip until fluffy for about 30 seconds. Scrape the whipped cream into a second bowl and set aside.
- Add the softened cream cheese to the mixing bowl (no need to wash) and beat on medium speed until smooth. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate followed by the vanilla. Finally, add the powdered sugar until it all comes together. Now fold in about half of the whipped cream until completely incorporated. You should have a fluffy chocolate mousse now.
- For picture perfect trifles you can fill 2 piping bags fitted with large tips to fill small dessert cups or simply spoon it in for a faster option. Layer the cheesecake mousse, gingerbread cookies (crumbled), and reserved whipped cream and top with additional whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
- For best results, refrigerate until set (about 2 hours) and serve chilled
If serving to a group, this recipe can also be layered in a large trifle dish.