Cookies & Cream Icebox Cheesecake

“Something this good shouldn’t be so easy to make,” Charlotte tells me, referring to this stupidly delicious looking icebox cake. “You cannot screw this up. As long as there is cream cheese filling and cookies, anything else can happen and it won’t matter,” she goes on to say, implying you can switch up the type of cookies and nobody will really give a good goddamn as long as it tastes like sugary sweet magical goodness.

 

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It makes sense that the icebox (or refrigerated) cake is derived from the trifle and, of course, the charlotte. Introduced during WW1, the icebox cake was huge during the 20s and 30s – although, back then, many used shortcuts and premade ingredients. Oh wait. We still do. The cake is generally left overnight in the fridge so the cookies absorb the cream, creating a dense, sliceable cake.

This is a ‘wow’ cake, meaning any person who sees, smells, eats or gets their hands on this cake will exclaim ‘wow’ within a matter of seconds. Great for parties – all parties ..kids’ birthday parties, grown-ups’ birthday parties, dinner parties, holiday parties, Superbowl parties – this cake has that wow factor that will leave a lasting memory for many moons to come. But, you don’t need no stinking party to make this icebox cake. Tuesdays work great as do Saturday nights.

She also explains that “the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets — the cookies soften and become one with the filling.” But, that seems laughable to me because I can’t really see this cake lasting more than a day. Even just for a party of one.

“It’s out of control,” says Charlotte, who, with that statement, is obviously the smartest of all my friends.

 

Cookies & Cream Icebox Cheesecake
Recipe and photo by Charlotte Abrams
serves a lot of people

50 chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos), divided
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form; refrigerate. Crush 22 cookies into fine crumbs, set aside. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with plastic wrap, leaving quite a bit of excess hanging over edges. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugar until incorporated, then add vanilla. Beat until creamy and sugar dissolves. Fold in chilled whipped cream.

Line bottom of cake pan with 10 cookies in a circle and four in the center. Carefully spoon 1/2 of the filling on top of the cookies. Smooth out in an even layer, being careful not to disturb them. (This will be the top, so you want it to look good.) Top with another layer of cookies and the remaining filling. Lightly tap on counter to settle the layers. Gently press half of the crushed cookies on top, this will be the crust. Cover with excess plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from fridge, uncover and invert on serving plate. Carefully remove plastic wrap. Press remaining cookie crumbs evenly onto sides. Refrigerate until ready to serve.