Hi all! Back again from yet another hiatus. But I have a good excuse this time! In addition to the chaos and craziness that is raising two small children, my 10 year old laptop died. Yep, 10 years old. That's like, a million years in computer age. It was so old and crappy it would have made a dial-up modem look fast. The "g" key didn't work so I had to cut and paste a "g" every time I typed one. That is a serious pain in the ass for someone with a vegan blog. But I'm back up and running now! My wonderful husband got me a new computer for my birthday with a great big beautiful screen and now I am doing a happy dance and so inspired and motivated to get back to blogging with regularity. Look at all those g's I just typed! Without cutting and pasting a single one! You have no idea how happy it makes me.
So, something else that starts with G (I am watching way too much Sesame Street these days) is Gingersnap! 'Tis the season for gingersnap cookies, one of my favorites among all the cookies. I found this recipe for a Gingersnap-Mango Icebox Cake in Food Network Magazine, which yes, I do buy occasionally, so don't judge. It captured my attention with the combination of tropical coconut and mango, which of course pair wonderfully with spicy ginger, and I immediately wanted to veganize it. It seemed like a perfect holiday dessert, with a fresh tropical twist. The original recipe make a long, log-shaped "cake," but I thought it would be just as easy and even prettier to make these parfait-style, which is what I did.
This recipe also caught my attention because it gave me a perfect use for one of the best new vegan products I've tried in a long time, which is So Delicious' new CocoWhip Coconut Whipped Topping. This stuff is amazing! I have a really, really hard time not just eating it out of the container with a spoon. It's like Cool Whip except a million, trillion times better. It definitely does have a light coconut flavor though, which I love, but if you're not a coconut fan, or if coconut somehow doesn't go with the other flavors in your recipe, then consider yourself warned. And yes, there are a million recipes out there to make your own coconut whipped topping, like this one, and while it is great to make your own, sometimes you forget to put a can in the refrigerator to chill overnight or sometimes you don't have time to whip up your own because your toddler is busy destroying something/trying to strangle his baby sister, and you just want to open up a giant tub of the stuff and
So back to icebox cakes. If you are not familiar, icebox cakes are generally made with alternating layers of cookies and whipped cream, then refrigerated overnight (i.e. put in the icebox) so that the cookies soften and become cake-like. Generally these are perfect summer desserts when it's too hot to turn on the oven, but this particular recipe includes gingersnaps, which are more ubiquitous around the winter holidays. It couldn't be any easier to make, so easy in fact that it barely warrants a recipe, but the only hard part is waiting several hours before you can eat it. Trust me, it is so worth the wait. These were so easy and so delicious (ha, see what I did there?) that this will definitely be one of my go-to desserts now. A very good thing.
So this recipe is just a general guideline, how I made my version. Obviously, the amounts will vary if you use different sized cookies, or different sized serving glasses, etc. Basically, just layer the whipped cream topping and the cookies, then top with the toasted coconut and mango, per instructions below. Easy peasy.
Gingersnap-Mango-Coconut Icebox Cake
adapted from this recipe
1 9-oz container So Delicious CocoWhip Coconut Whipped Topping
1 9-oz box of Back to Nature Triple Ginger Cookies*
1/2 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes
1 ripe mango
juice from 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1. Spread about 1 Tbsp. of CocoWhip on the bottom of each serving glass. Make a layer of cookies, then spread a layer of CocoWhip, and repeat, until your glass is nearly full, leaving room at the top for the coconut and mango topping (I used about 6-8 cookies per glass). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread the coconut flakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake about 5 minutes, until just barely golden. Let cool completely.
3. Peel, pit and dice the mango. Toss with lime juice, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of each serving glass, then top with mango. Enjoy.
*Obviously, use whatever brand of vegan gingersnap cookie you prefer, or that you can find, but I really love these cookies because of the extra-gingery kick and the chunks of crystallized ginger in them.