Right now I’m feeling pretty ambitious. I have volunteered to make a fancy schmancy Christmas Eve brunch for 10 friends, and I’m convinced I can squeeze in a 6-mile run before the praline french toast casserole needs to come out of the oven. My mom has requested my homemade baklava for Christmas dessert, but I offered to throw in an eggnog tiramisu trifle too–just for good measure.
Every year at Christmas I also put together a gift basket of home-baked goods for Novin’s family, because their idea of gourmet dessert is a red velvet cake from WALMART. One time they bought a cake from a budget grocery store, and I literally had to spit the cake out–into the garbage–because it tasted like dirt. Yes, dirt. From the ground. Don’t tell me that “earthy” taste was from the cocoa beans…I won’t buy it. How could one go through life like that? Dessert is supposed to be an indulgence, and Christmas is not the time to suffer through a bad dessert. Another time, I baked a beautiful carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, gloriously displayed on my grandmother’s glass cake stand…and Novin’s mom asked what store I bought it from. Bless her heart.
Because I want them to enjoy a variety of ‘actual’ desserts, I decided to make them cardamom pistachio dark chocolate bark, apricot cookie bars, upside-down pear cake and mini pecan pie tarts. Ummmm? Can there be 30 hours in a day please? I’m making stuffed portabellas for dinner for a friend tonight, so maybe I can put her to work.
I’ll let you know how this ambition plays out…but for now, here’s the recipe for my eggnog tiramisu trifle. It’s suuuper easy but is so beautiful it looks complicated. No baking required. It’s sure to impress your Christmas guests!
Wish me luck!
This recipe makes enough to feed a party (20-30), so if you want to feed a smaller crowd, cut the ingredients in half.
2 boxes of vanilla wafers
2 packages cream cheese, softened (I used light cream cheese so it wasn’t too rich)
2 8 oz. containers of cool whip (use light or fat free if you’d like)
1 to 1 1/2 cups prepared coffee (I used instant)
4 boxes vanilla pudding (3.4 oz each box)
6 cups eggnog (I used low fat)
about 1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee candy or almond roca, broken up into crumbles (optional but strongly recommended)
Using a blender or food processor, grind up chocolate chips into almost a powder.
In a mixer, blend together the cream cheese, cool whip, pudding and eggnog.
Layer the bottom of a trifle dish or large glass bowl with vanilla wafers.
Sprinkle with some of the coffee (just enough so each cookie is moistened but not drowning). Top with a layer (roughly 1-2 inches thick) of the pudding mixture.
Sprinkle some chocolate chip powder over pudding. Sprinkle broken up pieces of toffee candy on top of chocolate chip powder.
Repeat layers until your bowl is full, or you run out of ingredients. Make sure the top layer is the pudding mixture, sprinkled with a bunch of chocolate chip powder and toffee candy, for presentation. There is not an exact science to this. The pudding layer can really be as thick or as thin as you want. It all ends up creaming together in the end. Cover the trifle bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight. The cookies will need to soften into a cake-like texture. Once it sits overnight it is ready to serve!