It feels a bit early for Christmas parties and gift exchanges, especially with the mild temperatures and lack of snow we’ve been experiencing, but regardless, it’s time to get our celebrating on! Plus…its’s a party…’nough said!
Tonight is our annual cousins’ Christmas party. There are three families in this group of cousins and we take turns hosting. Tonight is Tony and Liz’s turn and we’re bringing a couple of desserts to share. We didn’t go all fancy…instead we went with nostalgia as our theme. Nelson made an easy no bake biscuit pudding cake and rice pudding. We’re pretty confident they’re going to enjoy these and I’m willing to bet that as they bite into these, all the adults will recall a memory of their childhood when their mom made these same desserts. Ah, sweet days of old–good times!
Tonight is sure to be a lot of fun–it always is when we get together with this bunch. There’ll be lots of chatter and noise, great food, laughter, wine, and did I mention food? It’s worth mentioning twice. Nelson and I experienced these types of get togethers with our respective families as we were growing up and I love that we’re providing the same experiences for our kids. It makes me so happy to see our kids growing up with and getting along with Nelson’s cousins’ kids. There’s a saying that you can’t choose your family…But I think we struck gold with this bunch.
We may not have all the riches of the world, but thankfully we have food, our health, family and friends…and I think that’s the best kind of wealth to have.
As we start the holiday celebrations, we wish you and yours many happy times together, in good health and with full tummies. Eat well, friends!
- 600g (21 oz) Maria Cookies or Biscuits (set aside 4 cookies)
- 1¼ cups sugar + 4 tbs sugar
- 18 tbs unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 7 tbs high quality cocoa powder
- 1 cup boiling water
- In a medium or large stand mixer bowl, cream the 1¼ cups sugar with the butter on medium high.
- Reduce speed to medium.
- Add one egg yolk at-a-time.
- Add the vanilla.
- Stop the mixer.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks are formed.
- Add the beaten egg whites to the first batter and incorporate well using a spatula. Do not beat.
- In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the remaining 4 tbs of sugar.
- Pour the boiling water over the cocoa mixture and stir until the cocoa and sugar are completely dissolved.
- Let the cocoa mixture cool until you can comfortably touch it with a finger.
- Use a 3 litre (3 quart) baking dish.
- Dip a Maria cookie in the cocoa mixture and place it on a corner of the baking dish.
- Repeat the previous step, placing each cookie right next to the last cookie until you've completed a full layer. You can cut cookies in half or quarters to fill any remaining gaps.
- Now spread a thin layer of the cream mixture over the cookies, making sure to cover all the cookies.
- Keep repeating the two layers. The top layer should be the cream.
- Chop the remaining 3 cookies finely and sprinkle evenly over the top cream layer.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I prefer serving it the next day. Enjoy!