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Here’s a fun dessert idea for St. Patty’s Day….Cookies ‘n Irish Cream Cheesecake Pie!
When I was thinking about something to make this year, I knew Baileys Irish Cream would be involved in the process. I made Chocolate Stout Cupcakes a couple of years ago, and one of the things I thought worked so well was the Irish cream filling and topping. I wanted to expand on that idea.
And sometimes, like my Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler, the name I come up with alone will sell me on wanting to develop a recipe. I figured, if we have cookies and cream, why not cookies and Irish cream? It takes a fun and beloved childhood ice cream flavor and gives it a grown up twist.
There’s so many foods I loved as a child that lost their luster when I grew up. I remember loving Spaghettio’s, you know, the little ring shaped pasta sold in a can? I know…pasta in a can :/ It’s a food product that’s light years away from my current food philosophy, but I won’t deny it was a favorite as a kid.
I remember buying a can as a young adult, sometime a million years ago, thinking it would be a little nostalgic. Even at that age I wasn’t prone to heating up my dinner from a can, but I decided to “make” it for dinner one night. Ummm, let’s just say it wasn’t what I remembered. One bite, maybe two just to make sure…and then I was done. I realized that my palate had already been dramatically changed, for the better, mind you. But still, I felt a little sad.
Cookies and cream on the other hand…well, it’s always tasted like an ice cream sandwich to me. And that’s a good thing. I’ve always loved ice cream sandwiches (even though the ice cream filling tastes more like frozen whipped topping than straight up vanilla.) So, I was cool with cookies and cream when it was first “invented” and I’m cool with it now.
Is it still cool to say, “cool?” It can’t be any worse than the over used phrase I’m going to write next…yeah that’s right…I’m taking cookies and cream to “the next level!” ;)
Here’s how this fun treat comes together. We start with a cookie crust, chocolate sandwich cookies, that is. People often ask, do you use the white cream filling in the crust? YES. Yes you do. The WHOLE cookie goes into the crust. Just pulse it in a processor until you have fine crumbs, or throw them in a strong zip top bag and crush them up by hand. That white cream filling simply adds sweetness and disappears into the crumbs.
Add some melted butter and press into a deep dish pie pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then set aside. This is the only layer without Irish cream. Every other element of this dessert will include it.
For the cheescake, I whipped up the standard ingredients with a few extras and added the Irish cream. Then, I roughly chopped up some cookies and folded them into the batter.
Into the pie pan it goes, spread evenly on the par-baked cookie crust. Then it must bake just until the center is almost set. Cool completely, then refrigerate.
I know. It’s hard to wait. Sometimes it’s hard to plan ahead. But if you embrace the time element, then it works nicely into a busy day. Do a couple of steps, then park it in the fridge. Chilling a good 4-6 hours is good, but I usually just let it go overnight. The next day, either I have dessert already done, or I can move on to more decadent additions.
I moved on to more decadence. I thought a layer of Irish cream ganache was in order. It seems like another big step, but ganache is one of the easiest things to make. Make sure you let it cool off a bit so that you’re not pouring hot ganache over cold cheesecake. When it’s ready, go ahead an pour it on.
I swear there’s nothing like a bowlful of shiny ganache forming chocolate ribbons as it flows out of the bowl. I always think of Willy Wonka and wish the chocolate river had looked more like this instead of muddy brown water. Though, I suppose Augustus Gloop would never have made it to the pipe in such a rich, thick concoction :/
I knew I wanted to do whipped Irish cream for the topping, but I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to pipe little mountains on each slice or pipe a whole design and cover the top….I had my piping bag ready and waiting to fill, but decided that a cloud of whipped cream swirls was what I wanted instead.
I then placed 12 cookie halves around the edge of the pie, one for each serving. Visualize the face of a clock and it will help you place them evenly. First the 12 and 6, then the 3 and 9. Then, just fill the other cookies evenly in between. Finally, a shower of white and dark chocolate shavings finished the whole thing off.
This Cookies ‘n Irish Cream Cheesecake Pie has a triple whammy of Baileys Irish Cream but the amounts I used simply gives a nice mild flavor. It doesn’t knock you over the head as a really boozy dessert. The flavor is strongest on day one. It seems to diminish over time.
What if you want a stronger kick? See the recipe notes. You can add more liqueur to each component. Want to go kid friendly? Sure, just omit the Irish cream. See the notes for that as well.
Want to be a little less decadent? Omit the ganache and/or the whipped cream. (Aw, don’t do that. This is one of those splurgey desserts that begs you to go big or stay home ;)
I can’t say this Cookies ‘n Irish Cream Cheesecake Pie brings back many nostalgic memories since I never really left cookies and cream behind. But, I think you’ll agree, the addition of Irish cream is a nice twist for a grown up St. Patrick’s Day celebration. And, it’s pretty safe to say…
it’s a flavor combo I’m not likely to grow out of!
Cookies ‘n Irish Cream Cheesecake Pie
For the crust:
- 24 chocolate sandwich cookies use the whole cookie with the filling
- 5 Tablespoons melted salted butter
For the cheesecake:
- 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese (I use Philadelphia Cream Cheese) room temperature
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream room temperature
- 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream room temperature
- 8 chocolate sandwich cookies roughly chopped
For the ganache:
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces chopped chocolate I used 4 ounces dark chocolate and 2 ounces of milk chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream
For the whipped cream topping:
- about 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream see recipe notes
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream
- 6 chocolate sandwich cookies cut in half
- White chocolate and dark chocolate shavings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the crust. Crush the cookies until they are fine crumbs. I used a food processor, but you can place them in a sturdy zip top bag and crush them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a measuring cup.
Add the melted butter to the crumbs and pulse a few times until the butter is fully combined.(If you didn't use a processor, just mix the crumbs and butter in a bowl.) Press the crumb mixture on the bottom and completely up the sides of a 9" deep dish pie pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Make the cheesecake. Add room temperature cream cheese to a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat for 1 minute until nice and creamy. Add sugar and cornstarch and beat until combined. Add eggs, heavy cream and Baileys and beat for another minute or two. You want a nice, satiny mixture.
Fold in the chopped sandwich cookies. Pour cheesecake batter into pie pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
Make the ganache. Bring corn syrup and cream just to a simmer, then remove from heat, and stir in chopped chocolate until melted and combined. Add Irish cream and vanilla and stir until combined. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool until almost room temperature but still fluid.
Spread ganache evenly over chilled cheesecake. Return to the refrigerator to firm up while you make the whipped cream.
Make the whipped cream. In a chilled bowl whip cream, sugar, vanilla and Irish cream until you have soft peaks. (If you want to pipe it, whip to stiff peaks.)
Spread (or pipe) whipped cream over the top of the chilled ganache. I decided to just swirl it over the top.
Decorate the top with cookie halves and chocolate shavings. Store in refrigerator.
*Buy a pint of heavy whipping cream. After you use what you need for the cheesecake and ganache, you'll use what's remaining for the whipped cream topping.
*I didn't go crazy with stabilizing the whipped cream. I didn't want it to be too thick. I like the lightness. The confectioner's sugar should give it enough stability to last a day in the refrigerator. I generally just lightly sweeten the whipped cream.You can add additional confectioner's sugar, if you wish. This will add more sweetness and because there's cornstarch in the sugar, more stability.
*You can add more chopped cookies to the cheesecake batter if you choose. I wanted to leave room for cheesecake, but you can add a few more cookies if you'd prefer.
*Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to help press your crumbs into the pie pan evenly. It's easier and faster than using your hands. You can use the side edge of the cup to help push the crust into sides and edges of the pan.
*If you want to insure that you don't have lumps in your cheesecake, make sure everything is at room temperature. Adding cold eggs or cold cream to your room temperature cream cheese will solidify bits of it.
*I added a bit of Bailey's to every part of this except the crust. The flavor runs throughout, but is mild due to the amount of Irish cream I used. If you want to make this a boozier dessert, you can add more to any or all parts of the recipe. You could add 2 more Tablespoons to the cheesecake. I might increase the cornstarch by another teaspoon. You could add another 2 Tablespoons to the ganache for a total of 3 Tablespoons. I would reduce cream to 2 ounces if you make that addition. You could also add another Tablespoon or two to the whipped cream.
*Want to go kid friendly? In the cheesecake layer, sub out the Baileys for the same amount of heavy cream. In the ganache layer and whipped topping layer, simply omit it.
*To get a nice clean cut when you're cutting your cookies in half, use a serrated bread knife and gently saw back and forth.
*To help you place the cookie halves evenly, imagine a clockface, then place a cookie half at each number of the clock. I started at 12 and 6, then did 3 and 9 and then filled in the rest of the numbers.
*To get a nice clean cut for your cheesecake, use a sharp, hot knife. I stand my knife in a tall mug of very hot water for a minute or two, then dry it off and cut. I put it back in the heated water as necessary to reheat for multiple cuts. Wipe the knife clean after each cut so that you're not dragging the remnants from your last slice through the slice you are currently cutting.
*If you don't want to cover your cheesecake with whipped cream and simply want a smooth ganache top, pour the ganache on when it's still a little warm and fluid. Then, tilt the pie pan around to get it to spread to the edges. You can even gently shake it to even it out.
*If you want to bake in a convection oven, bake at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until the center is almost set.
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