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!