Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gingerbread trifle, procrastination and giving thanks

I’ve got a bad case of procrastinator-itis…

I’ve been this way all my life. The only thing that usually gets me going is when it really matters and I’m eight hours away from a deadline that I’ve put off for weeks and start freaking out because I haven’t even started the book I was supposed to read for the report that’s due so I jump in the car to buy the CliffsNotes only to run into my English teacher at the book store with said CliffsNotes in hand. Oh wait...we’re not talking about high school, are we?

Nevertheless, what I know about myself is that if I don’t have a deadline, things don’t tend to get done. Giving myself arbitrary deadlines doesn’t work because I know that there are no consequences to letting them lapse. That puts me in a bit of a pickle with the ol’ blog.  No hard deadlines = one post every six weeks. 

But I do want to blog and I’ve been thinking about it a lot, actually, which is a good sign. And then the other day my dad asked me one simple question that provoked this post:

“So, are you ever going to put anything up on your blog again?” 

This wasn’t the same nagging voice that I hear in my own head. And frankly, I’m pretty sure he was just making conversation since he doesn’t exactly need my blog to keep up with the goings-on around here. But just having the question asked gave me that little kick I needed. And here we are…

November -- the season for giving thanks. I woke up knowing I was going to write a post today about being thankful with an entirely different list in mind. But when I woke up, I could hear the rain falling outside and my plans immediately went out the window. I’m a sucker for rain; could listen to it for hours. So, I’m concentrating on today instead. Lying in bed next to my husband and best friend, listening to that mesmerizing sound of rainfall -- that is what I’m thankful for today. Just this one tiny moment in time…

Gingerbread Trifle with Mascarpone-Amaretto Whipped Cream

Makes 4-6 

2 cups crumbled gingerbread cake (I used Trader Joe’s cake mix)
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons Amaretto
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
sliced almonds

In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine mascarpone, Amaretto and honey on medium speed until smooth. Add heavy cream and whip mixture on high until peak form. Spoon whipped cream into a pastry bag.
In small glasses, layer about half the gingerbread cake crumbs, pressing down slightly. Pipe whipped cream over the top of the cake, sprinkle with sliced almonds. Add another layer of gingerbread cake using remaining crumbles. Press down slightly. Pipe final layer of whipped cream over the cake. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. (There may be whipped cream left over, depending on size of glasses.)
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Can be made ahead several hours or even overnight.

Simple, ridiculously good, and you get away with using boxed cake mix. What more could you want in a holiday dessert?

A warning: If you make these miniature versions like I did, you may find yourself eating more than one at a time. There’s a possibility you’ll eat three at a time. Not that I know from experience.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. These look amazing! This would be a great dessert for a Christmas party!!

  2. Dear Karen.
    Visual maravilhoso! Yummy, Yummy!

  3. Those look delicious and tasty!! Can you tell me where you got the glass trifle cups?

    1. I bought them at Bed Bath & Beyond as part of a set. Here's the link:

  4. i'm all about the trifles and eating gingerbread year round!

  5. Can 100% pure Mexican vanilla be substituted for the amaretto?

    1. Aaron - 2 tablespoons of the pure vanilla might be a little much here since the amaretto is pretty light. You might just want to start off with a small amount and add to the whipped cream to get the taste you like.

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  9. I did it for Christmas dinner; it was fantastic! I modified it by doubling the pudding mass and adding nutmeg and cinnamon to the whipped cream. Besides, I couldn't find the gingerbread mix so I used the spiced dough. I made it for a family reunion this weekend. Everyone swallowed it. The only thing I will change the next time I do this is skip the cranberries. They don't do anything for this dish. I'll do it again

    See more recipe at empires and allies free page

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