Guess what guys……….do you know what tomorrow is for the blog?
Okay yeah, so I probably shouldn’t have put it in the post title if I wanted that to be more than a rhetorical question, but now you obviously know Gringalicious is turning 2!
It’s so sureal for me that it’s already been that long. I actually don’t count the first few months in my own mind because I spent them just triying to get through setting it up and figuring out what I was doing. I didn’t really start blogging until about May or June and even then it was a work in progress. Oh my gosh, there are so many embarassing posts from those days. Between my terrible point-and-shoot food photography that probably had you wondering what you were even looking at, my complete lack of styling skills whatsoever, and the posts that say so many stupid things it makes me want to go out back and dig an ostrich hole to hide my head in (this part hasn’t improved much), I can’t believe you any of you have stuck around.
I will say that I’m majorly excited to see what year three will bring. There are so many things that I want change and start doing, like videos for example, but things keep keeping really busy. I’m hoping to find the time, or make it if I have to, to do some updates and changes. We’ll just all have to wait and see because a for where I’ll be in another year, well, your guess is as good as mine.
We’ve all been joking about how Liv just celebrated her baby’s birthday (by the way, did you see Ryder’s cake?) and now I’m celebrating my baby’s birthday. Fine, so it’s not exactly the same level of celebration but this blog has become a huge part of my, and even my whole fam’s, life. I felt it at least called for a cake, but then I realized I’ve had a lot of cake going on recently so I wanted to do something different. That’s when I remembered how much I’ve been wanting to make a cookie cake. Did you know that’s a thing! If I’ve ever been confident in telling you that you have to try something, this is one of those times! Seriously, this one goes up near the top of my greatest hit list and I want to share it with the world. Plates were licked clean and tears were nearly shed when it was gone.
So, the only thing that I wasn’t really happy with about this extravagance was its appearance. Not that it doesn’t look delicious, but I just know it could have been so much prettier if I had had the time to do it over again. I mean, of course I could have scrapped the first photo shoot and done a second one, but I wouldn’t have had it done in time to share with you today and it just had to be today because it’s definitely a weekend kind of recipe and my blogiversery is tomorrow. Even with the imperfections though, that I’m hoping are easier for you to overlook than for me, I think it’s still one of the yummiest looking creations ever (if I do say so myself).
Even after it was cut and becoming a lopsided mess it looked delicious. I’m not gonna lie, when I started cutting into it I totally felt like the green fairy from Sleeping Beauty. The cookies are denser and heavier than cake and the marshmallow frosting is softer than your average buttercream so it all started to just lean and slide. The good thing is that once you get to the cutting part you won’t care what it looks like because it disappears.
I knew it would be loved, but this thing was an even bigger hit than I had hoped. I’ve already promised to make it again so as to avoid full on depression complexes for those most heavily mourning the loss of the first one. You’ve just got to do it!
8-layer S'mores Cookie Cake!!! (Vegan)
- 1 cup 2 sticks Miyoko's "butter" or any dairy free butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup coconut cream **see note
- 1/4 cup applesauce or pumpkin puree
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cup flour
- 3 cups graham cracker or cookie crumbs finely ground *see note (I used graham crackers from this recipe
- 1 1/2 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1 cup aquafaba liquid from a can of garbanzo beans
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
Milk Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 1/2 cups 200g vegan "milk" chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, plus more for topping is if desired
- 1/2 cup coconut cream **see note
- 3 tablespoons Miyoko's "butter" or any dairy free butter cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Cream butter and sugars together in bowl of stand mixer (or with hand mixer). Scrape sides of bowl and add coconut cream and applesauce; beat until well combined. Add vanilla, soda, powder, and salt. Add flour one cup at a time and beat after each addition but just until combined. (If you are using a hand mixer you may have to hand stir the last cup of flour into the dough.) Stir in chocolate and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or sil-pads. Form dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface and cut into 8 equal portions. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten into 6 inch circles. Place them at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets so they have plenty of room to spread (if you don't have enough pans bake in batches if necessary). Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown on edges. Remove from oven to cool completely while making frosting.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, start beating the aquafaba and cream of tartar on medium speed and increase speed a little after every minute for about 5 minutes until soft peaks form. Now add the sugar, vanilla, almond, and salt and beat on high until stiff peaks form. At this point it should be very stiff and hold its shape well.
Milk Chocolate Ganache:
Combine the milk chocolate, coconut cream, and butter in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir until evenly melted then remove from heat and add powdered sugar.
Spread each cookie with ganache and then marshmallow frosting, leaving one without the frosting for the top. Gently stack the cookies on top of each other and pour any remaining ganache on top. Scrape the remaining frosting on top and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips if desired.
Serve as soon as possible.
*If you are vegan and prefer to not make your own graham crackers you can replace the crumbs in this recipe with a number of lightly sweet cookies or crackers from the store. I think Nabisco makes grahams without honey but Speculoos and Biscoff Speculoos cookies, animal crackers, cinnamon teddy grahams, and Girl Scout's Thanks-a-lots are all vegan. Double check to make sure though.
**If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.