I am going through some weird kind of retro, old-school new england/southern comfort thing lately. I think it's that my nostalgia for last year has reached crazy fantasy level, the same kind of nostalgia I feel for times and places I have never been ("Utah", please listen to Act 1 if you haven't), even though at the time it didn't seem all that great at all. But now all I can think about is driving my handsome convertible to the ice cream stand on Long Island Sound and watching seagulls eat french fries and watching people on their yachts. And even though my life right now is pretty awesome and filled with performance art and icebox cakes, I can't scratch this itch for an imaginary manic pixie dream girl summer of empire-waisted sundresses and bbq and pimms cups.
I was really surprised that people hadn't had or heard of icebox cake before. I want to say that my grandmother used to make it but honestly I have no idea. I know my mom has been making it whenever we come home for the last few years now, and it is awesome. The chocolate version, made with these:
tastes oddly like coconut, in a really great way. The basic premise is that the cookies get soft and cake-like and everything is much more magical than the sum of its parts. Just try it. Last week I made a fruity version with graham crackers and it was (kind of to my surprise!) equally as awesome as the chocolate version and way easier than making biscuits for shortcake. I made the strawberries into a compote because that's what a classy lady on the internet told me to do, but you probably don't even have to do that, you could just slice them and throw them in.
A container of strawberries, hulled (and sliced)
1/2 cup sugar
Get the sugar and juice and the berries a cookin' on medium-low as you soon as you start slicing strawberries. Throw them in the pot as you go, so that some of the intact after letting it bubble for awhile, like 10 minutes. This isn't rocket science, so taste it and see if it needs more sugar or lemon or to cook longer.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ICEBOX CAKE
+strawberry compote, or a bunch of chopped strawberries
+a box of graham crackers
+2 cups of cream worth of whipped cream, sweetened to taste
In a casserole dish or cake pan, spread a thin layer of whipped cream, then a layer of graham crackers. Then a layer of whipped cream AND strawberries. Then graham crackers. Yeah, you get it. End with a layer of whipped cream. Let it chill in the fridge overnight, then dig in.