Jennifer Davick / Styling Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling Marian Cooper Cairns
Store-bought cookies make some of the handiest dessert ingredients around. They’d be perfect, I thought, for a few recipe spins on the beloved trifle. All we’d have to do is swap crispy cookies for the softer cake layer usually found in this Southern dessert. Enter Marian Cooper Cairns, Test Kitchen Professional. With pen, paper, and a few favorite cookies to munch on, she and I imagined the creamy filling, fresh fruit, and whipped cream combos to best play up the shape, style, and flavor personality of our chosen cookies. The results? Splurge-worthy cookie trifles we know you’ll want to make for your friends.
Test Kitchen Tips
Bonus: More Tips for “Dreamy, Creamy Cookie Desserts”
Lowest cost: Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle. On-hand ingredients are used in the pudding, cookies usually cost less than $3.50, and bananas are a bargain at less than $1 per pound.
Moderate spending: Clementine-Gingersnap Trifles. Clementines are sometimes sold individually but are most often available in mesh bags or small wooden crates for $4 to $7. Gingersnaps cost just more than $2. Don’t skip the poppy seeds (about $4 a bottle). You’ll like them in this recipe as much as in lemon-poppy seed bread.
Splurge sensation: Triple Chocolate-Cookie Trifle Pie. It would cost double to buy this style of dessert at a bakery. Allow $15 for chocolate and cookies, $4 for whipping cream, and probably $7 for raspberry garnish. To save money on the garnish, buy one container of raspberries instead of two. Use 10 to 12 arranged near outside edge of pie to garnish each piece. Skip the Raspberry Glaze. Serve remaining berries for guests to add to their servings.