Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dessert From My Blanket Fort: Cookies and Cream

Welcome to another recipe swap!

Every month, I release an original recipe from a vintage cookbook, All Day Singin' And Dinner On The Ground, a junk store find, and we each update and remake it in our own creative ways. This time around, we embraced "Jelly Cake", an old-fashioned layer cake. Our crew is immensely talented and diverse, as you'll see in the interpretations of this humble recipe by:  Dennis, Toni, Sabrina, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Crissy and Lauren, Pola, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Lana, Emily, Krissy and Jaclyn. Visit the swap page for everyone's bios and please visit all of our blogs to let us all know what you think of our inventions!

It happens every summer and throughout the year when I'm feeling overwhelmed with work and life; the pull from the center of my chest towards my place in Burwell. The old library is my adult blanket fort, but with booze, room for ten, my cookbook collection and a new kitchen. The last time I was in residence (a summer ago), I went to the Chokecherry Jamboree in neighboring Sargent, Nebraska, a weekend-long celebration of its namesake, complete with vendors and a Little Miss Chokecherry pageant. Chokecherry bushes are abundant in the Sandhills of Nebraska, producing small, sour, juicy red berries. When I purchased this jelly at the festival, I also purchased two chokecherry bushes and planted them in my yard in Burwell. As soon as next summer I may be harvesting some of my own chokecherries and pairing them with peaches or apricots in pie. For now, 1,500 miles away from my sanctuary on the plains, I have jelly that one Linda Osborn lovingly put up for us to enjoy later. The resulting recipe is like most plains recipes and like the original Jelly Cake recipe; simple and understated, yet can be dressed up for company and served with coffee.
Chokecherry Jelly
Mixed Berries, Cookies and Chokecherry Whipped Cream
Serves: 4

Large short-walled rammekin, about 5" diameter
stainless steel bowl

One package ladyfinger cookies
One pint fresh mixed berries
One pint heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons jelly or jam, your choice, stirred to break up

maple syrup

Rinse and pat dry the berries. In a chilled stainless steel bowl, pour one pint of heavy whipping cream.  Add jelly, and whisk until the cream forms stiff peaks but is still glossy. Take ladyfinger cookies and line the walls of the rammekin with them, using a dollop of cream on the bottom of the rammekin to hold them in place. Once into position, carefully use a spatula or pipe cream in using a plastic bag with the end snipped off until cream reaches just more than 3/4 of the way up the ladyfingers. Smooth, top with berries, and chill the dessert for about an hour to set, reserving leftover berries and cookies to add to individual bowls of berries, cookies and cream.  If you like, drizzle with a little maple syrup and serve with fresh-brewed coffee.


  1. Looks deliciously fabulous :) love the simplicity of the recipe.

  2. Beautiful! I also love the simplicity. And this was such an incredible recipe to swap - thanks!

  3. this is absolutely beautiful! i am so intrigued by the chokecherries you mention in this post; i would so love to try them someday.

    this was a great recipe to play with this month, and i love seeing how each person took it in a different direction. thanks for providing the inspiration, and hooray for the recipe swap!

  4. What a great idea to whip jam into whipping cream....and so glad to hear of a new fruit too! Chokecherry is fun to say!

  5. This dessert is so beautiful and elegant looking with such a soul-satisfying earthy back story. Makes me want to jump in the car and go explore Burwell. It's hook was palpable. Loved where you took this recipe!

  6. What kind of fruit is your chokecherry? I am so intrigued, as I love berries of all kinds:) And I love ladyfingers and Charlotes:)
    Very nice take on jelly - light and refreshing:)
    I am keeping my fingers crossed for a great harvest next year in Burwell:) And I am glad that I am not the only nostalgic and homesick fool around here:)

  7. That is the ultimate whipped cream with berries! I can't believe something so simple can be turned in such a great looking creation!

  8. Oh lady fingers and whipped cream, how much more perfect can you get for a summer dessert? I've never had chokecherries, now I'm very intrigued. And thanks for having me in your swap - first time around has been pretty great and so inspiring.

  9. I love the simplicity of this. (and holy short list of ingredients!) Oftentimes the best things are the simplest, and I love that you embraced simplicity. I also love the tribute to Burwell. Fantastic (as always).

  10. Simply wonderful - a fantastic summer jelly cake rendition!

  11. What a beautiful dish made from the simplest of ingredients; the quintessential summer dessert. I'm from Missouri and your story took me back some years to a similar Midwestern time and place. I can see it all; thanks for the memory.

  12. Came across some bushes in the hills above Mammoth that I thought may have been chokecherries. Do we have those here?

    And I am such a fan of assembled desserts, especially in the summer months! Your photos are beautiful, by the way!!

  13. That is absolutely beautiful.

    I have never heard of a chokecherry before. Might have to google that and see where I can find some.

  14. delicious looking dessert looks wonderful

  15. How fun! What a pretty dessert, too!

  16. I just love this dessert- whipped cream and lady fingers. Like a charlotte. I am totally intrigued by chokecherries too. They sound sour and I'm crazy about sour. I can almost taste them like a faint memory of having them somewhere, but then... it vanishes.

  17. this is the perfect summer dessert, the lady fingers and whipped cream just calls out to me, seems almost southern to me, great job with the swap!


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