Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - Celebrate with a Zebra Ice Box Cake!

First celebrate with a perfect gin martini and a quick review of 2010.  What a great year!  Family life was wonderful, loving every minute of being home with my little toddlers.  Older women stop me in the grocery store all the time to tell me to treasure these moments.  It is no wonder, my boys are 1 and 3 years old, life is pure magic and a riot a minute.  I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to stay home from work to treasure these moments.  When family life is great, all other parts of life are easy to handle, so no complaints from 2010.

2010 Accomplishments:  I started this fun little blog and won 2 recipe contests.

My blog has been a great outlet and opportunity to flex my creative muscles.  I am still shocked that I have won any contests.  I was an alternate in the OceanSpray NE Tailgate Contest  and a finalist in What Does Vlasic Do for You? Contest.  I have big plans to expand my blog, win more contests and hopefully grow my blog audience in 2011.  Stay tuned for the good times in the New Year!  And now to that cake I promised.

This is the simplest cake you will ever make!  Some call it an Ice Box Cake, my family called it the Zebra Cake because of the pretty zebra stripes when you cut it.  I am not sure the history of this cake, if it has regional roots or anything, but it has been a family favorite of ours for generations.  I am suspicious it has some regional popularity as it is hard to find the cookies in certain parts of the country, like Texas.  Both of my grandmothers made this cake often and they both spent their child rearing years in Illinois.  I am not sure if this is a mid-west thing or just something that was popular in my grandmothers generation.  If you are familiar with this cake, share a comment on it's history in your family or region if you know it.  I whipped one up for New Years Eve for my hubby and I.  Simple perfection!

Zebra Ice Box Cake
Source: Nabisco

2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 9oz package of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers

Beat the whipping cream and vanilla with an electric mixer till it forms stiff peaks.  Spread a long strip of whipped cream on the cake plate in a long line.  Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of whipped cream on one wafer, stack another wafer on top, spread with whipped cream, stack a wafer, repeat with 5-6 wafers then place the stack long ways on the whipped cream on the cake plate.  Repeat this process until you have a log of wafers and whipped cream.  Ice the entire log with remaining whipped cream.  Top with cherries if you like.  Refrigerate the cookie log for 4 hours or over night.  Slice on a diagonal to create beautiful zebra striped pieces of cake.

Variations:  My dad has made rows next to rows to create large cakes.  He even used food coloring once to create a pink pig.  I made stacks last year to create shamrocks for St. Patrick's day.  Food coloring and creative stacking adds endless possibilities!

Ingredients:  There they are.  So simple.  Look closely at the cookie package, you must buy this exact brand. Even in the stores that carry the wafers there are usually only a few boxes, so look closely in the cookie isle to find them.

Whip/cookie/whip/cookie/whip/cookie.... you get it.  Stack them up!

The log pre-icing.  You can be messy with the cookie stacking as it all gets covered up.  This box of cookies was damaged in my grocery cart by a certain 3 year old boy so almost all of the cookies were split in 2.  I just forced them together with the whipped cream and it all worked out.


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