Eggnog Trifle with Gingersnap Cookies

Ingredients

For the gingersnap cookies

  • 3/4 Cups  unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup  dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup  white granulated sugar, plus more for coating the dough
  • 1/4 Cup  molasses
  •   large egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  baking soda
  •  Pinch of  salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons  ground ginger
  •  Pinch of  cloves

For the eggnog pastry cream

  • 1/2 Cup  eggnog
  •   egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  vanilla extract
  •  Pinch of  salt

For the devil's food cake

  • 1 1/2 Cup  unsalted butter, plus more for the pans
  • 3/4 Cups  Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for the pans
  • 1/2 Cup  boiling water
  • 2 1/4 Cups  sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • 4 s  large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 3 Cups  cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 Teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  salt
  • 1 Cup  milk

Gingersnap cookies layered in with pastry cream lend a pleasant spiced crunch to this classic holiday dessert. Feel free to use store-bought gingersnap cookies for a quick shortcut.

Click here to see Best Recipes Using Cookies.

Directions

For the gingersnap cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, cream the butter, dark brown sugar, and white granulated sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients. Roll the cookies into about 2-inch balls and roll them into sugar. Bake on parchment paper on a cookie sheet until golden brown, about 8-11 minutes.

For the eggnog pastry cream

In a heavy saucepan, bring the eggnog to a boil over medium heat. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and flour. Slowly add the eggnog without scrambling the yolk. Return to the saucepan and slowly bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

When it thickens, whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, and salt until the butter is incorporated. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the devil's food cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Dust the bottoms and sides of the pans with cocoa powder and tap out any excess. Sift the cocoa into a medium-sized bowl, and whisk in the boiling water. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides twice. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition and scraping down the sides twice. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the milk into the cocoa. Add the flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean, 35-45 minutes, rotating the pans for even baking. Transfer the layers to wire racks and let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes, and return to the racks, tops up, until completely cool. Remove the parchment paper from the bottoms of the cakes. Layer in a trifle dish with eggnog pastry cream and gingersnap cookies.

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