Monday, December 12, 2011

White Chocolate, Gingersnap, and Pumpkin Parfait

So, if you are like me, and tend to get a little over-zealous about your baking this time of year, there is a big possibility that you, like me, have an extra can or two of pumpkin hanging around your pantry. Or perhaps you just have part of a can lingering in your fridge, waiting for him to grow a beard so you can justify throwing him out.
If that's the case, this recipe is perfect for you. In light of the absurd amount of holiday parties you are forced to show your face at for political, family, religious, and business purposes, and the endless gift exchanges and potlucks, this will take one load off your mind. It is a cinch to prepare, and it is assembly only. No cooking required, which means there is no cooling period. It is a parfait, so you can serve it right out of the dish you prepare it in by simply adding a spoon.
It is a crowd pleasure, and a pleasant deviation from the usual party fare. It is light, you can stash any leftovers in the fridge and divvy them out over the next few days.
I adapted this from a recipe from the Food Network Magazine and I have been quite happy with it. I doubled it and prepared it in a 9x13 instead of individual parfait glasses and increased the cookie crust bottom. I decreased the sugar just a bit because it is a very sweet dessert.

If you are pressed for time or don't want to spend the extra time or money on freshly whipped cream, I supposed you could substitute and equal amount of prepared whipped topping, but I would reduce the sugar by half and add more to taste.

White Chocolate, Gingersnap, and Pumpkin Parfait

35 gingersnaps
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 cups cold heavy cream

Put 28 cookies in a resealable plastic bag and crush into crumbs with a rolling pin (or just put them in the food processor and pulse). Pour melted butter and most of the cookie crumbs (reserve about 1/4 cup to sprinkle on the top later) into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Combine and press into the bottom and sides to make a crust. Place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
In a large bowl combine 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, the pumpkin, 3 teaspoons of vanilla, and the nutmeg and whisk until smooth.
Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 10 second increments, stirring each time until the white chocolate has melted. Whisk into the pumpkin mixture until combined.
In a medium bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream with a mixer until soft peaks form, fold into the pumpkin mixture and pour into chilled pan and return to the refrigerator. In the same bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of cream, 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla until soft peaks form. Top the pumpkin cream with the whipped cream and sprinkle on the reserved gingersnap crumbs. Break the remaining 7 gingersnap cookies in half and decorate the top. Enjoy!
(you could also substitute chocolate grahams for the gingersnaps for a different take on this dessert)

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