RECIPE

An absolutely effortless tiramisu, courtesy of a nostalgic childhood snack

This isn't your grandma's tiramisu. It might just be better

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Published June 6, 2022 5:00PM (EDT)

Teddy graham tiramisu (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Teddy graham tiramisu (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

You don’t need an expensive new piece of equipment, or an obscure ingredient you have to hunt for. You just need a fresh way of preparing an old favorite. In "One Way," we’ll revisit classic ingredients and dishes, giving them a new twist with an easy technique you haven’t tried before.

People have strong feelings about tiramisu, so I won't pretend that what follows here isn't an insult to your grandma. I get it: My building's super makes his famous tiramisu for all the neighbors every year at Christmas, and he would never sign for another one of my packages again if I knew what I've done to his signature dish. But if the thought of a little dessert sacrilege sounds up your alley — sweetened with the promise that there's no baking involved — then follow my lead.

Tiramisu, the classic Italian dessert whose very name means "pick me up," is having a moment. Its popularity surged by nearly 20% in the past year, and it's cropping up all over restaurant menus and TikToks alike. I like tiramisu because it often has caffeine and booze. I'm also completely obsessed with Biscoff cookies, so when I saw that a Biscoff tiramisu was going bonkers on social media — thanks to a Ramadan bump — the decision to make it was a no-brainer.

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Except . . . we appear to be in the throes of a Biscoff shortage. After scouring the shelves of every bodega and grocery store in a five-mile radius with no speculoos success, I could have gone back in the direction of tradition and made my tiramisu with ladyfingers. However, as long as I was already hellbent on desecration, I figured that I might as well go all-in. That's when I reached for a Go-Pak of Teddy Grahams

Though tiramisu is usually assembled in a big pan, I don't believe that you should have to entertain a crowd in order to earn a taste of it. To that end, I've looked to the Pioneer Woman's scaled-down recipe for inspiration. I've also tweaked a few other elements. While mascarpone is traditional (and one of the most delicious things ever invented), I always feel guilty recommending expensive ingredients, so I made my tiramisu with softened cream cheese.


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I also upped the amount of alcohol — you're welcome! — because in my mind tiramisu should be all about the tension between that pillowy soft sweetness and the bracing kicks of coffee and rum. You can throw this together in the morning and have a cool, luscious treat that doesn't take itself too seriously ready to enjoy after dinner. Isn't that the right way to do summer? 

It's true that Teddy Grahams don't pack the same spicy punch as Biscoffs, but they do offer a similarly nostalgic, comforting vibe. Smiling up from the bowl as they deliquesce under a blanket of sweet cream, those honey-spiked Teddies turn out to be somehow exactly the right thing here, like the memory of the best dessert you never actually ate as a child. And while it's possible that I'm a monster, I don't know if I ever want to eat any other tiramisu now that I've had it this way.

***

Recipe: Teddy Grahams Tiramisu for Two
Inspired by Dolce Bakes and Ree Drummond

Yields
2 servings
Prep Time
 20 minutes
Chill Time
 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup cooled espresso or bold coffee
  • 4 teaspoons dark rum or marsala 
  • 1 Teddy Grahams Go-Pak (2.75 ounces) or 8 Biscoff cookies
  • 1 oz. your favorite dark chocolate 

For dusting: 

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional: 

  • 2 tablespoons Biscoff spread

Directions

  1. Beat the cream and sugar in a medium bowl until stiff, then beat in the cream cheese.
  2. In a shallow bowl, stir the espresso and rum to combine.
  3. Working quickly, dip the Teddy Grahams into the espresso and rum mixture, then place them in the bottoms of two dessert glasses, until you've used about half.
  4. If using Biscoff spread, drizzle a tablespoon over the cookies in each glass
  5. Next, scoop a generous spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on top. Grate a shower of chocolate over it. 
  6. Add more espresso and rum-dipped Teddy Grahams to each glass, reserving a few for the topping. Layer the rest of the cream cheese mixture on top.
  7. Using a fine mesh strainer, dust the tops of both glasses with cocoa powder.
  8. Chill for at least two hours to overnight.
  9. To serve, dunk the reserved Teddy Grahams in the tiramisu.

Cook's Notes

Non-drinkers can simply omit the alcohol. 

If you're feeling flush, you can swap the cream cheese out for equal parts mascarpone.

 

More no-bake desserts we love: 

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Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

MORE FROM Mary Elizabeth Williams


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Desserts Food No-bake One Way Recipe Teddy Grahams Tiramisu