Monday, September 28, 2015

17. Piña Colada Cheesecake Tacos with a Ginger Cookie Shell


I'm not going to lie - we were feeling a little bit of main dish taco fatigue this weekend!  I've made tacos at least twice a week without fail so far, and that doesn't include the days we've had leftovers . . .  Well, I guess I asked for it.  With my crazy taco project, it comes with the territory!

I had to think creatively.  What do we almost never get sick of???

Dessert.  I hadn't made a dessert taco yet!

I knew I would need a shell, a filling, and a sauce.  I thought of using a filling similar to a no-bake cheesecake.  Most recipes that I looked at used cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.  I decided to try cream of coconut instead of the condensed milk to flavor the cream cheese with coconut.  I also made a sauce out of fresh pineapple with a ginger kick.  For the shell, I decided to try making a thin ginger cookie.  I got some ideas for a recipe that I found for thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies.

I did have to think for a while to come up with a method for shaping the shells.  Well . . . you can read ahead and see what I did.  I'm sure there might be better options.  I used a cooling rack, but it would need to have quite a bit of space between the "bars" for it to work.  Is there such a thing as a taco shaper?  If so, I need one!  :)

Here's the recipe for my latest creation:

Piña Colada Cheesecake Tacos with a Ginger Cookie Shell

Serves 6 or more (about 12 tacos)


For the coconut cheesecake filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cream of coconut (such Coco Real; the kind found in the bar mixer section)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. coconut extract
juice of 1/2 lime

For the pineapple sauce :

2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a squeeze of fresh lime juice

For the ginger shells:

1 stick (8 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted and cooled

1.  Make the cheesecake filling:  Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.  Mix with a electric hand mixer until smooth.  Add the cream of coconut, extracts and lime juice.  Mix again until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Spoon into a quart-size Ziploc bag and chill until cold and thick, at least 2 hours.

2.  Make the sauce:  Place the pineapple, water, sugar, and ginger in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook at a low boil until thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, lime juice, and salt.  Blend with a hand blender to combine, leaving some texture.  Mine was the consistency of applesauce with some larger chunks.  Refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.

3.  Make the shells:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the butter and sugars in a medium bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer until well combined.  Add the molasses, egg, vanilla, and milk.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, stir the remaining ingredients together.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix well.

4.  Cut about twelve squares of parchment paper, about 4 by 4 inches each.  Place 6 of them on a large baking sheet.  Top each with a heaping tablespoon of the cookie mixture.

Bake for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown.

5.  While the shells are baking, prop a wire rack up slightly on each side to create a cooling structure for the shells.  I used a 1-inch thick cookbook on each side.

6.  When the shells are done, allow them to cool for a few seconds.  Working quickly, pick each shell up (with the parchment paper) and wedge into one of openings of the rack so that it forms a taco shell-like shape.  Be careful to not let them cool too much first - they will crack!  Here's a picture of my first batch:

Bake the second batch and repeat the shaping process for a total of about 12 cookie shells.  Allow to cool completely.

7.  Assemble the tacos:  For each taco, carefully place a cookie shell on a plate.  Snip one end off of the Ziploc bag and pipe some of the cheesecake filling in the taco.  Carefully spoon on some of the pineapple sauce and sprinkle with some of the toasted coconut.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Well, according to my husband, this is the best dessert in the history of the world.  He LOVED it!  He called it "world class"!  I served it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream because he likes ice cream with every dessert.  :)

I really enjoyed it as well, although a few things did not turn out exactly as I had intended.  I was hoping the cookie shells would have a bit of crunch to them, but they actually turned out kind of soft and chewy.  I don't blame this on the recipe that I used (loosely) as a model.  It was not intended to be folded into a taco shape, and I didn't even really follow it completely!  The cookies did hold their taco shape, however, so it still worked!  I think I might try using less flour next time so they spread out more.  They turned out too thick to be crunchy!

These dessert tacos were really delicious, and the flavors worked well together, but they were sweet and very rich!  I would start with one taco per person.  Two tacos was a bit much for me.  Whew . . .  sugar!

As I finish this post (a day later), I am having leftovers!  :)  ONE taco with a small scoop of ice cream is much more doable.  Picking up the taco and dipping it in the ice cream is a good way to enjoy this dessert!

Feel free to comment on this recipe!  Did you try them?  What did you think?  Have you ever tried making dessert tacos before?  What should I make next?

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think! Please comment! :)