No pasta. No tomatoes. No bechamel.
But darn this sure eats like a lasagna: all the layers of flavor and texture combine in your mouth for a creamy, crunchy and just-sweet-enough dessert that is as impressive to serve as it is indulgent to swallow.
Full disclosure: this recipe does take a little time to compose because you have to individually prepare all the layers, however the result is well worth the effort and- BONUS- you never have to turn on the oven. The instructions below lay out the layers in the order we recommend making them for as minimal dishes to wash and prep time as possible. We froze the "lasagna" overnight and then let it warm up in the fridge for a few hours before serving- this is highly recommended! The cookies and creamy layers become soft enough to cut through with a spoon and taking the chill off the dessert allows you to enjoy the distinct layers' flavors more than when frozen. Trust us- we tried it both ways- in the name of recipe development, of course. You're welcome.
Feeds 8 in an 8" x 8" brownie pan. Double the recipe to feed a larger group in a 9" x 13" pan.
- 1 package each Chocolate Chip Brownie & Coffee Cake Soft-Baked Biscotti (10 cookies or 10 ounces): crushed to a fine crumb (we like the Cuisinart for this job)
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 x 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 c chocolate pudding (Cook's note: we're gluttons for punishment and made Mark Bittman's pudding from scratch -it's truly not much harder than whipping together some instant!)
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Prepare the cookie crust by combining the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Press into the pan in an even layer and let set in the fridge while you prepare the remaining layers.
Make the chocolate pudding according to package instructions or recipe of choice. Let cool with a layer of saran wrap touching the pudding to avoid any skin forming.
Prepare cream cheese frosting: combine room temperature cream cheese with 1/4 c sugar, whole milk, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Whip until double in size. Set aside.
Make whipped cream with stand or hand mixer by whipping cold heavy cream for 3-5 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the lasagna: spread cream cheese frosting evenly over cookie crust with offset spatula. Layer cooled pudding on top. Finish with an even layer of whipped cream. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Let set overnight in the fridge or freezer for at least 3 hours. When ready to serve, defrost for 30 minutes in the fridge or on the counter for 15 minutes. Enjoy