I believe in eating seasonally so from mid-November to just before Christmas that means munching down a whole lot of Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s. If you’ve never had a CCJJ imagine this – an Oreo cookie that has crushed candy cane bits mushed into the creamy filling. That my friends, is a candy cane joe-joe and they are only available from just before turkey day to a couple of weeks before Christmas. Once they’re sell out they’re gone until next year!
I love these cookies so much that this past year I even took a walk on the wild side and tried their dark chocolate covered peppermint joe-joe’s. Talk about gilding the lily. Yowser!!! But then the inevitable happened and I ran out. No more candy cane joe-joe’s unless I want to pay $30/box to some entrepeneur who stockpiled candy cane joe-joe’s and is selling them on Amazon or eBay. No dear readers, I will not be scalped for a box of cookies. I say no!
Instead (well, after some whining and gnashing of teeth) I sucked it up and waited for candy canes to go on sale. I scored a few bags of Hammond’s Pillow Peppermints at my local co-op and armed with some heavy cream and a box of chocolate wafer cookies I went about transforming Nabisco’s classic Zebra Cake into a Peppermint (not Joe-Joe’s) Zebra Cake. While it is not a candy cane joe-joe, it is pretty darn good.
Peppermint (not Joe-Joe’s) Zebra Cake
If you want to make this cake in its traditional long log form you’ll need a long skinny plate or platter.
1 pint heavy cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (if you have it)
1 box Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (9 oz)
2/3 -3/4 cup peppermints*, crushed
Whip the cream and sugar until it holds a soft peak. You don’t want to turn it into butter. I crush the peppermints by pouring them into a heavy plastic bag then bashing them with a hammer or metal spoon. Don’t do this on a wooden counter as you can leave dents. Fold in the peppermint extract and most of the crushed peppermints. Then start layering your “cake” by spreading a heaping spoonful of whipped cream onto a chocolate wafer. When all the wafers are sandwiched together cover the entire outside with the remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle some additional peppermints on top (crushed or un-crushed if you have the Hammond pillows) and refrigerate 4-10 hours.
To serve cut on the diagonal so you can see the stripes.
* While I love the flavor of Hammond’s if you can’t find them or don’t want to order them you can use candy canes or peppermint starburst candies. Adjust the amount you add to the whipped cream to your taste.