The crust, made with cocoa powder, sugar and egg, is cooked in a sauce pan, mixed with sliced almonds and graham cracker crumbs, pressed onto a shallow baking pan, cooled, then topped with the cream cheese frosting. In the original recipe, from Cooking Class Cookbook (Publications International Ltd., 1994), the chocolate is melted with some butter then piped on the frosting. But after adding the frosting without messing up, I didn’t want to push my luck–I decided to simply sprinkle the chocolate morsels on top.
Sprinkling the chocolate morsels on the frosting wasn’t the only modification I made from the original recipe. I did not include flaked coconuts in the crust either. That’s because I wasn’t sure if ‘flaked coconuts’ meant flaked fresh coconuts or (dry) dessicated coconut. I decided to simply add more graham cracker crumbs instead.
Regarding the graham crackers, you can use whole graham crackers and turn them into crumbs in a blender or food processor, or even with a rolling pin, or you can used graham cracker crumbs that come in pouches, available in most supermarkets. I use the latter since it means less work for me.
No bake chocolate-almonds-cream cheese cookie squares
For the crust
- 2 and 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
For the frosting
- 1/2 cup cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
For the garnish
- 3/4 cup or more of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Cut a piece of aluminum foil about 4 inches larger than the base of an 8" x 8" baking pan. Place the pan on the foil and cut the corners so that when the edges are folded up, you have something like the bottom layer of a box. Place the foil inside the pan, shiny side up, smoothing out the sides and bottom. What you want is to have an overhang large enough so that when the crust is firm, you can remove the entire thing from the pan by pulling on the overhanging foil.
- In a small sauce pan, mix together the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and egg. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Add the graham cracker crumbs and almonds and mix until well blended. Press evenly onto the prepared pan and chill for about 30 minutes.
- Place the softened butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar and almond extract. Mix with an electric mixer (you’ll tire your arm doing this by hand–I tried and gave up), over medium speed, until very well blended. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly on top of the chilled crust.
Sprinkle the semi-sweet chocolate morsels on the frosting, pressing them lightly into the mixture. Chill for another 20 minutes before removing the uncut cookie from the baking pan and cutting it into 2" x 2" squares.
Tip: Use a pizza cutter to cut through the crust easily.