Chips Ahoy, Kahlua And Cool Whip Cake Recipe

A lowbrow dessert that tastes like a million bucks

It's hot out there! Leave the oven off and join us for No Cook Month. All August we're keeping it cool with recipes and entertaining tips without all that sweaty baking.

I was born without the baking gene. Measuring spoons and baking soda freak me out, so dessert is usually outsourced when I'm entertaining. The exception is this creation my mother calls a chocolate chip cookie torte, and the rest of us just call "arrrghgghmmmmmm."

"Recipe" is a loose term here: Layering Kahlua-soaked Chips Ahoy cookies and Cool Whip is more art than science. What you need to know is that you should do it a night in advance to allow the cookies to soften and the flavors to blend, and that the finished product looks and tastes about a million times classier than the sum of its parts.

It's closer to an icebox cake than a torte; there's no baking involved, and it truly does work better with store-bought ingredients than anything homemade. The only measuring involves mixing ⅔ cup of whole milk with ⅓ cup Kahlua; that, plus one tub of Cool Whip and two boxes of Chips Ahoy (the original kind, not soft), ought to fill a six-inch trifle bowl. You can also make it in a Springform pan and unmold after a night in freezer; it will stand. Hell, you can use a big metal bowl if that's all you have. It will still taste just as good.

Dip each cookie in the Kahlua-milk mix (just a dip, no need to let them soak) and line them along the bottom of your dish. Spread a thin layer of Cool Whip on top, then dip more cookies and layer them on top of the cream. Repeat, alternating layers of cookies and cream, until you've reached the top.

Gussy it up with a sprinkle of grated chocolate or a dusting of cocoa power on top; then "slice" it (a large, gently curved spoon will do the trick) and admire the striking layers of black, brown and whiter-than-white fluff. The crowds will form, cooing around the dish and trying to figure out what, exactly, is going on in there. It's sweet, of course, but there's a faint boozy bite, too. Is it tiramisu with...chocolate chips? A certain cookie-aisle je ne sais quoi that you needn't explain to anyone.