Baking with Friends (part two)

The show: Friends, season 6 episode 9: The One Where Ross Got High

The recipe: Chocolate Kahlua Trifle

The story: With ten whole seasons, I knew I could get more than one recipe out of Friends. Besides Phoebe’s cookies, there was one other food-related episode that stood out in my mind. In one of the memorable Thanksgiving episodes, Rachel tries to cook for the first time. She decides to prepare a “traditional English trifle,” but the pages of her cookbook are stuck together, causing Rachel’s dessert to include shepherd’s pie ingredients. In an attempt to boost Rachel’s culinary confidence, the group tries to hide how disgusting the trifle is, and eats a dessert filled with ground beef and peas.

When this episode came to mind, I knew exactly what recipe I was going to make. Every Thanksgiving my mom makes this trifle recipe, and it rarely lasts 24 hours. The recipe itself isn’t anything complicated, but it’s always a hit. When I told some of my friends what I planned to make, multiple people didn’t know what a trifle was. I didn’t even know that was possible. That’s when I knew I had to share this recipe.

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Here’s what all the layers look like up close.

I had my mom send me a picture of the recipe, and it’s so simple it barely needs two sides of an index card. Since it’s just layered ingredients, the majority of the preparation in making a trifle is the assembly. It probably took me more time to wash all the dishes I used than it did to actually make this dessert. The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s very adaptable. With no actual baking going on, it doesn’t make a difference if you switch out ingredients or use a slightly different amount. As long as you don’t use the wrong ingredients like Rachel, you’re good to go.  My mom always substitutes milk for the Kahlua for people who don’t like Kahlua (like my dad), so I did the same. While this recipe isn’t new to me, I’m glad I made it. Now that I’ve done it once, I can always turn to this trifle recipe if I ever need to make a dessert for a crowd!

Chocolate Kahlua Trifle

Ingredients

1/2 devil’s food cake, baked and broken into small pieces

2 large (5.9 oz.) boxes instant chocolate pudding

3 cups milk

1/2 to 3/4 cup Kahlua

1 large container Cool Whip

1 large bag Heath bar bits

Directions

Mix pudding, milk and Kahlua with a whisk.

Layer in trifle bowl 1/2 cake, 1/2 pudding, 1/2 Cool Whip, 1/2 heath bits.

Repeat layers and refrigerate.

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The final product!

“What’s not to like? Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Beef? Good.”

Looking for a different trifle recipe? Here are others from a few of my favorite food blogs:

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle from How Sweet Eats

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Trifle from Brown-Eyed Baker

Berry Brownie Trifle from Two Peas & Their Pod

Tiramisu Cheesecake Trifle from Shugary Sweets

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Baking with Friends

The show: Friends, season 7 episode 3: The One with Phoebe’s Cookies

The recipe: Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies

The story: As I set out to make recipes to represent my favorite movies and TV shows, I knew Friends had to be one of them. Not only do I have Friends marathons whenever possible (with people like Emily), but its 10 seasons gave me plenty of material to pick a recipe. One of my favorite episodes, The One with Phoebe’s Cookies, is centered around a family recipe for chocolate chip cookies that Monica tries to recreate. The recipe, passed down from “Nesele Toulouse,” ends up being the classic cookie recipe found on the back of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bags.

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I decided this would be the perfect first recipe to attempt. Nestle Tollhouse cookies are a classic, and yet I’ve never made them before. To keep with the spirit of my challenge, I watched the episode as I baked the cookies. Much like baking cookies, watching Friends is one of the few activities I am always in the mood to do. After making these, it was very clear why the Nestle Tollhouse recipe is such a staple. The cookies came out perfectly brown around the edges, while still remaining soft at the center. My favorite part of the recipe was the chopped nuts (I used pecans), which I didn’t know were part of the original recipe. I plan to keep this recipe on hand if I’m ever in need of a classic chocolate chip cookie.

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Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 60 cookies     Prep: 15 minutes     Cook time: 9 minutes

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (1 package) Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

“You Americans always butcher the French language.”

And so it begins.

Next week I will begin my adventure into edible entertainment. This blog is my chance to have a outlet for my love of baking, cooking, movies, and television. I have always loved to bake and cook, but I always struggle to decide what I want to make. This indecisiveness often leads me to stick with what I know (peanut butter, chocolate, Oreos, Nutella… I have a refined palate) rather than try new things.

To get out of my comfort zone, I plan to make recipes inspired by my favorite TV shows and movies. Whether it’s a character’s favorite food or something inspired by a storyline’s setting, everything I make over the next few months will hopefully be a new experience.

I can’t wait to see what comes of my baking adventures!