I am going to confess to something of a pet peeve here. You know those recipes that say “only 4 ingredients!”? Those recipes often irritate me. I am not against easy or uncomplicated recipes as a whole, but in many cases, it strikes me as false advertising. I probably wouldn’t have batted an eye at them a few years ago, when I didn’t have to consider my own ingredients so carefully. But now I see that for most of these recipes, there are far more ingredients than actually advertised. Because the ingredients themselves often contain a number of other ingredients. Ingredients that I can’t eat, like sugar and wheat. So when a recipe description says “so easy, only 4 ingredients”, I think to myself “well, so easy for you! If I want to make it, I am going to have to the cookies for that cookie tart crust from scratch!”. The same recipes often bill themselves as “no bake” as well, and that’s only because someone else has done the baking for them, in some factory far away. Again, if I want to make it, I am going to have to turn on the oven and do some baking.
This may seem awfully grumpy of me, and I swear I don’t begrudge my fellow food bloggers and recipe developers the ability to use store bought cookies in their no-bake crusts. It’s just that I come at this from a completely different perspective now. Things I used to take for granted, like store bought cookies and breads, are simply no longer an option. And in so many ways, this is a huge blessing, because the foods I eat and the ingredients I use to make them are far healthier and less processed. But it’s made me a tad more sensitive to the “easy recipe” label, and made me realize that easy isn’t necessarily a good thing. Not if it means the recipe contains ingredients I don’t want my loved ones to consume. If I want to make a comparable recipe, I have to go old school and make the cookies from scratch with my own low carb, gluten-free ingredients. I’m okay with this, but I do have to consider the time and effort involved.
So you won’t see me selling this low carb strawberry icebox cake as “easy, with only a few ingredients”. It wasn’t easy and it contains well over 10 ingredients. But it is most certainly worth the effort, and once the low carb chocolate wafer cookies are baked, it is really is quite easy to throw together. The cookies themselves aren’t overly difficult and can be made a day or two in advance of when you want to serve the cake. It’s an impressive summertime dessert and a great way to showcase strawberries when they are in season. And I guarantee you that your guests won’t be able to distinguish this from the version made with store bought cookies. I served this at a backyard barbecue and every guest gobbled it up and said how fantastic it was and that they wouldn’t have known it was sugar or gluten-free if I hadn’t told them. The empty plates, with every crumb gone, were high-praise indeed. I am insanely proud of this one!