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CARLA HALL Chocolate Pumpkin Ice Box Cake

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This cake is sure to blow all of your guests away!

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN ICE BOX CAKE
1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 packages chocolate wafer cookies (9 ounces each)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 egg whites
1 cup pepitas
1 cup pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

directions
In a large bowl, add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, and stir to combine.
In a separate large bowl, whip the cream to medium peaks. Sift in the powdered sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
In three batches, add the whipped cream to the pumpkin mixture and, using a rubber spatula, fold to incorporate.
To assemble the cake, arrange a layer of cookies flat in an 9-inch spring-form pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin whipped cream evenly over the cookie layer. Place another layer of cookies on top, followed by another layer of pumpkin whipped cream. Continue layering until there are 5 layers of each. Finish with a layer of pumpkin whipped cream. Using a rubber or offset spatula, smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Using a butter knife, loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Release the cake. Sprinkle the top with the mini chocolate chips and Candied Spiced Nuts. Cut into wedges and serve cold.
For the Candied Spiced Nuts: preheat oven to 250ºF. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the egg whites and beat until frothy. Add the pepitas and pecans, and stir to coat. In a separate bowl, add the sugar, ginger, salt and black pepper, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the spices over the nuts and toss to coat. On the prepared baking sheet, arrange the nuts in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes until golden and fragrant. Cool for 1 hour.
Using a spatula, remove the nuts from the baking sheet and break into small pieces.
Helpful Tips:
– Make the cake and the nuts the day before for an easy make-ahead dessert!
– Save some of the spiced nuts to serve as a snack!

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