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A Carlota is a very popular Mexican dessert that has French roots. It is easy to make and, being that it is usually eaten either frozen or chilled, it is perfect for sunny days. It is also ideal for when you have people over and you don’t have a lot of time to prepare, because it really doesn’t take very long to make!
A carlota is made with multiple levels of vanilla flavored cookies, covered in a sweet sauce, and is then frozen for a couple of hours to create a creamy ice cream like texture. Sometimes this is called a lemon icebox cake, but I will always call it a carlota. My preference is to make it lemon-flavored, but you can make it with strawberries, apple, and peach too – which is the flavor that I ate a lot growing up. That is because I have an uncle in Mexico who worked in a restaurant and he made the most delicious peach carlota. He always used to make it around Christmas time to go with our Christmas dinner which became a great tradition and we all looked forward to it every year.
Even though this is a very simple recipe to make, we shouldn’t underestimate its flavor, and you can rest assured that it will impress all of your guests. To make it you will need vanilla flavored cookies. The kind that are most commonly used in Mexico are called “Marias” and they can be bought almost anywhere down there. Here in the United States I have had a hard time finding them in a few places that I have lived, especially in my first few years here. Over the past few years, however, more and more Mexican products are being imported into the United States which means that you can find these all over the place now! I found mine in a local grocery store, but you can also buy them online here.
Once the sweet sauce is prepared, it is time to put the cookies down one layer at a time in a baking dish, and then covering each layer with the sweet sauce until all the cookies are gone and you finish with a final layer of the sweet sauce. Once prepared, put the carlota in the freezer and then cut into pieces when ready to serve.
If you decide to make this, don’t forget to come back and tell me how it turned out!