What’s for Dessert?

August 23, 2008 at 8:43 pm 1 comment

Even the busiest beginning cook sometimes wants something sweet–and homemade–to finish a meal.

Here are some recipes to demonstrate that a beginning cook doesn’t have to go without dessert due to lack of time, equipment, or skills. I’ve included an idea for those times when a chocolate craving simply must be obeyed, one for hot weather, and one for cooler fall weather.

“Beverly Perry” Brownies

These are named after a neighbor years ago from whom my mom got this recipe. It doesn’t get much easier!

1 deep chocolate cake mix
1 small package chocolate pudding — not instant
2 1/2 cups milk
1 12-ounce package chocolate chips
Chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Cook the pudding with milk until thick; let cool slightly. Stir in the dry cake mix. Pour mixture onto greased jelly roll sheet (a cookie sheet with a rim). Cover the top with chocolate chips and nuts, if using. Bake for 30 minutes. When cool, cut into squares and store in an airtight container. (These also keep for a month in the freezer if wrapped in plastic or in a resealable plastic bag.)

Grandma Thompson’s Frozen Cheesecake

This was my grandmother’s recipe. I’m noticing a pattern here of family recipes that I can trace to their roots.

1 package graham crackers (usually half a small box)
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
3 eggs, separated
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Crush graham crackers in food processor or by putting crackers into resealable plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin until fine crumbs form. Melt butter in large saucepan. Add graham crackers and stir until crackers are moistened. Press crumbs into the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan.

With an electric mixer, cream together sugar and cream cheese. Add eggs yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add vanilla and salt; mix well. Clean beaters thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whip eggs whites until stiff. Clean beaters again. In a third bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in egg whites, then whipping cream. Pour cream cheese mixture over graham cracker crust and freeze for 3 hours or more.

To serve, let soften for 10 minutes, then cut into squares. This is great with fresh berries over the top!

Apple Crisp

Yes, I know the pedigree of this recipe, too! It’s from my mother’s 9th grade “home economics” class at her high school in southern Minnesota. I don’t think they use the term “home ec” anymore, do they?

2 cups peeled, sliced apples (anything firm and tart will work well)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Put apples in a greased 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and pour water over. Work flour, butter or margarine, and brown sugar together to form a crumbs. Sprinkled over apples and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Pull out your best vanilla ice cream to go with this!


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Comfort Food 101 Beyond the Brown Bag

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Suzanne  |  September 2, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hey, Mary,

    Gosh. I noticed your previous post is about comfort foods. But all these desserts sound like pure comfort to me. Yum! Makes my mouth water just reading the recipes.

    Suzanne Lieurance
    “Helping your write your way to business success”

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