What’s for Dessert?
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!
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!