Thursday, January 27, 2011

Simple Desserts, you'll love!

Have you ever had company show up without notice and had your poor husband run to the store or the bakery for something while you entertain them? Or maybe you were so enthused with planning, shopping and cooking for dinner that you completely forgot Dessert? Maybe you simply live alone and don't want leftovers to kill your diet! 
For me it's usually a really great dinner and then I am so "ahhhhhhhhed out" (full) that I don't have the energy to make dessert.
I have answers for all of those times.

Homemade Apple Crisp

4 Apples : One per person (cored and chopped)
4 Tblsp Sugar: One per dish
4 Tblsp Cinnamon: One per dish
4 Tblsp Butter: One per dish (melted)
8 Nilla Wafers: 2 per dish (crumbled)

This is the easiest dessert you will ever make.

Here we go:
In a small mixing bowl, Mix together the Sugar and the Cinnamon
Add Cookies to Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
Evenly Distribute Chopped Apples among the 4 dishes.
Pour the Cookie and Sugar Mixtures over the Apples evenly.
Pour Butter evenly over each dish.
Microwave for 3:30. (3 mins 30 secs)
Serves 4.
*Of course: You can add a dollop of Whipped Cream, or even a Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.
You can also Substitute Brown Sugar for White Sugar :)

Ready for another one??? Was that one not easy? Lets try another....

Meringue Shells

6 egg whites
2 tsp Cream of Tarter
1  C  Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla (or lemon if you wish)

Ok, Ready???

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees ( for crispy white meringues, oven @ 200 degrees f )
Line Baking sheet with Parchment paper

Beat Egg White on High speed until frothy.
Add Cream of Tarter.
Continue Beating until white.
Add 3/4 C Sugar. (save 1/4 C for when whipping is complete).
Continue Beating until Egg Whites have come to "Stiff Peaks"
(this means when you turn the beater upside down and they don't fall off.)
Fold in remaining Sugar
Place Large Spoonfuls of the Meringue into a Ziploc Bag.
Cut a corner off the end
Squeeze Meringue on to parchment lined baking sheet in a circular motion.
Going up in rows to form a "bowl".
See it here?

Bake in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.
This will yield a Marshmallow Like, Golden Brown Meringue Shell.
Very soft and light...mmmmmmy goodness!

*If dry/crispy White Meringues are desired:
Bake @ 200 degrees for 2 hours. Turn oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for an additional hour.

Hard or soft, The shell can then be filled with anything you desire.
In this example I made "Stewed Fruit"..(recipe to follow)

Is that fabulous or what??

Stewed Fruit: is simply fruit that is poached in a sugar syrup until it starts to macerate (break down)

In a heavy Sauce pan place
1 lb of fruit (in this case I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
And bring to a boil.
Allow to simmer on med/low approx 30mins (or until the fruit is just soft)
When removed from the heat add 1 tsp lemon juice.
Stir and refrigerate until completely cooled.
The fruit is ready to serve when it's cooked. So you just need to decide if you want it warm or cold.
I chose warm.
Pick a topping if desired. (whipped cream or ice cream) and have at it!
Could not be easier.

What's that? You want another one?? Ok. Well, this one's not going to be pretty... but oh boy is it good!!!

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes!

Cream Cheese (2)  8 oz pkgs (softened)
2 eggs (room temp)
12 Oreos (can be small chocolate wafers or nilla wafers)
3/4 C Sugar
4 oz Chocolate (melted) (can be Bar chocolate, can be Bakers Semi Sweet, can be 1/4 cup Nutella)

Pre-heat oven to 350 f

In Large Mixing bowl, place Combine Eggs and Sugar.
Beat until fluffy.
Add Melted Chocolate
Beat until combined
Add Cream Cheese.
Beat until thoroughly combined

Prepare Cupcake Tins with Paper liners.
Add 1 Oreo into each liner.
Pour Cream cheese Mixture into each liner to 3/4 full.

Bake in 350f oven for 30 mins.
Remove from heat immediately.
Top with shaved chocolate if desired at this time.
Cool in tins for 15 mins.
Remove from tins and Chill for min 1 hour.
For a great Quick Dessert Serve as is.

If you would like to make this more of a Special Occasion "Dessert", top with 1 tsp Chocolate Sauce, a dollop of Whipped Cream and Crumbled Oreos.
***Just a note: The reason I only have a pic of the Cheesecakes in the because I never got to take a pic after they were out of the pan!
They went, THAT fast!
You'll love them too!