Friday, November 15, 2013

Delectable Desserts

Whether savoring or baking dessert, it is my kryptonite. I know that my sweet tooth comes from my Grandpa Wolney and it's a hungry monster that is never satisfied. The silver lining? My love of sugar translates into the exploration of some scrumptious desserts. Below are two of my discoveries, one is quick and simple and the other is easy but a bit more time consuming. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

This recipe is not only easy but it is fast with a yummy result. These strawberries are a great way to prepare a dessert without the hassle of prepping and baking for hours. They are also a perfect tidbit for a potluck or girls night treat since they are light and natural. Highly recommend serving them straight out of the refrigerator! 

-1 lb large strawberries
-8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
-3-4 tbsp powdered sugar (4 tbsp for a sweeter filling)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-Graham cracker crumbs

1. Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry. Remove the top and clean out with a paring knife, if necessary (some may already be hollow inside). Prep all strawberries and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or Ziploc with the corner snipped off. Fill strawberries with cheesecake mixture. Once strawberries are filled, dip the top in graham cracker crumbs. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving.

Frozen Smores

These are great anytime of year.. especially if you want the taste of summer without the summer heat. I made these for a birthday and my family of 10 scarfed them up in a matter of minutes! You won't be disappointed when you taste the mixture of gooey marshmallow, mouthwatering chocolate and crunchy graham cracker. Best of all, no smelly bonfire needed!

-18 graham crackers (9 sheets or 1 1/2 cups)
-1/3 c. butter
-1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
-1/4 c. whipping cream
-2 c. mini marshmallows (or large marshmallows cut up)
-1 1/2 c. cold milk
-1 box instant chocolate pudding
-1 container of Cool Whip 
(Or small carton of whipping cream, whipped with powder sugar to sweeten)
-1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

1. Put graham crackers in a baggie and crush into fine crumbs.
2. Melt butter and add graham crackers, mixing well to make the crust.
3. Prepare a muffin pan by spraying non-stick spray.
4. Evenly divide crust mixture into cups, saving just a small bit for the topping later. I used a spoon to firmly press down the crust.
5. Place chocolate chips and whipping cream in a small bowl and microwave for 30 second increments until melted and smooth.
6. Spoon chocolate into a Ziploc bag and cut a corner tip off to evenly pipe the chocolate mixture into the center of each cup, on top of the crust.
7. Divide marshmallows among the cups. 
8. Mix the cold milk with pudding on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in half of Whip Cream. I found that I needed a bit more than half since I used homemade whipping cream and it was not as dense. 
9. Spoon filling into a large Ziploc and clip the corner to pipe into each cup, around the marshmallows. Pipe until the cup is about full. If you have any left overs, have some taste testers handy, it is quite delicious straight from the bag!
10. Freeze for at least two hours.
11. Allow dessert at least 10-15 minutes outside of the freezer before serving. Use a knife to loosen around the edges.
12. Use any leftover whip cream, the mini chocolate chips and the leftover graham cracker for the topping.

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