Tag: easy

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Pumpkin Pie Parfait

I can’t abstain from alliteration, it’s annihilating me!  I’m powerless to prevent it!  I’m helpless, I can’t hold off!

Okay, I’m done.  Let’s make parfait.

pumpkin-pie-parfait

I’ll be honest… I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese.  It’s good on or in just about everything I eat.  Tastes good with chocolate, tastes good with bread, tastes good with Bailey’s – all necessary bases covered.

This parfait is an easy dessert to throw together in a hurry, and it tastes even better if you make it a couple of days ahead of time.  So if you’re throwing a little party or need to take something to a potluck, you can make this DAYS ahead of time and just pull it out of the fridge at the last minute.  Voila!  Miss Stewart if you’re nasty!
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If you want to use graham crackers or some other kind of cookie for the layers in this parfait, knock yourself out.  The sky’s the limit, folks!  You could lighten the pudding texture (and stretch it out to some more jars) if you folded whipped cream into the pudding/cream cheese mixture.  But I prefer desserts that slap me in the face with flavor and richness, so this is my personal preference.



 

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Pumpkin Pie Parfait
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
parfaits
Ingredients
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
parfaits
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix first 6 ingredients for approximately 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides at least once.
  2. Add maple syrup to taste and mix thoroughly.
  3. Crush butter cookies into rough chunks.
  4. Layer butter cookies and pudding in a jar or glass, ending with a layer of pudding. Sprinkle top with a pinch of pudding pie spice.
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pb-choc-fudge

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge

Fudge and I have a long, intense history.  When my family went to the beach, or an amusement park, or anywhere else where you’ll find tacky refrigerator magnets for sale, there was ALWAYS a place that sells fudge.  And I ALWAYS wanted fudge.  It’s dense and rich and creamy and it tastes like forbidden love.

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But traditional fudge is a giant pain in the ass to make.  It’s finicky and annoying and requires a lot of stirring and you never know when you’re going to put a bunch of time and effort and ingredients into that pan and end up with a horrible, separated, grainy mess.  As much as I love fudge, and as many times as I tried to make it, I never felt confident that it wasn’t going to fail.

And then one day I found a recipe online for mint chocolate fudge that had 3 ingredients: condensed milk, andes mints, and chocolate chips.  I made it, convinced it would taste like shit… but it was spectacular and here we are today.


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The third best thing about this fudge (to review, #1 is that it’s delicious and #2 is that it’s easy) is that it makes a TON of fudge.  You can share this fudge at a party for 40 people and everybody who wants it can have some.

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Throw the cut up fudge into some glass containers with the layers separated by waxed paper and when you walk into the party – INSTANT HERO!

Of course, if you just want chocolate fudge, you could stop after the first two steps in the recipe below (though I would add a teaspoon of vanilla to the mixture).  That is a totally acceptable plan.  You could make the chocolate fudge and swirl come caramel into the top once you have it in the pan to cool.  You could throw some nuts in there if you have no taste whatsoever – nuts do NOT belong in fudge!

This basic recipe is ridiculously versatile.  Knock yourselves out and let me know how it goes.


Print Recipe
Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge
Fudge is notoriously finicky to make, but this simple, microwaved mixture of condensed milk and a few other ingredients makes a no-fail, sweet, creamy, dense, gorgeous fudge. Do it.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
pieces (ish)
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
pieces (ish)
Instructions
  1. Mix 1 can of condensed milk and the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute and stir. Microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until mixture is completely smooth.
  2. Pour chocolate fudge into a silicon pan and spread in an even layer. (If using a standard pan, grease it or line with foil, parchment or waxed paper before pouring fudge.)
  3. Mix 1 can condensed milk with the peanut butter chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute and stir. Microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until mixture is completely smooth. Stir vanilla and salt into the peanut butter mixture.
  4. Pour the peanut butter fudge over the chocolate fudge and spread in an even layer.
  5. Refrigerate fudge until firm, 1-2 hours.
  6. Turn fudge out onto a cutting board and slice into pieces. Store in an air-tight container.
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choc-mousse-closeup

Chocolate Mousse

I love stupid-easy recipes.  There are 4 ingredients in this dish, and it takes about 20 minutes of active work to make it (plus a few hours for chilling it in the fridge between steps).  It would only take 10-15 minutes if you decided not to pipe the mousse and just threw it in some dishes as-is.  And on top of that… IT’S CHOCOLATE MOUSSE!

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This mousse is so rich and decadent, you could easily have this be 6 servings (instead of the 4 big servings here) and even a sugarwhore like me wouldn’t complain.  You make it with a microwave and the whisk attachment on your mixer.  No cooking! Love it!

I chose to serve these in jars instead of pretty glasses or cups because I was transporting this to a dinner party and having individual, beautiful servings while still being able to easily transport them was really appealing.  Also, I’m totally pandering to the “put shit in jars” crowd.

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Doesn’t that just make you happy?  Don’t you want to put it in your mouth and savor the creamy, chocolatey goodness?  Well you can!  This is easy easy EASY to make! 

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The whole key to this recipe is to use really good chocolate.  Don’t skimp on that.  Use darker chocolate if you like it more bitter (and adjust sugar as needed, or just leave it out).  I used 66% dark chocolate here, and it only needed 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar to get it to a nice sweetness level.  You could easily make this with milk or white chocolate as well, but you probably don’t need extra sugar in that case.


Print Recipe
Chocolate Mousse
OMG this is SO EASY! Don't bother with "real" chocolate mousse, just make this instead.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat cream in microwave until very hot (but not boiling).
  2. Place chocolate in a mixing bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir cream and chocolate until completely emulsified. Add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Chill 2 or more hours until completely cool and thickened.
  4. Whip with the whisk attachment of your mixer until color lightens and mixture is thick but still a bit runny (very soft peaks).
  5. Taste for sweetness and fold in powdered sugar if desired. Stop here, or continue to whip until desired consistency is reached. Be careful not to over beat the mixture!
  6. Spoon or pipe mousse into jars or cups, add sprinkles if desired, and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
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