I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like anymore perusing Serious Eats. Fortunately, they haven’t forgotten about me & still send me their weekly recipe newsletter. Today’s recipe is an easy version of one from said newsletter. If you feel like scraping vanilla beans & crushing your own graham cracker crumbs, find the recipe here. If you’re pressed for time like me, read on.
I think I underestimate how much I love pudding. It’s not something I ordinarily think to buy, but maybe it should be: it was the first thing I ate after my C-section (thank you, breech Mini-Munchkin). I ate it with every subsequent meal in the hospital. Hmmm… Pudding with every meal? I could go for that!
In the meantime, here’s pudding with dessert.
- 1 premade graham cracker crust
- 1 box (the big one, not the small one) vanilla instant pudding
- 2 cups cold skim milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
- 1 pint blueberries, washed & dried
- Prepare the pudding as directed on the package, just with 2 cups milk instead of 3. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Whip the cream, sugar, & vanilla. Fold about 1/3 of it into prepared pudding.
- Spread half of the pudding mixture into the bottom of the crust.
- Carefully spread another 1/3 of the whipped cream over the pudding, then top with almost all of the blueberries.
- Spread remaining pudding to hide the blueberries, then top with remaining whipped cream & sprinkle remaining blueberries on top.
- Serve with a spoon; this will get messy!
Wow. Just wow. Blondies + s’mores = droooooooool…
I pinned this months ago, but I’ve never been a consumer of Marshmallow Fluff — in fact, any time I think about it, the line from Julie & Julia comes to mind, “What eez zees marshmallow fluff?” But I followed Mel’s advice & overcame my Fear of the Fluff. SO WORTH IT.
Overcome your Fear of the Fluff & make these. Now. (Original recipe here.)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about a sleeve of graham crackers, crushed)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 sticks butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups marshmallow fluff or creme
- 2 cups chocolate chips (I used semisweet, but milk would be more authentically s’mores)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13 pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the short edges, & spray the foil with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together butter & brown sugar. Beat in eggs & vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low & gradually add flour mixture until combined.
- Divide dough in half. Press one half into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.
- Dollop on the marshmallow topping & gently spread in an even layer.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.
- Scatter remaining dough in clumps on top, leaving some of the marshmallow & chocolate peeking through.
- Bake 30-32 minutes, or until golden & the marshamllow is good & toasty.
- Let cool completely before removing the bars using the foil, cutting, & enjoying.
For those of you looking for a last-minute dessert idea for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, here is a molten chocolate cake that tastes every bit as fancy as the restaurant ones, but is easy enough to leave plenty of time for romance!
These beauties became a family tradition for us the first Valentine’s Day after The Munchkin was born, when we weren’t able to go out. This year we actually got a babysitter & get to go out for the first Valentine’s Day since then, so I decided to make them tonight for Sunday Dinner so I could share the recipe with you. I’m sure that My Husband The Eater minded terribly.
I think I first got this from Kraft food&family magazine. This recipe yields 4 small cakes; you can easily halve it for just the two of you, or make the full recipe & save the other 2 to eat later (though they will be less molten). I won’t judge you one bit…. since that’s what we do every year.
- 4 (1 oz.) squares Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate (or for more richness, use 4 oz. of your favorite bittersweet chocolate)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp. flour
- whipped cream or ice cream, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 425. Butter or grease 4, 3/4-cup custard cups or souflee dishes. Place them on a baking sheet.
- Microwave chocolate & butter in a large microwaveable bowl on high 1 minute or until butter is melted. Stir with a wire whisk until the chocolate is melted too.
- Stir in sugar with the whisk until well blended.
- Whisk in the eggs & egg yolks. Stir in flour.
- Divide the batter equally among prepared cups. Bake 13-14 minutes or until the sides are firm but the centers are still soft.
- Let stand 1 minute, then gently run a small knife around the cakes to loosen them. Carefully invert them onto dessert dishes & serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream.
This month my Secret Recipe Club assignment was Dancing Veggies, a (mostly) vegetarian blog with a few vegan recipes. Way to get me out of my comfort zone! As I scrolled down Amanda’s list of recipes, many caught my eye, like these pierogies & these super-tasty-looking zucchini fritters with homemade tzatziki sauce. But, as you know, I’ve been on a bit of a berry kick lately, so when I saw her Verry Berry Terrine, I knew that’s what I had to make!
Like Amanda, I had never heard of a terrine before, so I decided to do a Google Image search to see what dessert terrines looked like. Inspired by the many layered desserts I saw, I elected to do 3 layers instead of her 2: 1 with blueberries, 1 of just cream, & 1 with strawberries. Red, white, & blue! You could serve this for one of the many patriotic holidays we have coming up, or, since I seem to be the only food or craft blogger who didn’t make something for the Super Bowl, Patriots or Giants colors. This dessert looks fancy, but it was remarkably easy, & I already had everything I needed for it. I love it when that happens!
- 12 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups prepared whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
- 1 cup blueberries, rinsed & patted dry
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1 cup crushed graham crackers
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- about 8 whole graham cracker sheets, quartered on the perforations
- Line a loaf pan with enough wax paper over the sides to cover the top as well.
- In your mixer bowl, cream together cream cheese & sugar. Mix in the vanilla, then remove from mixer & use spatula fold in the whipped cream until well combined.
- Split the mixture into 3 smaller bowls. Fold blueberries into the cream mixture in one of the bowls, & the strawberries into another.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter (it can be in the same bowl you used for the cream cheese). Press the mixture into the bottom & halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
- Very gently pour/spread the blueberry-cream mixture over the top of the graham cracker crumbs. Use your spatula to smooth it flat, then do the same with the cream, & lastly with the strawberries. Gently slide graham crackers down the sides of the pan, between the strawberry layer & the wax paper.
- Place remaining graham crackers on top to cover the strawberry layer. Fold the overhanging wax paper over the top. Use pie weights (or, in their absence, a Tupperware of frozen leftover spaghetti sauce works quite well) to keep it pressed down. Freeze several hours or overnight.
- Remove to refrigerator to thaw a few hours before serving (we took it out almost 4 hours beforehand & the fruit was still frozen). Remove wax paper, then invert from pan onto a serving plate. Then cut into slices with a sharp knife. It’ll keep for several days in the fridge, but will get quite soft once it’s fully thawed, so it’s best to eat it within 24 hours of pulling it out of the freezer.
Thanks, Amanda! This was delicious!
The Primaries are tomorrow here in Florida. The race has been hot, to say the least, with almost every single evening commercial break being completely taken up with campaign attack ads. Having already done my civic duty — it’s really easy to vote early here — I thought I’d commemorate the craziness with a little patriotism.
(You don’t need to explain the irony to me of using a French-named dessert… Maybe you could use this for Bastille Day this summer.)
I saw this easy Napoleon recipe on TidyMom a week ago & knew I needed to make it. I love that the thick pudding/whipped cream mixture is essentially a quick pastry cream! Her version uses raspberries & bananas, which sounded good, but strawberries & blueberries are in season here, & I have to tell you, they’re the best I’ve ever tasted. Living in the same county as the top growers for Florida strawberries, we’re getting Farmer’s Market quality in the grocery store! It’s unbelievable. So I thought I’d complement those berries with chocolate & cinnamon instead of TidyMom’s caramel & brown sugar.
That’s the great thing about this: you can do it however you want! I actually was going to do bananas too, but a certain husband ate the last one. Honestly, though, I don’t think we missed them!
One quick note: in the future, I think I’ll use puff pastry instead of crescent dough for a flakier, more authentic texture.
- 1 (8 oz.) can refrigerated crescent rolls (or use puff pastry)
- cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup cold skim milk
- 1 box (4-serving size) French vanilla (regular vanilla works fine too) instant pudding & pie filling mix
- 1 cup prepared whipped cream*
- thinly sliced fruit of choice (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, whole blueberries)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- vegetable oil
*I made mine with very little powdered sugar so that it wouldn’t be overwhelmingly sweet. You could also use Cool Whip.
- Preheat your oven to 375. Cover a baking sheet with parchment.
- Unroll your crescents into 4 rectangles. Pinch shut the seams that turn them into triangles. Use a pizza cutter or very sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles, approx. 4″x2″. Place on prepared baking sheet & sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden & beginning to puff. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together milk & pudding mix until smooth & beginning to thicken, then refrigerate 30 minutes, until set.
- Fold in whipped cream. If you’re serving this later, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to serve. If you’re serving immediately, continue.
- Microwave chocolate chips in a small bowl until melted. Stir in enough oil to thin the chocolate to where it is “drizzle-able” (pretend that’s a word).
- Construct Napoleons as follows: one crescent rectangle, dollop of pudding mixture, sliced fruit, another crescent rectangle, another dollop, more fruit, & one last crescent rectangle. Drizzle with chocolate. For small children, just dollop some pudding in a bowl, place a crescent rectangle in the pudding, & top with fruit & chocolate drizzle.
Get Your Craft On Tuesdays
This month I got the privilege of perusing a fabulous blog Tea & Scones. Margaret posts so many amazing dishes that it took me longer to narrow down what I was going to make this month than it did to actually make what I finally chose! So what did I choose?
Anyone who’s been around here knows my weakness for Nutella & banana sandwiches. Add something Giada came up with that I can make with The Munchkin, & deep-fry it, & you get perfection. Also known as Giada’s Fried Chocolate & Banana Ravioli.
- 3/4 cup bananas, quarter-inch dice*
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 20+ wonton wrappers (original recipe called for 16, but there’s plenty of filling for lots more)
- 1 egg, beaten (if your kitchen helper is as “helpful” as mine, water would be a less salmonella-infested choice)
- vegetable oil, for frying
*The recipe says 1 medium banana, but it’s better to have 2, because your kitchen helper might have to steal some of it.
Probably better that way, because it’ll balance out the vast amounts of Nutella she’ll pilfer while you’re making your ravioli.
- In a small bowl, combine the banana, brown sugar, & walnuts.
- Brush 2 edges of the wonton wrappers, then put a small amount of the Nutella (as much as I love Nutella, I found that less is more here — like 1/2 tsp.) in the center of each. Then top with a less-small amount (1 tsp. or so) of the banana mixture, taking care not to overfill.
- Fold the corner over to make a triangle & seal the edges, then refrigerate for 15 minutes. (We kind of skipped the refrigeration part & were fine, but I’m sure it works great.)
- Heat about 3/4 inch of the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot (I used my Le Creuset braiser) to 375 (or if you’re like me & don’t have a candy thermometer, follow Margaret’s handy-dandy tip & see if a cube of bread will brown in 2 minutes).
- Fry the ravioli a few at a time for about a minute a side. Place on paper towels to drain.
- Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Tasty, tasty! Thank you, Margaret!
Why? Because it’s my grandmother’s!
This is her “Milkless Pumpkin Pie,” but if I called it that you would think it was just some gross substitution for people with milk intolerances. The truth is, because it is milk-free, it’s undiluted — full of spice & flavor. Makes normal pumpkin pie taste bland by comparison.
My grandmother got this recipe from a short mid-morning program on channel 5 in Utah years ago that offered tips for housewives. One day the featured guest demonstrated this recipe, saying it was unique because this recipe required no milk. Then they cut to a break; the hostess began to introduce the sponsor, an evaporated milk company, saying how delicious this recipe would be with that company’s milk. The guest sputtered that it was a milkless pumpkin pie; she talked over him & they went to commercial.
I had never made a pie on my own in my life before attempting this one — hence the “interesting”-looking crust. I’ve never needed to because My Husband is The Pie Man. Every Thanksgiving he makes a pumpkin & a boysenberry pie, & they’re always delicious. I’ve included his perfect crust recipe below.
Milkless Pumpkin Pie (makes 1 pie)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ginger
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- optional: add a pinch of cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup margarine, melted
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin
- Make My Husband The Pie Man’s Perfect Flaky Crust, below, & lay it in a 9-inch pie plate.
- Preheat oven to 450. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs as long as your arm will let you so that they’re light & frothy. Add margarine & pumpkin; mix until well blended.
- Add the dry ingredients & mix well.
- Pour into prepared unbaked pie shell. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 350 & continue baking 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Perfect Flaky Crust (makes 1 crust; double it for a double-crust pie)
- 1 cup flour (plus more if needed)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. cold water
- Combine flour, salt, & oil in a medium bowl with a fork. The dough should ball up nicely.
- Add water continue kneading with fork until fully incorporated.
- Add more flour a tablespoon at a time, if needed, until dough is the right consistency: not too sticky, not too dry.
- Place dough ball between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll out until it’s really really thin & larger than the pie plate.
- Use a butter knife to gently free the dough from one of the sheets of wax paper.
- Place it, dough side down, into the pie plate & use the knife again to remove the other sheet.
- Make it look pretty around the outside. Nope, can’t help you there.
“Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by Cherokee USA, Le Creuset, Wilton, Bags by Bloom and Harvard Common Press”
The Munchkin speaks very well for being 2 & a few months. She’s doing full sentences, & pronounces most words correctly, with the exception of the toddler W for Ls & most Rs. However, there’s one word in particular that she doesn’t say right, that I am just fine with her mispronouncing for the next month or two: pumpkin.
She pronounces it “pumpmick.” & it is so darn cute!
Saturday morning, My Husband The Occasional Perfectionist was trying to help her say it correctly. To his credit, he did get her to go from “wewk” to “milk,” but I’ll admit I wasn’t overly heartbroken when it didn’t quite take. A few minutes later she was saying the blessing on breakfast & trying to say “we thank thee that we get to go to the pumpkin patch today.” At first she said her usual “pumpmick,” but then paused, remembering that it wasn’t right. She then corrected herself: “mumpick.” Another pause; that didn’t sound right either. Finally she gave up & finished the prayer in a hurry: “name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Thankfully, it’s still “pumpmick.” & she got her very own Munchkin-sized pumpmick at the pumpmick patch.
Now for some pumpmick — I mean, pumpkin — squares.
These are to die for. Period. I make these countless times every fall — it helps that the recipe uses exactly half a small can of pumpkin, so you just have to use up the rest, right? I mean, just look at all those moist, delicious crumbs! Martha really does it right.
- 2 cups — spooned & leveled — all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 pkg. (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13 pan with foil, making sure that the foil goes up the sides.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl; set it aside.
- Cream butter & sugar together until it’s smooth. Then beat in the egg & vanilla; scrape sides of bowl. Beat in pumpkin puree, making sure there’s no unincorporated butter mixture at the bottom.
- Mix in dry ingredients on low just until combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few of those moist delicious crumbs I mentioned.
- Cool completely in the pan. (Yeah, right. You smell it & resist.) Use the foil edges to lift the bars from the pan, then peel off the foil & cut with a serrated knife. Enjoy!