The joy of dessert! Who doesn’t love a sweet treat to cap off a beautiful meal? Depending on your culinary style, you might lean toward chocolate, fruit, or cream-based concoctions. Here are a few lovely ways to treat yourself this season.
Chocolate – Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Credit goes to Nestle for the best double chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s similar to their Toll House chocolate cookie recipe, but with unsweetened cocoa in the mix. The result is a timeless treat that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you need a chocolate dessert with more panache, turn two cookies into a homemade ice cream sandwich or dip your cookies into melting chocolate, then roll in sprinkles. Whoopie pies are also an option here (constructed like an ice cream sandwich but with frosting in the middle).
Fruity – Cherry Pie
Cherry pie is a great option when you want something sweet and fruity. Cherries are in season during the summer months but this is one pie that cooks beautifully from homemade preserves or store-bought canned fruit. Translation: cherry pie is a year-round winner. Serve it warm a la mode with vanilla ice cream or with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Crust can be made with lard, butter, or purchased from the frozen section at most supermarkets. The Kroger chain of stores sells a premade organic pie crust from Simple Truth that bakes well into a fruit pie.
Creamy – Banana Cream Pie
This is a great dessert for the transitional baker. The difficulty level ranges from easy to moderate depending on how much is homemade versus how much you lean on brands like Marie Callander’s. For an easy version, use a store-bought pie shell, instant pudding, Reddi-Whip whipped cream, and sliced bananas. As you get more comfortable with this dessert, start swapping the first three ingredients for homemade. If you want to “wow” the company, elevate your banana cream pie by topping it with fresh chocolate curls.
Vegan – Avocado Ice Cream
Avocado is a great base for vegan desserts. Contrary to conventional thought, avocadoes are fruits, not vegetables, and they marry well with sugar. Plus, pureed avocadoes are creamy and give a decadent mouthfeel to desserts when dairy is not an option. Coconut milk brings the avocado ice cream together (the kind in the can, not the refrigerated coconut milk from the dairy aisle). Martha Stewart offers a great vegan recipe that includes xanthan gum in place of eggs. For those new to vegan cooking: xanthan gum is a natural food additive made from fermented corn. It’s popular in vegan recipes because it acts as a thickener. Xanthan gum is also used in many gluten-free recipes to improve texture. Try this avocado ice cream recipe for a chocolate version without xanthan gum.
Gluten-Free – Flourless Chocolate Cake
Have you ever made a flourless chocolate cake? This is one dessert you should make or order at least once in your life. It’s a simple mix of butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate topped with whatever you want. Whipped cream, hot fudge, and caramel sauce are all great options. It’s so good you won’t miss the gluten. Make a simple flourless chocolate cake at home with this easy recipe from My Gluten-Free Kitchen.
Keto-Friendly – Cheesecake Balls
The Tasty franchise has become a go-to for keto tips and recipes. They offer a Cream Cheese Fat Bombs recipe on their website. This low-carb but now low-fat treat fits into the keto lifestyle without skimping on flavor. The simplicity of this recipe also makes it a great one for cooking with kids. If you’re avoiding peanuts, try substituting creamy almond butter in equal parts.
Retro – Bread Pudding
This super-easy dessert that your grandma used to make is making a comeback. Bread pudding is a great way to use up day-old bread and works with almost any variety. Experiment with different breads to find your favorite flavor and texture. The other ingredients for bread pudding are just sugar, milk or cream, butter, and fruit. Most cooks add raisins and a little citrus juice or zest for flavor. This recipe from Delicious is a good one for beginning bakers and leaves room for improvisation.
Do you see anything on this list you’ve never tried? Get the ingredients and get creative. You might find a new favorite!