I know that you probably can’t wait to get on the treadmill to work off the holiday happiness. However, if you are like me, you're always craving a little - YIKES! - dessert. Never fear, there are always great dessert recipes that don’t take much time and are sure to bring you oooh’s and ahhh’s with each bite. Below are 3 that take little preparation, and aside from the first recipe, take little time as well. Good luck!
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Dream Bars
(This delicious recipe takes a little longer to prepare because you have to chill it between layers. Well worth the extra time!
Makes: 25 squares
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 box (18.2 ounces) brownie mix
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Whipped cream, chopped peanuts, chocolate-peanut butter candies and caramel sauce, to garnish
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with foil, allowing sides to overhang; spray foil.
In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Mix in melted butter. Press crumb mixture into prepared pan. Bake until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
2. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cakelike brownies (adding 1/4 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs). Fold in chopped nuts. Pour batter into crust-lined pan. Return to 350°F oven; bake until brownie is just set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
3. With electric mixer in medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add peanut butter and confectioners' sugar; beat until just blended (it will look lumpy). Add milk; beat lightly to loosen mixture. In separate bowl, whip 1 cup of the cream and gently fold into peanut butter mixture. Spread mousse evenly over cooled brownie. Refrigerate 1 hour.
4. Heat remaining 1/2 cup cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. Remove from heat; add corn syrup and chocolate chips. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Pour glaze over chilled mousse and spread to cover completely. Return to refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
5. Run a small knife around inside of pan and lift out brownie. Heat knife under hot running water and trim edges. Slice brownie, rinsing knife after each cut, into 5 strips about 1-1/2 inches wide. Cut each strip into 5 pieces about 1-1/2 inches square. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with whipped cream, nuts, candy and caramel sauce.
Download this recipe.
Ginger Cookie Stix
Makes 3 dozen
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coarse decorating sugar
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with foil with slight overhang. Coat foil with cooking spray.
2. Into bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, salt. In large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and molasses; beat until smooth.
3. On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture until blended. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle with ginger.
4. Bake in 350°F oven 15 minutes. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 10 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on rack. Use foil to lift bar to rack.
5. Cut into thirds lengthwise; cut crosswise into twelve 1-inch strips to make 36 rectangles about 2-3/4 x 1 inch.
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Marbled Raspberry Cheesecake Bites
Makes 24 squares
2 sleeves (18 boards total) chocolate graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
2 teaspoons sugar
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Crust: Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with foil. In bowl, mix crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into bottom and slightly up sides of prepared pan.
2. Bake in 350°F oven until slightly dry, yet soft, 7 minutes.
3. Swirl: Set aside 1/2 cup raspberries. In small food processor, puree remaining berries with 2 teaspoons sugar. Strain to remove seeds and solids (you should have 1/4 cup).
4. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar, eggs, juice and vanilla. Place 2 cups batter in medium bowl. Blend in berry swirl. Dot crust with reserved berries. Dollop with both batters. Swirl with sharp knife to marbleize.
5. Bake in 350°F oven for 35 minutes. Cool slightly in pan on rack. Refrigerate until cold. Cut into 24 squares.
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