Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick and easy treats for suprise guests

Last night I was supposed to have some last minute guests stop by to look at my remodel project. So, being the true Southern belle and perfect hostess that I am, I scrambled to find a fast and easy dessert to fix. I put out a call on facebook, and several friends made great suggestions, so I decided to post them all for future reference.

1. Chocolate-Meringue Pie
1 frozen pie crust (deep dish)
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding
Approximately 3 cups, cold skim milk (or according to pudding pie directions on package)
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons of sugar

Directions: Bake pie crust at 400 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. While baking, mix together pudding according to directions on the box. Place pudding in refrigerator to chill. Once crust is baked, remove from oven and cool. (Putting in the fridge helps.) After crust is cooled, pour in pudding mixture and return to refrigerator.

For the meringue, separate 3 egg whites in a mixing bowl. Whip until stiff, but not dry. Gradually add sugar and continue whipping until it forms stiff peaks. Smooth over pie, and bake in over at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes. Tips of meringue should be golden brown. Be sure to watch it so it doesn't burn though.

** Side note - I sprinkled shredded coconut on top of the meringue before baking to add a little texture. It was great! Also, since you are sticking a cold pudding mixture in the oven for a few minutes, it wouldn't hurt to pre-freeze the pudding pie before putting on the meringue.

2. Cherry Cobbler - From Lisa G., a SWBTS friend
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 box of yellow cake mix (probably a small box of Jiffy cake mix will do)
1 stick of melted butter

Directions: Put cherry pie filling in a pan, cover it with yellow cake mix, melt one stick of butter and pour all over the top of it, bake for 30 minutes on 350, and voila - tasty cherry cobbler. Some people put walnuts on top, but I prefer it plain.

3. Cheesecake - from Andi R., a fellow GBA alum
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (of course I use fat free!)
1 8 oz. package of whipped cream
1/3 cup of sugar
1 pre-made graham cracker crust

Directions: Mix cream cheese, whipped cream, and sugar together and pour in crust! Chill and serve! Fruit toppings optional!

4. Mini Cookie Cakes - from Jennifer J., a SWBTS/FW friend and fellow blogger
1 package of sugar cookie mix, and all the stuff it needs
1 can of cream cheese frosting
fresh strawberries, sliced

Directions: Bake sugar cookies according to directions on package. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting. Top with sliced strawberries.

5. Fancy Brownies - from April J., a DCCF friend and fellow blogger
1 package of brownie mix, and all the stuff it needs (Or...make your own)
1 jar of raspberry jam
Ganache (recipe to follow)

Directions: Bake brownies according to recipe on box. (Or use Gwen's yummy homemade brownie recipe). Top brownies with raspberry jam. Then cover with ganache (see below). Serve and wow your guests.

Chocolate ganache
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

Directions: Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake or other dessert. Start at the center of the dessert and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.


Sorry, folks, but April's recipe won the "OMG! I HAVE TO HAVE THAT RIGHT NOW" award! It was the picture of the ganache recipe she sent. I'm totally making this for my next set of guests.

Baking and entertaining really is as easy as that! I mean, it doesn't take long to make something delicious and sweet to serve to your guests. And trust me....the return on investment is well worth it!

Last night I made the pie. My guests did not make it. So, I ate a piece by myself. It was good. But now I have an entire pie to eat at my house. At least I made it low fat!!!!

Happy cooking!

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