Whip up a dessert


Merelize, freerangestock.com

If you like chocolate and fluffy goodness, consider serving chocolate mousse for dessert.

Most of us like fluffy things, such as kittens, clouds, pillows, blankets, fuzzy slippers, you get the idea. But what about fluffy foods? I know I am on board for that train.

I went through some of my favorite recipes to pick out some that I think you might like. We have our choice of preparing real whipped cream or buying one of the frozen whipped nondairy toppings just about every grocery store has available. The choice is up to you; I use both, depending on how much time I have to spare.

Summer is approaching, but the weather (as of this writing) has been cold one day and hot the next. A dessert made from whipped cream or topping can be a great choice when emerging from the heartier fare of winter months. It is nice to partake in something light and refreshing.

Chocolate mousse

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup water, divided

2 tablespoons butter

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

1. In a microwave, melt the chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter until the chocolate and butter have completely melted; stir until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a small, heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, sugar and remaining water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees (F) or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, whisk in chocolate mixture.

3. Set saucepan in ice and stir until cooled, about 5 to 10 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into dessert dishes and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cream cheese dessert

Crust:

2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers

1/2 cup unsalted butter

Filling:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces whipped topping

1 can (20-oz.) crushed pineapple, drained well

1. Melt butter in the microwave and allow to cool. Combine the cookie crumbs and butter and toss together until well mixed. Press 2 cups crumb mixture firmly into a 9-by-9-inch square pan.

2. In bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Turn the mixer down to low and add the confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until it is all mixed together.

3. Add the drained pineapple and whipped topping and stir in with a rubber spatula. Spread pineapple mixture over the crust.

4. Sprinkle remaining cookie crumb mixture on top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Pastel pie

1 graham cracker crumb crust

1 can sweetened condensed milk

6 tablespoons lemon juice

1 can (14-oz.) crushed pineapple, well drained

1 cup whipped topping

3 1/2 cups fruit-flavored miniature marshmallows

Extra whipped topping for garnish

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice.

2. Fold in remaining ingredients. Spoon filling into the pie crust and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Lemon dessert

Crust:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

Filling:

1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 carton (12-oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

4 cups cold milk

3 packages (3.4-oz. each) instant lemon pudding mix

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine flour, pecans, butter and sugar. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over crust.

3. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Spread over cream cheese layer; top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Makes 20 servings (or fewer if you cut larger pieces).

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