You know how you always see recipes on social media? They make the videos short as if you can make it in a few seconds. They are made to look so decadent and easy to make. But are they really or do they just want to make their video get lots of views. As we are all starting to think of what we will make for Thanksgiving dessert, I thought it would be fun to try a few out and see if they rate a place at our Thanksgiving table.
The first one I made was this Ice Cream Layer Cake from Ree Drummond over at http://www.foodtv.com/4g2j0. This recipe claimed to be the easiest ice cream cake ever. Was it? Yes, because it’s basically constructing layers of already made ingredients. Which is not so bad for a Thanksgiving recipe. It’s good to have a few easy things and it still counts as homemade!
I bought a frozen Sarah Lee pound cake, you could make your own of course. Slice it horizontally into 3 pieces. Line a loaf pan (I used the one the pound cake came in) with a long piece of plastic wrap (make it long enough to cover the whole cake when its done which will be taller than the pan) Lay down one of the three slices of pound cake. Cover the cake with about 1 cup of softened vanilla ice cream, followed by 3 large peanut butter cup candies, roughly chopped. Add a second layer of cake* and cover with approximately 1 cup of softened chocolate ice cream, followed by about 1/3 cup of roughly chopped M&M type candy. Place the last layer of cake on top, followed by 1 cup of softened chocolate chip ice cream. Now comes the messy part – cover with a layer of Magic Shell, (which is a chocolate sauce that hardens over the ice cream like a dipped cone.) Then add one chopped peanut butter cup and a few chopped M & M’s. Wait a few seconds for the sauce to harden, then fold the plastic wrap over the whole cake structure and put it in the freezer, about 4 hours.
When you are ready to serve, pull back the plastic wrap and use the flaps to pull the cake out, peel off the plastic wrap and slice to serve.
*When you put the cake layers down, that is your chance to press down a bit and get it all compact. Don’t squish so much that you ruin the cake though.
Hint- if you didn’t want to buy 3 kinds of ice cream, you could do any layers the same and buy one or two flavors.
How I rate this as a Thanksgiving dessert It was easy to build and you could make it ahead of time so points for those reasons. I accidentally got butterscotch M &M’s that were white chocolate and that flavor was strong in a way I didn’t like. My fault, no reflection on this recipe. The M&Ms were pretty though! I will not be making this for one of our Thanksgiving desserts though because it didn’t seem Thanksgiving-ish. More of a birthday cake vibe to me.
Next up is a Cookie Milk Cup with a slight twist because I am going to use mine with ice cream instead of milk. This was on Social Media from Tastemade. http://tastemade.com It’s illegal for me to post their photo so sorry about that but here’s what mine look like. Theirs were slightly more of a shot glass shape with milk and a little straw.
This recipe was posted from Britain or somewhere where they use grams for measurement so I have converted it for you because you are going to want to make this.
In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter, 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup sugar. They called for castor sugar which is a fine sugar (pictured). You can get this or similar in grocery stores. I think it would be okay to use regular granulated sugar too if you don’t want to buy special sugar.
Add 1 large egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix. Sift 2 cups of flour and stir into the mixture until well combined and finally add in 1/2 cup chocolate chips, stir so they are evenly distributed. Press the dough into a mould of your choice, I used a muffin tin (also convenient because the batter made 12 ‘bowls’)
I used a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop for consistency.
I flattened it a bit in my hand and pressed it into the muffin sections. (You do not need to grease the mould, the butter in the recipe greases it as it bakes and it came right out) You want the walls of the cup to be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Line the inside of the cups (I used cupcake liners. While it looked like the mini cupcake liners fit better they actually were more difficult to remove later but the regular size liners pulled some of the cookie out with it. )
Fill the cupcake liners with beans or pie weights. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Partway through refrigeration, turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Bake for about 14 minutes or until the cookies just start to brown. Take them out of the oven and remove the beans and liner. See what I mean the mini liners sank down and the cookie puffed around the top edge so I had to use craft tools to remove the liner and beans. It actually got easier as I went because it cooled a bit.
They will look a bit doughy.
Put them back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until the cookies are baked through. They are a little puffy when you take them out but they fall back down as they cool. Cool them completely. Melt 1/2 cup (or slightly more) dark chocolate and brush it on the insides of the cups, coating them completely with a thin layer. Place in the fridge until set, (I didn’t, it set just fine in a few minutes)
Add your choice of ice cream flavors.
How I rate this as a Thanksgiving dessert – yes! I’m all in! The cups will be made ahead of time and I can add a scoop of ice cream at the last-minute. If I had room in my freezer i would put the scoop in each cup and set a platter of them on the shelf in the freezer.
I’m so full of sugar, I don’t even want to blog about the 5 recipes I tried today; that’s right 5 recipes! I had a day at home and I was anxious to get these tested!
I started today with this Nutella Brownie also from Tastemade. http://tastemade.com
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a square pan. Place 14 Tablespoons of Nutella in a bowl and put it over a pan of boiling water, or a double boiler. Add 7 Tablespoons of melted butter.
In a bowl, beat 2 eggs with 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture is foamy and clear. (I used a hand mixer even though the video showed whisking by hand, mine never got a foam, it looked more like vanilla pudding before it sets) Transfer the Nutella to the bowl and mix well. Slowly add 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I didn’t read the word ‘slowly’ until after I had dumped it in, don’t ya hate that? But I just kept going) Back to the flour…incorporate it until the dough is homogenous. Place the dough in the square pan you prepared add about 5 spoonfuls of Nutella randomly on top of the brownie batter. . It doesn’t have to be pretty, it’s going to sink into the batter. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top of the brownies crack yet the center is still humid.
Serve with a scoop of ice cream on top…
How I rate this as a Thanksgiving dessert – Totally in! My husband loved it, I loved it (and I wasn’t expecting to like this because I do not care for Nutella.) I think my whole family will like this dessert. I can make the brownie the day before (It actually stayed a good texture for the three days.) It was easy to prepare.
On to my favorite flavor combo – S’mores ! but with a peanut butter twist. This is the first of the four desserts that were posted by Tasty. http://bzfd.it/2agrquX They called it, Four Desserts That You Can Make With Three Ingredients. Three ingredients! Can that be right? I’m interested, are you?
Peanut Butter S’mores Dip:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a pound of mini peanut butter cups in an even layer on the bottom of a large nonstick pan. Place a pound of marshmallows in a single layer on top. whoops – I bought a half pound bag of marshmallows that were slices. I didn’t even there was such a thing but they would work so well in an actual s’more!
I just layered them on.
Bake for 20 minutes until marshmallows are golden brown.
Serve with 15 – 20 graham crackers for dipping! So easy! 3 ingredients!
How I rate this as a Thanksgiving dessert – Surprise! Even though this is so easy and delicious, I don’t think it would work for our family as a Thanksgiving dessert. It seems more of a game night snack. But if you want to be sure every one eats a sweet treat at your Thanksgiving, this is a dish that even if guests say, ‘oh no thanks, i couldn’t eat another bite” Boom, put this on the table – they are eating it within 5 minutes! Guaranteed!
By now I was thinking seven desserts to try was a bit ambitious of me! But I persevered.
On to Cookies and Cream Truffles.
This 3 ingredient dessert begins with 36 chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor until they are fine. Reserve 2 Tablespoons of the crumbs, don’t forget this step because you are going to sprinkle them on the truffles at the end and it makes a big difference in the appearance.
I just added the 8 ounces of softened cream cheese right in the food processor and gave it another whirl. Chill the mixture for about an hour until it can be rolled into a ball and hold its shape.
Form the mixture into small balls the size of golf balls.
Dip the truffles in about 12 ounces melted white chocolate (I like to use candy making ‘chocolate’, it melts easily, stays a good texture and stays melted longer than chips). I ended up putting mine in a mug for depth so the truffle could dunk better. Place the dipped truffles on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Crumbs from the truffle get in the white melted chocolate, but don’t fret because then you sprinkle them with your reserved crumbs and it covers all the imperfections.
How do I rate this as a Thanksgiving dessert – Yes! One reason is that they are easy and can be made ahead of time. Second reason is when you are full after stuffing yourself but want a sweet treat, this is a perfect portion! It would be a nice addition to the dessert table. If you are going to be a guest for Thanksgiving, this would be a good traveling dessert or even a hostess gift.
Next recipe to test is the Palmier Cookie: Thaw 1 sheet of puff pastry until it unfolds without breaking. Melt 1/2 stick of butter. Unfold the puff pastry and brush it with melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 c sugar (I know it’s a ridiculous amount and most of it falls off but I did use the recommended 1/2 cup) Use a rolling-pin to roll over the pasty, making it into a rectangle and pressing the sugar into the pastry.
Flip the pastry, then repeat with the butter, another 1/2 c of sugar and rolling-pin. Start from the shorter edges and roll them tightly toward the middle
Wrap them plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and lay so one roll is on top of the other. Trim the uneven ends off the pastry, them slice 1/2″ cookie rounds. (They should look like smooshed hearts) Place the slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart to allow for expansion. Bake 15 minutes, flipping them halfway, until the sugar is caramelized and the cookies are golden brown. (I’m not sure what happened to mine but when I took them out to flip after 7 minutes it was hardly cooked at all. Put them in on the other side for 8 minutes and it got golden and beautiful. Since the other side didn’t cook, I flipped it and cooked the first side another 7 minutes and they were beautiful)
How do I rate this as a Thanksgiving dessert – Yes! My husband and I both like these. Maybe it will be breakfast with coffee and fruit or maybe I will put them on the dessert table or maybe I will do both! They meet the criteria of being easy and can be made ahead of time! I think they could be made a couple of days early.
Final recipe! I thought this was going to be the grand finale.
I was looking forward to these Triple Decker Brownies.
It was my least successful recipe. I made a couple of changes, and did mess up one part so it might have been my fault. Here’s the recipe and you can decide if you want to try them…
Preheat the oven to 350. (My oven may have been hotter than this since I had it on all day for the previous recipes.) Press 16 ounces of premade cookie dough in an even layer on the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan. (I only had an 8 x 8 so I used that; also they called for a tube of cookie dough and I used the already sliced ones since it was more the shape of the pan already) Place 16 chocolate sandwich cookies evenly on top of the cookie dough. Pour a HALF BOX of brownie mix, prepared according to package directions. (This was my boo boo. I didn’t realize it said half the brownie batter, I put it all in there)
Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Cool, slice, serve!
The moral of this story is not to do so much baking in one day. I think my oven got too hot and I made mistakes in the recipe, as simple as it was. This is my overcooked/undercooked brownie. The edges were too dark (because of oven temperature I think) and the middle was still too dough-y. Part way through I smelled it burning so i lowered the temp and put foil loosely over it but put it back in because it was still batter in the center.
Heres my tip for getting the burnt edges off-
– Use a zester to scrape over the black parts. If you hold it so the concave part is up, it will catch most of the crumbs and you can just tip it over a sink or trash. If it’s too bad, you can just cut the outer edges off completely.
How I rate this as a Thanksgiving dessert- No, not in the condition mine was in any way. I am open to trying this recipe again someday and see how it comes out but I won’t be serving it this Thanksgiving.