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    Chocolate Truffle Tart

    Smooth chocolate ganache fills a golden crust of pâte sablée in this Chocolate Truffle Tart. It’s the ultimate special occasion dessert!

    Chocolate Truffle Tart (a.k.a. ganache tart) is a classic dessert that every good baker have in their repertoire. It’s one of the first assembled desserts taught in pastry class. Why? Perhaps because it’s so easy for a beginner to get right. Not to mention the end reward – rich and silky with deep chocolate flavor. Served on a golden crust of French pâte sablée, it rivals any restaurant dessert.
    I’m revisiting this classic just in time to plan my Valentine’s Day menu and some special February birthdays. Although, it’s one of those evergreen desserts that you can serve anytime, year-round, for a fancy ending to a dinner party or a simple weeknight supperd.

    Make the Pâte Sablée Crust.
    Let’s talk about pâte sablée for a sec. It’s a building block in French pastry; a dough primarily used for making tart shells with a delicate, crumbly, shortbread texture. Although, I have been known to roll out a batch just for cut-out cookies (see the Sprinkle Bakes cookbook, page 87).
    Make this recipe in your food processor, for the quickest, most efficient batch of pâte sablée dough. The dry ingredients are flour, baking powder, and salt. The wet ingredients are egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla which are beaten together until the yolks lighten. Pulse the two together. When the dough starts to form to one side of the bowl, you know you’re on the right track.

    Roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness and and fit it into a 10.5 or 11- inch tart pan (see more rolling action in the video at the end of this blog post). Blind bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
    What is Blind Baking?
    For those unfamiliar, blind baking just means you’re baking the pie crust before the filling is added. For this recipe you’ll need a sheet of parchment paper to cover the unbaked crust, and pie weights to hold the crust down while it bakes. Otherwise, air pockets will form and create an uneven surface. Invest in fancy pie weights if you must, but it is my preference is to use dry rice from my pantry. It creates and even surface and you can still eat the rice after using it for pie weights (now with toasty flavor!).

    Make the Chocolate Truffle Tart Filling.
    Get the good stuff, because you’ll taste the quality of the chocolate in the end result. Buy 12 oz. (4 bars) of high quality chocolate (responsibly sourced if possible) and chop them up. Put the pieces in a big mixing bowl.

    Pour over 2 cups of hot cream. Heat the cream only until it steams; it shouldn’t boil. Allow the mixture to stand 5 minutes, then combine with a whisk.

    You could use a large spatula for this, but the tines of a whisk do an efficient job of incorporating the hot cream and chocolate together. You’re not trying to incorporate air, so when the mixture begins to come together, stir slowly until the mixture is consistent.

    Add a whole stick of room temperature unsalted butter to the ganache. Stir until melted and smooth. This addition is key to the silky texture of this tart.

    Pour the finished truffle ganache into the baked tart shell.

    Chill the tart until set, at least one hour. Now. You could stop right here and just eat a delicious chocolate tart. But it’s super easy to dress it up for company or a special occasion. A white chocolate drizzle, along with a few purchased truffles make this tart look like it came from a bakery. The truffles I used are an assortment from Harry and David.
    I molded a few mini chocolate tablets using this mold. I find them so charming for dessert décors! Just melt the chocolate, pipe into the molds, and chill until firm. They pop out so shiny and perfect every time.

    While this tart is good on its own, I feel it’s best served with an accompaniment.
    Choose your adventure: red berries, whipped cream, or ice cream. All of these provide a nice foil for all that rich chocolate flavor.
    Chocolate Truffle Tart

    Serve slices at room temperature for the best, most pronounced chocolate flavor and smoothest texture. Enjoy!

    Related recipe: Ube White Chocolate Ganache Tart

    Chocolate Truffle Tart

    Heather Baird

    This tart is a wonderful special occasion dessert. The filling is luxurious with silky texture. The pâte sablée crust is golden and tender with delicate shortbread texture. It is rich indeed, so serve it with extra strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.Pâte sablée is a classic element in French pastry; a dough primarily used for making tart shells with a delicate, crumbly, shortbread texture. It’s easily made in a food processor, which is the method outlined in this recipe. If you don’t have a food processor, see the recipe notes for making this dough by hand.

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    Prep Time 45 minsCook Time 25 mins1 hour setting time 1 hrTotal Time 2 hrs 10 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American, French

    Servings 10

    Equipment10.5 inch tart panparchment paperpie weights or 3 cups ricePiping bag or zip-top bagmini chocolate tablet mold optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Pâte sablée crust1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt7 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cubed2 egg yolks6 tablespoons sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractIce water if neededChocolate truffle filling12 oz. semisweet chocolate finely chopped2 cups heavy cream1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperatureDécors2 oz. white chocolate or white candy melting wafers2-4 fresh strawberries halved10 purchased chocolate truffles I used Harry & DavidMini white and dark chocolate tablets see blog post for mold link
    Instructions Pâte sablée crustIn the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter cubes on top of the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse, pea-size crumbs.In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract until lightened in color (about 3-5 minutes of whisking).Pour the egg mixture in the food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the dough just comes together. If you find the mixture is too crumbly or lacking moisture to form a cohesive dough, add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time while pulsing repeatedly. The dough should form a rough, shaggy mass to one side of the processor bowl.Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a disc; cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375F.Lightly spritz a 10.5 or 11-inch tart pan with cooking spray. (Skip this step if you are using a non-stick tart pan.) Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Roll the dough into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick. Pick up the dough on the paper and turn it over onto the tart pan; remove the paper. Tamp the crust down into the pan, gently lifting the dough when needed to fit it into the corners of the fluted pan. Use a knife to trim away the excess overhanging dough.Cover the dough in the pan with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights (I use 3 cups of brown rice as pie weights). Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges of the tart crust are golden. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment; cool crust completely.Chocolate truffle fillingPlace the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer; do not boil. Immediately pour over chocolate.Allow the chocolate and cream to sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes. Whisk to combine. Add the butter and mix again until melted and the ganache is consistent and glossy.Pour the ganache into crust and smooth out any bubbles. Chill uncovered until set, at least 1 hour or overnight.DécorsMelt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 100% power in 30 second intervals until the chocolate can be stirred smooth. Transfer to a piping bag or zip-top bag with a tiny hole snipped in one corner. Pipe chocolate while moving your hand in a quick back-and-forth motion so that the chocolate lands in overlapping lines to one side of the tart.Top the white lines with the strawberries, truffles, and chocolate pieces. Serve the tart at room temperature. Store the tart in the refrigerator.Serve this tart with any of these accompaniments: extra strawberries, red berry coulis, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream to cut the richness.
    NotesPâte sablée by hand: Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold butter. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers, as you would a biscuit or scone dough. Mix the egg, sugar and vanilla as directed. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and gently knead together until a consistent dough forms. Do not over-knead. Let rest as directed and continue with rolling and baking instructions.

    Keyword chocolate truffle tart, chocolate truffles, easy chocolate tart, ganache tart, pate sablee, pate sablee crust, valentine’s day dessert, white chocolate ganache

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    Cherry Amaretti Trifles

    No-bake Cherry Amaretti Trifles will help you entertain with ease this holiday season. Mascarpone cream is layered with spiced cherry jam and crushed crisp amaretti cookies.

    This is a wonderful little recipe that requires no cooking and no baking – there’s just a little assembly required. It’s perfect for entertaining because the trifles can be made ahead. Mascarpone cream layered with amaretti cookies gives the dessert Italian flair, while spiced cherry preserves provides a tart foil for all that creamy richness.

    Cherry Amaretti Trifles

    Cheesy cream filling.
    Whip together 8 oz. of mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream, a little sugar, and a splash of amaretto liqueur in a bowl until thick and fluffy. This creates a light cream filling reminiscent of cheesecake. It’s so silky and decadent!

    Sweet layers.
    Transfer the cream into a piping bag with the end snipped. Fill 4 oz. capacity dessert cups about 1/4 full with the mascarpone cream. Next, layer in some crispy crushed amaeretti cookies. You can find these in the international section at US grocery stores, or at specialty food shops (Lazzaroni Amaretti is an excellent choice!)
    Next, layer in some prepared cherry or red fruit preserves. I used Murray’s Spiced Cherry Preserves in this recipe because almond + cherry are a match made in heaven! It has a unique, almost mulled wine flavor, with cloves and balsamic vinegar reduction. However, you can use any fruit preserve in this recipe, but red preserves look especially festive at Christmastime.

    Repeat the mascarpone and crushed amaretti layer once more before topping the cups with whipped cream. Dollop it on with a spoon, or pipe it as I did using a large closed star piping tip.
    A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts on top of each dessert adds delicious nutty flavor and makes a beautiful finishing touch.

    The trifles look elegant in footed dessert glasses and presented on a serving tray. You can make them a day ahead, reserving the toasted pine nuts and crisp whole amaretti cookie toppings until ready to serve. The crisp amaretti cookies will soften slightly in the refrigerator overnight, which gives them cake-like texture.

    Related recipe: Wintry Coconut Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes

    Cherry Amaretti Trifles

    Heather Baird

    These small Italian-inspired trifles make holiday entertaining a breeze. The recipe uses purchased crisp amaretti cookies and prepared cherry preserves for shortcuts, with a homemade whipped mascarpone cream filling.Assemble the trifles partially a day ahead of time. Layer the cream, preserves, crushed cookies, and whipped cream in clear glasses but wait until the day of serving to add the pine nuts, and crisp whole amaretti cookies.I used Murray’s spiced cherry preserves in this recipe. It can be found at some US grocery stores (such as Kroger’s) or ordered online. It has unique flavor with cloves and balsamic vinegar reduction. However, you can use any fruit preserve in this recipe, but red berry of fruit preserves looks especially festive at Christmastime.

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    Prep Time 45 minsTotal Time 45 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American, Italian-inspired

    Servings 6

    Equipment6 clear footed dessert glasses 4 oz. capacitydisposable piping bagslarge closed star decorator piping tip optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Trifles8 oz. container mascarpone cheese softened1 cup heavy whipping cream1/4 cup granulated sugar1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur optional5 oz. crisp amaretti cookies 1 package5 oz. prepared spiced cherry preserves or other red fruit preservesToppings3/4 cup heavy whipping cream2 tablespoons granulated sugar6 crisp amaretti cookies whole3 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
    Instructions TriflesIn the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese and the heavy cream together until combined. Slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar as you mix. When the mixture is thickened, beat in the amaretto liqueur, if using. Transfer the cream mixture to a large piping bag with the end snipped. Pipe the cream into each of six 4 oz. clear footed dessert cups about 1/4 full. Spread the top evenly to the edges of the glass using a spoon.Remove 6 whole amaretto cookies from the package and reserve for later. Crush the remaining cookies. Add about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of the crumbs to each of the cups, spread the crumbs to the edges of the glass using a spoon.Stir the preserves until loosened. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the preserves on top of the crushed cookies in each cup. Spread to the edges of the glass using a spoon.Repeat the mascarpone layer once more on to of each layer of preserves. Top the mascarpone layer with more cookie crumbs (you may not have to use all of the crumbs).ToppingsIn the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream while sprinkling in the granulated sugar. When the mixture is thick, dollop spoonfuls on top of each dessert cup. Or use a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip to pipe on a large swirl of whipped cream (as pictured).Just before serving, top the desserts with the pine nuts and a single crisp amaretti cookie.
    If you’re not inclined to use pine nuts on top of these dessert, try toasted almonds. They go so well with the almond amaretti cookies.
    Toast pine nuts in the microwave for a shortcut! Here’s how. Spread the raw pine nuts on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 100% power for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir them around and heat in additional 30 second intervals until toasted and golden. be sure to watch them constantly to prevent burning. Pine nuts can be expensive, and I consider them an extra special touch for the holidays. So keep a sharp eye on them!
    8 oz. of cream cheese can be used in place of the mascarpone cheese.

    Keyword amaretti cookies, Cherry Amaretti Trifles, mascarpone cream, spiced cherry preserves, toasted pine nuts

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    Easy Candy Bar Pie (3 Ingredient Filling!)

    This Easy Candy Bar Pie is a simple fix when you need dessert in a hurry. The rich, chocolaty filling requires just three ingredients!

    This recipe is some of the easiest pie making you’ll ever do. Especially if you opt for a ready-made graham cracker crust. I happened upon it while browsing through my very first cookbook. It was a community cookbook called Butter ‘n Love that my Aunt Dolly gifted me in 1984, when I was just a little kid. At that time, the only baking I’d ever done was in my Easy Bake Oven. Nobody had ever given me a cookbook before! It instantly made me feel a little more grown up.

    My first cookbook.
    I’ve kept the cookbook all these years, and just recently decided to thumb through it again. There under ‘Breads, Rolls, Pies & Pastry’ was a pie recipe that surprised me with 3 ingredients. How good could a pie with so few ingredients be? According to its author, Linda Underwood: “Very good.”
    She was right! However, I swapped the Cool Whip for real whipped cream beaten with a touch of sugar. It is my preference.

    The crust.
    There’s absolutely no shame in buying a ready-made crust, and it makes this recipe come together in no time flat. But I don’t keep ready-made graham crusts on hand. What I do keep on hand is a massive jar of graham cracker crumbs. I made my own crust but you don’t have to. You can find my scratch crust recipe in the notes of the recipe card. Like the filling, it’s also just 3 ingredients.

    The filling.
    Crumble and melt 6 Hershey’s Mr. Goodbars in a bowl, and heat in the microwave (or over a double boiler) until the chocolate is smooth. Let it cool until barely warm, then fold it into some sweetened whipped cream.
    That’s all folks! That’s it for the filling. With just three ingredients I didn’t expect it to be so rich, but it is. If you’re not into peanuts, you could use your favorite plain chocolate bar in place of the Mr. Goodbars.

    I purchased 3 Mr. Goodbar XLs (4.4 oz. each) instead of 6 regular bars (1.75 oz. each). So I had about 1/2 a bar leftover. I chopped it up an put it on top of the pie. I also tossed on a few candied peanuts that were hiding in my pantry. You could do the same, but this pie is plenty rich enough without additional toppings.

    This chilly Easy Candy Bar Pie recipe will definitely see a lot of action this summer. I plan to get myself some ready-made pie crusts to make the entire effort a no-bake affair. Father’s Day is coming up, and my dad loves my Classic Peanut Butter Pie recipe, but this one may have to make an appearance, too!

    Easy Candy Bar Pie (Mr. Goodbar Pie)

    Heather Baird

    It doesn’t get easier than this! Easy Candy Bar Pie uses just three ingredients for the filling. If you use a ready-made pie crust, you’ll need just 4 ingredients total for the entire pie. It’s smooth, rich, and kept chilled so it’s great for a cool treat on a hot day.Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar candy can be found at most US grocery stores in the candy aisle. You may also substitute your favorite chocolate bar. Use chocolate that has cocoa butter listed as an ingredient. This ensures the chocolate will incorporate well with the whipped cream.The recipe calls for a ready-made graham cracker crust, but if you’d rather make it from scratch, see the notes below for my recipe. It’s also just three ingredients, but does require 10 minutes of baking to set the crust. Also see notes for garnishing ideas.

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    Prep Time 15 mins2 hours chill time 2 hrsTotal Time 2 hrs 15 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 10

    Equipment9 inch pie plateHand mixer
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 6 Mr. Goodbars 1.75 oz. each1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled1 tablespoon granulated sugar1 Ready-made graham cracker pie crust or see notes for homemade recipe
    Instructions Crumble the chocolate bars in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 30 second intervals at 100% power until the chocolate can be stirred smooth, about 1 minute 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can do this over a double boiler. Set aside and let cool until barely warm to the touch, about 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in the large bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream to while gradually sprinkling in the sugar. Beat to stiff peaks.Pour the cooled melted candy bar mixture over the whipped cream and fold together using a large rubber spatula. The mixture is properly folded when there are no streaks of white remaining, and the peanuts are well dispersed throughout the pie filling.Pour the filling into the graham crust. Spread evenly and chill until firm, about 2 hours. Serve slices chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.
    NotesFor a scratch-made graham cracker crust, use the following recipe.
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    4 tablespoons butter, melted
    Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the crumbs and sugar in a bowl; whisk. Pour in melted butter and stir until the crumbs are coated with the butter and has the appearance of wet sand. Press the mixture into a standard 9 inch pie plate (not deep dish). Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before adding pie filling.
    Garnishes: Buy an extra candy bar and chop half of it into pieces for pie topping. Toss on a handful of plain or candied peanuts. Make some chocolate shavings by running a vegetable peeler down the side of a frozen chocolate bar. Do this on a cutting board or plate, and transfer the shavings using a spoon. The heat from your hands will melt the chocolate.
    An even quicker version! If you’re super pressed for time, make the pie exactly as it was originally written. One standard-size tub of frozen Cool Whip or other nondairy topping (thawed) can be used in place of the heavy cream and sugar. Fold together with the melted chocolate bars and proceed as directed. 
    This recipe was adapted from a small town community cookbook called Butter ‘n Love published in 1984.

    Keyword 3 ingredient pie recipe, candy bar pie, easy pie recipe, graham cracker crust, heavy cream, Mr. Goodbar, summer pie

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    Creme Brulee

    Nothing beats classic Creme Brulee for a special occasion dessert. It takes just five ingredients to make this creamy French custard with a caramelized topping.

    I’m not sure how I’ve been blogging for more than a dozen years, and never posted my favorite creme brulee recipe. Creme brulee is so well loved, you’ll find it on menus of fine restaurants all over the planet. It is rich and elegant. The shiny, crisp, burnt sugar surface is ceremoniously cracked with the edge of spoon. The thin layer of caramel shatters and gives way to an incredibly creamy custard with a silky texture. It’s one of the most popular desserts in the world. You’d never guess it was made with such simple and few ingredients!

    Five ingredients make the magic happen.
    First, choose a cream for your French custards. You can use heavy cream, light cream, or half-and-half. The latter is my favorite because it’s half milk and half cream. It’s a touch lighter than the others. But if you’re looking for the most indulgent version, use heavy cream. The vanilla bean pod, split, releases its seeds and creamy flavor into the cream as it cooks. Egg yolks add another layer of richness and buttery color. And they set the custard. Sugar sweetens and salt underscores the flavors. The ingredients are so simple, but together they make magic!

    Pour the cream into a pot and cook until hot but not boiling. Steep the split vanilla bean pod in the cream. If you don’t have vanilla bean pods, then you can use vanilla extract. If using vanilla extract, add it after you take the cream off the heat.

    Strain the cream using a fine mesh sieve into a big measuring cup with a pour spout. The vanilla seeds will pass through. But any larger bits from the vanilla pod will be strained out. Let the mixture cool slightly.

    Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl until well combined. Whisk for about 3 minutes constantly, and you’ll notice the yolks will lighten slightly.

    Tempering – a necessary step.
    Pour about 1/3 cup of the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. This tempers the eggs. Which means it warms them up without scrambling them.

    Now that some of the eggs have been tempered with cream, pour them into the rest of the hot cream mixture in the glass measure while whisking constantly.

    A step closer to creme brulee perfection.
    The mixture will have a little foam on top from all that egg whisking. It will dissipate a little over time, or, for perfect custards, skim it off with a spoon. This is an optional step, but it will help create an even surface for the eventual crisp caramel topping.

    Place the ramekins in a baking dish (I used a 13×9 inch cake pan) and pour the mixture into four 8-ounce ramekins. Or, if you have more guests to serve, six 6-ounce shallow ramekins.

    Bathe those beauties.
    Make a water bath by pouring hot water in the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. You can boil the water in a pot or in a large teakettle. For safety purposes, I recommend placing the pan on the oven rack, and then filling the pan with water. This removes any accidental sloshing of hot water during transport to the oven.
    Bake the custards for about 40 minutes. Or until they are set around the edges and have a jiggle in their centers. Keep them in the water bath until the water is barely warm. During this time they’ll continue to cook through. Then transfer them to the refrigerator to chill.

    Drama ahead!
    Now – the fun part! (Just kidding. It’s all been fun!) The sugar crust! Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the set custards. I used about a teaspoon of sugar per ramekin.

    Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. For extra drama, do this at the table in front of your dinner guests! The trick is to keep moving the torch around the surface area as the sugar granules melt. Don’t tarry too long in one place. Otherwise you’ll end up with burnt custard. You’ll recognize it immediately because it will bubble up over the caramel and char black.
    An alternative to the chef’s torch is the oven broiler. It’s an easy method but your custards must be very well chilled, or you’ll end up with crème brûlée soup. I’ll include instructions for that in the recipe card.

    To enjoy, crack the crisp caramel topping with the edge of a spoon. The custard nearest the topping will be a little melted under the heat of the torch. This is normal and so delicious to eat! The custard below should be well set and hold in a spoon. Some pastry chefs avoid the melty custard top by preparing a caramel disk separately from the custard. That’s a lot of extra trouble, and personally I love the small bit of warm custard.

    If you’re looking for a beautiful ending to special dinner (such as Valentine’s Day next week!) this one is tops. It’s a restaurant-quality dessert that you can easily make at home. The custards can be made a couple of days ahead, but the caramel topping should be prepared just before serving.
    If you’re looking for a unique way to serve creme brulee, check out my Creme Brulee-Filled Strawberries! So delicious and also perfect for Valentine’s Day.

    Classic Creme Brulee

    Heather Baird

    Five simple ingredients treated just so, transforms them into a rich, elegant, restaurant-quality dessert you can make at home! Crème brulee is a classic French dessert that makes a perfect ending to a special dinner. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for your next dinner party. The sugar topping should be torched just before serving.

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    Prep Time 20 minsCook Time 40 minsTotal Time 1 hr

    Course DessertCuisine French

    Servings 4

    Equipment8 ounce ramekins (4)13×9 inch deep baking panChef’s torch, optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 2 cups half-and-half or heavy cream1 vanilla bean pod split, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt5 large egg yolks1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more for brulée topping
    Instructions Preheat the oven to 325°F.Put on a large teakettle of water to boil, or use a large pot. You’ll need about 2-3 cups of boiling water.Place the half-and-half or cream in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the salt and vanilla bean and cook until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla bean to steep as the cream cools slightly, about 5-7 minutes. Pick up the vanilla bean pod with two fingers and lightly squeeze its contents into the cream. Stir. If using vanilla extract instead of the bean pod, heat the cream and then add the extract to the pot off the heat.Place a fine mesh sieve over a large glass measuring cup with a pour spout (4 cup capacity). Pour the cream through the sieve to catch any large bits of vanilla bean pod that may have cooked off.In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar together using a whisk. Beat until the mixture lightens slightly, which will take 2-3 minutes of constant whisking.Stir about 1/3 cup of the warm cream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Then pour this mixture back into the glass measure of remaining cream while whisking constantly. If the mixture is foamy, skim most of the foam off. This is an optional step, but creates an even surface for the caramelized topping.Place four 8 oz. ramekins into a deep 13×9 baking dish. Pour the crème brulee mixture from the glass measure evenly into the four ramekins. Place the pan on the oven rack and pour the boiling water into the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the centers are barely set and have a nice jiggle when moved. Remove the pan from the oven and let the custards stay in the water bath at room temperature until the water is cooled to warm, about 30 minutes. When the water is comfortable to the touch, remove the custards and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight. And up to two days ahead of serving.Just before serving, sprinkle a teaspoon of granulated sugar on top of each chilled custard. Shake each ramekin to even the sugar across the surface of the custard. Use a chef’s torch to evenly caramelize the sugar across the surface. Move the torch constantly so that it melts the sugar granules and doesn’t char the custard below. Alternatively, place the ramekins on a baking sheet and broil them in the oven 2-3 inches from the heat source. Cook until the sugar caramelizes, about 3-5 minutes.Serve immediately, or within an hour after caramelizing the sugar.
    NotesIf using the broiler method, be sure the custard is well chilled, otherwise you’ll end up with melted, soupy crème brulee.
    The doneness of the caramel is up to you. Some like the caramel topping almost black and bordering on bitter, while I prefer a lightly brown coating that tastes like toasted marshmallow.
    If you have more than 4 guests to serve, use 6-8 shallow ramekins and cook for 3 minutes.
    This recipe is adapted from Vanilla Creme Brulee by Mark Bittman from an old New York Times article. 

    Keyword caramel topping, egg yolks, fine grain sea salt, half and half, heavy cream

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    Red Party Punch

    This kid-friendly Red Party Punch will be a staple in your recipe box for birthdays, showers, and all kinds of holidays. Lime sherbet added at the end creates a sweet frothy topping.

    This is one of those old school recipes that gets a lot of love at our house around the holidays. The bright red color is perfect for Christmas. But it’s not limited to any holiday or event. Chances are, you’ve probably had a version of it at a birthday party or a shower. It’s kid-friendly. Although you can change that very easily if you’re looking for a sweet, spiked drink for New Year’s Eve. Everyone needs a recipe for Red Party Punch, if you ask me. It is unsophisticated by design, but what it lacks in refinement it makes up for in vibrant, happy color and fruity sweetness. It’s like a cup of hummingbird nectar for people.

    Key ingredients.
    Crack open a large can of pineapple juice, along with packets of strawberry Kool-Aid and a 2-liter of ginger ale. These ingredients, along with cold water and granulated sugar make up the red punch.

    Room to grow.
    Stir the ingredients together in a large punch bowl or large container that has a wide mouth. You need something that has wide surface area for the sherbet to spread out and foam. The sherbet foam will grow outward and upward – it’s fun to watch!

    Place scoops of sherbet in the punch then top it all off with a touch more ginger ale. The addition of ginger ale will make the sherbet foam and grow a beautiful frothy layer that tastes like dessert!

    See what I mean about the surface area? Look at all that beautiful sherbet foam. This red party punch is fun to serve in small punch cups with a heaping topping of froth.

    The flavor of this punch is similar to Hawaiian Punch, except with a fun carbonated fizz. And with an extra dollop of sweetness on top. You can use your choice of Kool Aid flavor for this punch, but I think Strawberry tastes best and gives the brightest red color.
    If you’re looking for other nonalcoholic punch recipes, check out my Mocha Party Punch. It’s creamy like a milkshake, although quite caffeinated.
    Adorable North Pole City frosted glasses by Catstudio, who creates all kinds of geography-inspired products.

    Red Party Punch

    Heather Baird

    This kid-friendly red party punch is great for birthday parties, showers, and holidays. We love making it at Christmastime because of its festive red color. See the recipe notes for variations and suggestions for serving it as a mixed drink with champagne.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 10 minsTotal Time 10 mins

    Course Dessert, DrinksCuisine American

    Servings 25

    Equipmentlarge punch bowl
    Ingredients  1 1/2 cups granulated sugar2 packets strawberry Kool-Aid unsweetened drink mix 0.13 oz. each4 cups water46 oz. pineapple juice not from concentrate 1 large can2 liters ginger ale1 quart lime sherbet frozen dessert softened
    Instructions In a large punch bowl, combine the sugar and powdered drink mix. Add the water and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the punch base is consistently bright red.Stir in the pineapple juice. Add in half of the ginger ale. Stir briefly.Place scoops of sherbet on top of the punch. Pour the remaining ginger ale over the sherbet. Give the mixture a brief stir and let the sherbet foam rise naturally.Serve this sweet dessert punch in small 4 oz. punch cups, topped with some of the frothy foam.
    Any flavor of Kool-Aid can be used, but I think Strawberry tastes best and gives the brightest red hue. Cherry would also make a fine red punch.
    Swap the lime sherbet for pineapple or orange – your choice! Lime is pretty for Christmas, but all flavors seem to dissolve into a pink foamy head on top of the punch.
    The foam will dissipate as you dip servings from the punch bowl. Expect this. It’s just the nature of sherbet-topped punch.
    This recipe doubles well to serve 50 people.
    Swap the ginger ale for an equal amount of champagne or prosecco for a toast-worthy New Year’s Eve drink.

    Keyword Ginger ale, lime sherbet, pineapple juice, Strawberry Kool-Aid

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    White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Orange Chocolate Sauce

    White Chocolate Panna Cotta is a holiday host’s best kept secret. It’s a creamy, eggless custard that can be made ahead for convenience. Dark chocolate sauce dazzles as a topping with a shot of orange liqueur.

    Unlike last Christmas, I’m planning to do a little entertaining this year. Nothing too grand, but just a few more than my immediate family. Good holiday hosts know that even a small party can be stressful if you’re not well organized. That’s why I love recipes like this one. This white chocolate panna cotta comes together in minutes and looks elegant in stemware. You can make it a day (or two!) ahead and store it in the refrigerator until party time.

    Creamy components.
    Start by melting some white chocolate morsels with heavy cream in a saucepan. After it’s heated and consistently mixed, add in bloomed gelatin – that’s the lumpy-looking stuff in the bowl up there. Stir until melted then whisk in half-and-half (or whole milk, your choice!).

    Divvy the mixture up into stemware. I used some miniature martini glasses that hold exactly 1/3 cup and got 12 servings. Serve this amount for a small cocktail party or a dessert tasting. Or, if you’re hosting an intimate dinner, portion them into larger glasses for a heartier serving size.

    A simple sauce.
    Make the chocolate sauce with just three ingredients! Use an orange chocolate bar to impart more orange flavor, as I did. Or, if you can’t source one easily, use a regular dark chocolate bar.

    Add a splash of Triple Sec (or Cointreau) to liven things up! However, this can be an optional addition. Or switch up the flavor with your favorite liqueur.

    Top each glass with a little of the sauce. You won’t need much! Add just enough to contrast the creamy white chocolate custard.

    Garnish the glasses with candied orange peel. I used some Callebaut Crispearls, too. You can find them here. They are little dark chocolate beads with a tiny biscuit inside for crunch. I keep them on hand to use as a dessert garnish.

    These little White Chocolate Panna Cotta cups are decadent and so smooth. The creamy white chocolate custard perfectly contrasts the dark chocolate topping. The hit of orange gives them a bright citrusy note that tastes celebratory.
    If you’re looking for more panna cotta recipes, another of my other favorite seasonal panna cotta recipe is this Eggnog Panna Cotta with Spiked Cranberry Sauce. The recipe is so well-loved it’s usually my most popular blog post in December.

    White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Orange-Chocolate Sauce

    Heather Baird

    This white chocolate panna cotta is an elegant eggless custard topped with a quick orange-chocolate sauce. It can be made up to two days ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve in stemmed glasses or mold the panna cotta in ramekins. I served these in mini martini glasses, which yielded 12 small cocktail party-sized servings. However, if you’re hosting an intimate dinner, portion them into six 8 oz. glasses or ramekins.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 10 minsCook Time 5 mins4 hours chill time 4 hrsTotal Time 4 hrs 15 mins

    Course DessertCuisine Italian

    Servings 6

    Equipment8 oz. glasses or ramekins (6), or 3 oz. mini dessert glasses (12)
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Panna cotta1/4 oz. powdered unflavored gelatin 1 envelope1 1/2 cups half and half or whole milk cold1 cup heavy whipping cream1/2 cup white chocolate morsels or 3 oz. white chocolate bar chopped1/4 cup sugarOrange-dark chocolate sauce and toppings3 oz. orange dark chocolate bar finely chopped3/4 cup heavy cream1 tablespoon orange liqueur2 tablespoons Callebaut Crispearls chocolate beads or other chocolate caviar12 pieces candied orange peel 2-3” lengths
    Instructions Panna cottaSprinkle the powdered gelatin over 1/4 cup of the half and half in a small bowl. Stir briefly and let stand 2 minutes. The mixture will be lumpy.Combine the heavy cream, white chocolate, and sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook while stirring until the chocolate is melted and the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.Remove from the heat and stir in the lumpy gelatin mixture into the hot mixture until dissolved. Stir in the remaining 1 1/4 cups half and half.Divide the mixture evenly between six 8 oz. stemmed glasses or ramekins. Or, portion them into smaller glasses for more servings (I used 2.6 oz mini martini glasses for a yield of 12). Cover and chill the glasses until set, about 4 hours or up to two days ahead of service.Orange-dark chocolate sauceIn a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate and cream on high power for 1 1/2 minutes until melted, stirring every 30 seconds between heating. When the mixture is smooth stir in the orange liqueur. Cool mixture until just warm but still pourable. Pour a little of the dark chocolate sauce on top of the set panna cotta. Serve extra sauce on the side in a small syrup pitcher.Garnish each glass with a few chocolate beads and a candied orange peel before serving.
    NotesWhat to expect: This white chocolate panna cotta is deceivingly light, but holds richness with its creamy ingredients and orange-infused chocolate syrup topping. It is soft set with a small wobble when turned out of a ramekin. 

    Look for white chocolate morsels that contain real cocoa butter, which will be listed in the ingredients. These will melt best and impart the best white chocolate flavor. Or, chop a 3 oz. white chocolate baking bar to use in this recipe.
    I used Theo 70% orange dark chocolate bar for the sauce, but an unflavored dark chocolate bar will work just fine.
    This recipe is easily scales up or down to serve as few as 6 people, or as many as 12. It’s a rich dessert, so even small servings pack a big punch. If hosting an intimate dinner, portion into 6 servings. Finger foods and cocktail party atmosphere call for smaller servings or even shot glass-sized portions.
    The panna cotta can be made up to two days ahead. You can also top the set panna cottas in glasses with chocolate sauce ahead, but do not garnish. The candied orange peel may weep. Wait to garnish an hour or two ahead of serving.
    If molding these into ramekins for a plated dessert, serve the chocolate sauce on the side, or drizzle just before serving.
    The chocolate sauce will be liquid and pourable just after it is mixed. If you pour the sauce over the set panna cotta and store in the refrigerator, the sauce will set slightly, yet not as firm as ganache.

    Keyword dark chocolate, half and half, heavy cream, orange chocolate sauce, orange liqueur, powdered gelatin, white chocolate

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    Teacup Apple Charlottes

    Teacup Apple Charlottes are layered with soft ladyfingers, vanilla custard and tender spiced apples. Make them ahead for an elegant Thanksgiving Day dessert.

    I hope you won’t mind the many apple desserts I have on the agenda this month. I’m trying to use the bounty that my mom brought me from her trip to an orchard. It’s been fun to think up new ways to use them, and this recipe is one I loved instantly!
    This Teacup Apple Charlottes recipe is my riff on the British classic. The original is made with buttered white bread that lines a pudding tin, then it’s filled with cooked apples and served with a sweet sauce and whipped cream. This version isn’t quite as elaborate, and presented in teacups!

    Creamy custard.
    Begin by making a crème patissiere. Making this always feels special because it tastes so indulgent. It’s one of my favorite pastry elements. I usually break out the vanilla bean paste or split half a vanilla bean and scoop the seeds into the custard. If you don’t have those on hand, just use vanilla extract. The result will still be lovely.
    Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap so it doesn’t develop a skin. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble. One important note: Crème patissiere should be thick enough to hold in a spoon. This is not a sauce, it’s a custard. Be sure you cook it until thickened.

    Next, bubble up some sugar and water together in a skillet – just until the edges start to caramelize. You can see here it’s lightly golden and ready for the next step.

    Have the apples ready to pour in at a moment’s notice. Caramelization happens quickly, and requires a watchful eye. The caramelized edges may seize up a little when the apples are added but this is normal.

    Punch up the flavor!
    Immediately pour in the juice of one orange and some apple brandy, if you have it. I did not have this on hand, so I added a little boiled cider to the mixture. Stir, stir, stir. You may see little clumps of caramelized sugar lurking about. Keep stirring while cooking and they’ll dissolve in the acidic juice of the orange.

    Cook the apples down until most of the moisture has evaporated, and the apples are golden brown and shiny with syrup.

    Prep the teacups.
    Line six teacups with ready-made soft lady fingers standing upright. You can find these at most grocery stores in the bakery aisle. This is a wonderful shortcut without compromising flavor.

    Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the cups, about 1/3 of the way full.

    Next, spoon in the apples. Aim for equal parts crème patissiere and apples for a nice balance. The apples are a little sharp, especially if you use Granny Smith apples.

    Whipped cream can be served on the side, but I think the desserts look best presented with a big dollop on top.

    I could see these being served as a fun ending to Thanksgiving dinner, and the components can be made ahead. I’m always for a low stress dessert, especially when entertaining a houseful of people.

    Teacup Apple Charlottes

    Heather Baird

    This recipe is my riff on the British classic, Apple Charlotte. This slightly less involved version is served in a teacup, layered with crème patissiere, and topped with freshly whipped cream. See the recipe notes for instructions to make them ahead.

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    Prep Time 20 minsCook Time 15 minsTotal Time 35 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American, British

    Servings 6

    Equipment6 oz. teacups (6)
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Crème patissiere2 tablespoons cornstarch1 cup whole milk1 egg2 egg yolks6 tablespoons granulated sugar2 tablespoons unsalted butter1 teaspoon vanilla extractPinch of saltSpiced apples1/2 cup granulated sugar3 tablespoons water6 Granny Smith apples peeled cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces2 tablespoons apple brandy or boiled apple cider1/4 cup orange juice from 1 large orange1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon2 tablespoons unsalted butterCrème chantilly2/3 cup heavy cream2 tablespoons granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla extractAssembly36 ready-made soft lady fingers about 1 1/2 packagesGround cinnamon for garnish
    Instructions Crème patissiereIn a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the milk. Beat the whole egg, then the yolks, one at a time, into the cornstarch mixture.In a saucepan, combine the remaining 3/4 cup milk and the sugar; bring to a boil whisking constantly. While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour 1/4 of the hot milk into it, to temper the eggs. Return the remaining milk in the saucepan to medium-low heat.Pour the hot egg mixture into the saucepan in a thin stream, whisking, so as to not scramble the eggs. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla; stir in the salt.Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface so it does not form a skin. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.Spiced applesPlace the sugar and water into a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook gently until the sugar has dissolved and turns lightly golden at the edges. Immediately pour in the chopped apples, add the apple brandy or boiled cider, orange juice, cinnamon, and butter. Stir together briskly. The caramel may seize when the apples are added; this is normal. Keep stirring until lumps have disappeared. Cook uncovered over medium high heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated and the apples are fork tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.Crème ChantillyPour the heavy cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Whip the cream on high until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Whip until stiff peaks form.Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready for use.AssemblyPlace six 6 oz. teacups on a baking sheet or tray. Line each teacup with six soft ladyfingers standing upright. Spoon or pipe the pastry cream into the bottoms of the teacups, about 1/3 full. Add an equal amount of spiced apples on top.Add dollops of Chantilly cream on top of each cup. Sprinkle with pinches of cinnamon and you’re ready to serve!
    NotesWhat to expect:
    The pastry cream balances the flavors of tart granny smith apples. The lady fingers are soft and cake-like.
    Patience and a watchful eye are both required for the caramel portion of the apple recipe. Be careful not to burn the sugar, and don’t try to multitask during this step.
    The orange juice in the apple recipe really brightens the apple flavor. Use freshly orange juice squeezed from one large orange.
    To make these ahead, assemble the lady fingers, pastry cream, and apples in the teacups. Cover each cup with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon. 

    Keyword creme chantilly, creme patissiere, espresso pastry cream, soft lady fingers, spiced apples

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    Candy Corn Jello Shots

    Whip up these Candy Corn Jello Shots for a fun October treat. This kid-friendly version has fruity, tropical flavor that can be made grown-up with your favorite spirit.

    October is just days away, and I’m a little too excited about all the sweet and spooky things this month brings. I’ve been working on some fun Halloween sweets and the truth is, I have too many ideas and not enough time to make them all. But I’m going to try!
    First, I decided to make some cute candy corn Jello shots – or parfaits, if you’re serving them to kids. I’ve seen plenty of versions of this treat around the web, but I wanted to put my own spin on them. As written, my version is non-alcoholic, tropical-fruity, and darn cute, too! However, if you’re looking for a grown-up party treat then these are super simple to alter with your favorite spirit. I’ve included those instructions in the recipe.

    Jello shots are set firmer than the standard Jell-O recipe on the box, yet not as firm as say, a Jell-O Jiggler (shoutout to any 90’s kids in the room!). This version is dessert-like, so serve each glass with a little spoon.

    Layer #1
    Cook up a pot of opaque white ‘jello’ using powdered gelatin, sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk. Make these grown-up by swapping the coconut milk for whipped cream flavored vodka or another favorite liqueur. It’s best to limit this addition to spirits that are clear or milky white. Godiva white chocolate liqueur comes to mind.
    Divide this mixture between two measuring cups. Tint one cup with yellow food color and add lemon extract. Flavor the other cup with coconut extract. Cover the white coconut-flavored cup and set aside. Fill tall shot glasses 1/3 of the way up with the yellow gelatin and chill.

    Layer #2
    The second layer comes together with a small box of orange Jell-O, powdered gelatin, and orange juice. Again – swap the orange juice for something more spirited if you’d like. Pour the mixture on top of the set yellow layer and chill until firm.

    Layer #3
    The final layer is the creamy coconutty mixture that’s been hanging around since we started this whole process. At room temperature it shouldn’t congeal, but it could. Give the mixture a stir and if you find any jelled gelatin, then microwave the mixture for 30 seconds to melt it. Cool the mixture before adding it to the glasses.

    Top it off!
    A swirl of whipped cream on each shot gives these a touch more creaminess, which I’m all for. Yum! These can be made a couple of days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

    Add candy corn on top of each shot and these are dressed and ready for Halloween festivities. I can’t wait!

    Candy Corn Jello Shots

    Heather Baird

    Whip up these Candy Corn Jell-O Shots for a fun October treat. This kid-friendly version has fruity, tropical flavor that can be altered with your favorite fruit juice and soda. See the recipe notes for the grown-up version of this dessert. The texture of this treat is comparable to the classic Jell-O shot, which is set a little firmer than a regular Jell-O recipe. The higher ratio of gelatin will also help the shots to set more quickly. Serve each of these with a small dessert spoon.

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    Prep Time 15 minsCook Time 10 mins1-2 hours chill time 1 hrTotal Time 1 hr 25 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 12

    Equipment2.4 oz. shot glasses, or 3 oz. dessert cups
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 2 cups water3 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin .25 oz. each7 oz. sweetened condensed milk 1/2 of a 14 oz. can2/3 cup coconut milk cold1 teaspoon coconut extract1 teaspoon lemon extractYellow food color3 oz. box orange Jell-O gelatin dessert1/3 cup orange juice cold1/2 cup heavy whipping cream chilled2 tablespoons granulated sugar14 candy corn pieces
    Instructions Pour 1 cup of the water into a small saucepan. Whisk in the contents of two packets of the unflavored gelatin. Cook over low heat while slowly stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.When the gelatin is dissolved, stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Add 2/3 cup coconut milk. Stir to combine. Divide the white opaque mixture between two glass measuring cups with pour spouts. Stir the coconut extract into one cup. Cover it and set aside; keep at room temperature. In the second cup, add the lemon extract and a few drops of yellow food color. Mix well to combine.Set 14 tall shot glasses (2.4 oz. each) on a sturdy tray that will fit inside your refrigerator or freezer. Pour the yellow gelatin mixture 1/3 of the way up into each shot glass. Refrigerate until the gelatin is semi-set, about 20 minutes or 10 minutes in the freezer (I used the freezer method). You can tell the gelatin is correctly set and ready for the next layer if you tip a shot glass from side-to-side and the surface tension holds any unset liquid under the surface in place.Meanwhile, make the orange Jello layer. Pour the remaining 1 cup of water into a saucepan and whisk in 1 packet of gelatin. Cook while stirring until the gelatin melts, about 5 minutes. Stir in the orange Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add 1/3 cup orange juice and stir. Let cool 5 minutes. Evenly distribute the orange gelatin over the yellow layer, approximately 1/3 of the way up each shot glass. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes or 10 minutes in the freezer.Stir the reserved white coconut gelatin. If the mixture has partially set, microwave it for 30 seconds and stir until gelatin is melted. (I didn’t have this problem at 70 degree room temperature). When the orange layer is set, top each shot glass off with the white gelatin. Refrigerate until the entire dessert is set, about 30-45 minutes (more or less depending on your fridge temp).To make the whipped topping, beat the heavy cream in a medium bowl while gradually adding 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until billowy and stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag with a closed star tip, and pipe a swirl of whipped cream on top of each shot glass. Garnish each with a candy corn piece.
    NotesSpike them! For a grown-up candy corn Jell-O shot add your favorite spirit. For the white and yellow layers, omit the coconut milk and replace it with an equal amount of whipped cream vodka or plain vodka. Limit these additions to liquors that are clear or milky white, such as Godiva white chocolate liqueur or Bailey’s. For the orange layer, replace the orange juice with Cointreau or Triple Sec. 
    Variations. The flavors of the opaque gelatin layers can be changed up by swapping in cream soda or almond milk for the coconut milk. Add clear vanilla extract to the mixture instead of the coconut and lemon extracts. You can change the flavor of the orange layer by adding pineapple juice instead of orange juice. 
    Make-ahead! The layered shots can be made a couple of days ahead of serving, but wait to garnish them with the whipped cream and candy until party time. After the layered shots are assembled, place a small piece of plastic wrap over each glass so the gelatin’s surface doesn’t dry out.

    Keyword coconut extract, coconut milk, lemon extract, orange Jell-O, orange juice, powdered gelatin, sweetened condensed milk

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