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    Lemon Tiramisu

    Lemon Tiramisu is a refreshing twist on the classic Italian dessert. Mascarpone cream and zesty lemon curd are layered between citrus-soaked ladyfingers for a bright-tasting pick-me up!

    Here comes the sun – in dessert form! This citrusy twist on classic tiramisu uses familiar ingredients such as mascarpone cheese and crisp lady fingers. But that’s where the similarities end. Instead of coffee, this confection has a double dose of lemony goodness with lemon syrup and tart lemon curd. It’s a different kind of pick-me-up!

    Make the Mascarpone Cream
    Start with sugar, milk and a bunch of egg yolks all whisked together in a bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook the while beating with a hand mixer. Cook until thickened and a thermometer registers 160°F. Making this custardy mixture takes about 7-10 minutes – more or less depending on your range (a constant gas flame may get the job done quicker). And it’s the most intensive work you’ll do for this recipe! Remove the bowl from the pot, and let it cool completely.
    Speaking of hand mixer… the cordless hand mixer I’m using in the photos (and video!) has pretty much changed my kitchen life. It’s given me a whole new freedom as a baker and food blogger who is constantly fighting/hiding/dragging cords as I work. My mom got it for me for my birthday in 2022, and it’s been such a great tool and a pleasure to use. This is not a sponsored post, but here is an affiliate link to the KitchenAid Cordless 7 Speed Hand Mixer that I’m crazy about. If you have the same issues with being tethered in the kitchen, then you may want to invest in one!
    I digress. Back to the lemony goodness!

    Purchased Ingredients
    This recipe uses prepackaged crisp lady fingers, mascarpone cheese, and prepared lemon curd. If you have homemade lemon curd on hand, then by all means use it! While the bowl of custard cools, give the mascarpone cheese a stir and leave it at room temperature to soften. Also stir the lemon curd. If the lemon curd seems particularly stiff-set, microwave it a little so that it loosens to a pourable consistency.

    Add half of the softened mascarpone cheese to the cooled custard mixture and beat well to combine.

    Add the second half of the mascarpone and beat together until fluffy and no lumps of mascarpone remain. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the lemon syrup.

    Make the Lemon Syrup
    The syrup is a mixture of simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. Super easy! I added just a touch of lemon extract also, but this is optional. You can find my Homemade Lemon Extract recipe right here.

    Assemble the Lemon Tiramisu
    Dip crisp lady fingers in the lemon syrup briefly, then line the bottom of a 7×11-inch dish. You could also use an 8×8-inch square dish or baking pan.

    Cover the lady fingers using half of the mascarpone cream. Then, cover the cream with half of the lemon curd. Evenly spread the lemon curd over the cream. If the two swirl together a little – that’s totally fine!
    Next, dollop whipped cream over the lemon curd. Spread it evenly. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just do the best you can. Then, repeat the layers all over again: soaked lady fingers, mascarpone cream, lemon curd, and whipped cream.

    The final layer of whipped cream doesn’t have to be spread all the way to the edges. Spread it within 2-ish inches of the sides. Refrigerate the tiramisu for 6 hours (or overnight) so the lady fingers have time to soften, the cream sets, and the flavors all marry together. Much like classic tiramisu, I think it improves over time!
    Just before serving, add lemon wheels and lemon zest for garnish. These are totally optional, but it makes a pretty presentation.

    Do you spoon or slice your tiramisu? I do both! However, it’s nice to admire a cross section slice of tiramisu, where you can clearly see all the layers stacked together.

    I almost didn’t get a picture of the interior before we ate it all! It’s such a light-tasting dessert, good at any time of year, but I could see it being right at home at spring and summer gatherings. However, right now, in the bleak midwinter, it tastes/feels like a much needed dose of sunshine!
    If you’d like more visuals on how to make this Lemon Tiramisu, then check out the video below to guide you along. Enjoy!

    Lemon Tiramisu

    Heather Baird

    This citrusy twist on Tiramisu is light and refreshing – the perfect ending to a rich, savory meal. Assembled with the right top-notch prepared lemon curd, it tastes like a restaurant-quality dessert. You could also use homemade lemon curd, if you prefer to make your own.Plan ahead, because this dessert needs to chill for 6 hours, or overnight. It can be made a few days ahead and kept refrigerated. Like classic tiramisu, I think it gets better over the course of a few days.

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    Prep Time 20 minutes minsCook Time 10 minutes mins6 hours chill time 6 hours hrsTotal Time 6 hours hrs 30 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine Italian, Italian-inspired

    Servings 12

    Equipmentstainless steel bowlHand mixerCandy thermometer11×7 baking dish or 8×8 square dish
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Mascarpone cream2/3 cup whole milk3/4 cup granulated sugar6 large egg yolks16 oz. mascarpone cheese room temperatureWhipped Cream1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream1 teaspoon vanilla extractLemon Syrup1/2 cup water1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup fresh lemon juice1/2 teaspoon lemon extract optionalAssembly24 crisp lady fingers one 7 oz. package12 oz. lemon curd 1 jar6-8 round lemon slices optionalZest of 1 lemon optional
    Instructions Mascarpone CreamFill a saucepot 1/3 full with water and bring to a simmer. Place a heat-proof bowl on top of the pot and add the milk, sugar, and egg yolks. Beat together with a hand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is thick and foamy, and a thermometer registers 160°F (approximately 7-10 minutes). Remove from the heat and cool completely.Add half of the mascarpone cheese to the cooled mixture and beat with a hand mixer until thoroughly incorporated. Add the second half and beat again until thickened and smooth. Cover and set aside.Whipped CreamBeat the heavy cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and beat until just combined. Cover and refrigerate while you make the lemon syrup.Lemon SyrupPlace the water and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute 30 seconds. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. (You can also do this in a small saucepan on the stove top.) Add the lemon juice. Stir well. Stir in the lemon extract, if using. Stir and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.AssembleDip crisp lady fingers into the lemon syrup one at a time and place an even layer into the bottom of a 7×11-inch baking dish. Cover the lady fingers with half of the mascarpone cream, spreading it evenly to the edges of the pan.Stir the lemon curd until loosened and pourable. Pour half of the lemon curd over the mascarpone cream. If the curd is too thick to pour, microwave it for 20 seconds to loosen and stir again. Alternatively, dollop firm lemon curd on top of the cream and spread as evenly as possible to the edges of the pan. It is okay if the mascarpone cream and lemon curd swirl together a little.Using a spatula, dollop half of the whipped cream on top of the lemon curd layer. Spread as evenly as possible to the edges of the pan.Repeat the layers of soaked lady fingers, mascarpone cream, and lemon curd. Dollop the remaining whipped cream in the center of the dessert and spread within 2 inches of the edges.Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Just before serving, add lemon wheels and zest for garnish, if using. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.
    NotesWhat to expect: This is a deceptively light-tasting dessert that packs a lemony punch! It has all the same lovely layers and textures that you’d expect from classic tiramisu. Mascarpone gives the dessert a silky-smooth texture that tastes of a restaurant-quality desert. It’s truly special occasion-worthy

    Thermometer: If you don’t have a kitchen/candy thermometer, you can judge the done-ness by the texture of the egg yolk/milk mixture. It’s ready to use when the the mixture is thick enough to fall in a ribbon back into the bowl when picked up with a whisk. 
    Lemon Curd Brands: There are many wonderful prepared lemon curds to choose from at the grocery store. I recommend Bonne Maman as well as McKay’s. 
    Fresh v/s Bottled: Fresh lemon juice will yield the best tasting results in this recipe, but you can also use bottled.
    Lemon Liqueur: Limoncello liqueur can be used in place of the fresh lemon juice in the lemon syrup for an authentically Italian experience, and a boozy note.
    Cream Cheese Variation: Regular cream cheese could be used in equal amounts for the mascarpone cheese in the mascarpone cream, but the end result won’t be quite as nice in texture. 
    Make Ahead: This dessert can be made a couple of days ahead. Like classic tiramisu, it gets better over time in the refrigerator!

    Keyword crisp lady fingers, fresh lemon, lemon juice, lemon tiramisu, mascarpone cheese, Tiramisu

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pie Trifle

    Dive into the cozy flavors of fall with this Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pie Trifle. It’s here to steal the show at your Thanksgiving feast or any autumn gathering.

    We all know and love those iconic Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. They’re nostalgic, chewy, and have that perfect hint of molasses. I’ve always thought they’d be delicious paired with pumpkin for a fall dessert. Inspiration struck when I found myself with a big box of them leftover from my Dad’s 80th birthday party. They are his favorite snack, so we gave them out to guests as favors.
    Enter the Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pie Trifle. It’s a heavenly concoction that combines the beloved Oatmeal Creme Pies with pumpkin cream cheese filling, whipped cream, and caramel.

    Make the pumpkin cream cheese filling.
    In a mixing bowl, combine canned pumpkin puree, room temperature cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix it until it’s well combined and velvety smooth.

    The star of the show – Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies!
    Using a large sharp chef’s knife, quarter the Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. Half of them will be placed at the bottom of a trifle bowl. This forms the foundation on which to build the whole shebang. I wondered how well the pies would stand up with so many creamy elements layered on top – but they held their shape and provided a nice, chewy/cakey bite. They are just perfect in this trifle!
    After you’ve quartered the pies, whip 1 cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks. To shortcut this recipe, you could use an 8 oz. tub of frozen whipped topping, but the homemade whipped cream really makes a difference in flavor.

    Layer the ingredients.
    This trifle has 8 layers total. First, layer in half of the Oatmeal Creme Pies, then top with half of the pumpkin cream cheese filling. Next, top with half of the whipped cream and spread to the edges. Then, a layer of prepared caramel goes on top. Lately I’ve been loving Torani prepared caramel which can be found in the coffee aisle at the grocery store with the flavored syrups. It’s surprisingly good for something store-bought! However, you could also use Smucker’s hot caramel topping, which is widely available and found with the ice cream toppings (just microwave it for 30 seconds so it loosens). Or, use homemade if you have it.

    Repeat the layers – oatmeal pies, pumpkin cream cheese, whipped cream, and…

    .. more caramel! The best part about this Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pie Trifle is that it’s incredibly easy to make and assemble. You don’t need to be a baking expert to whip up this fall masterpiece.

    Finish with flair.
    Crumble one Oatmeal Creme Pie and sprinkle it over the whipped cream and caramel. Make sure you don’t crumble it too fine – you want a few larger pieces that are identifiable as Oatmeal Creme Pies.

    This trifle takes a nostalgic childhood treat to a whole new level. It’s like a taste of fall in every spoonful, with the warm and comforting flavors of pumpkin spice and oats. What’s better? You can make it a couple of days ahead!

    Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pie Trifle is the perfect alternative to traditional pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It’s easy to assemble, looks stunning in a trifle bowl, and the flavors are (*chef’s kiss*) an autumnal dream come true.
    Related recipe: Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins with Coffee Glaze

    Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pie Trifle

    This no-bake trifle is ready to steal the show at your Thanksgiving feast or any fall gathering. It’s a dessert that combines the nostalgia of childhood treats with the warmth of autumn flavors. It’s as easy to make as it is to devour.Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies can be found at nearly any US grocery store in the cookies and snacks aisle. You’ll need an entire box of 12 for this recipe.

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    Prep Time 25 minutes minsTotal Time 25 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 14

    EquipmentTrifle bowlHand mixer
    Ingredients  16 oz. cream cheese at room temperature3/4 cup granulated sugar15 oz. pumpkin puree 1 can1 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice2 teaspoons vanilla extract12 Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème pies 1 box1 cup heavy whipping cream beaten to stiff peaks1 cup prepared caramel sauce such as Torani
    Instructions In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Beat well until combined and no streaks of cream cheese remain. Set aside.Set one oatmeal pie aside for later use. Using a large chef’s knife, quarter the remaining pies. Layer half of the pies into the bottom of a 3 to 4 quart capacity trifle bowl.Top the pie pieces with half of the pumpkin cream cheese mixture. Spread to the edges of the bowl.Top the pumpkin mixture with half of the whipped cream. Spread evenly to the edges of the bowl.Spoon or drizzle half of the caramel over the top of the whipped cream layer.Repeat the layering with the remaining pie pieces, pumpkin cream cheese mixture, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.Crumble/tear apart the remaining Oatmeal Crème Pie and place it on the top center of the trifle.The trifle can be served immediately, or you can make it 2 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
    NotesLittle Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies come in two sizes – you can use either size. The standard size comes in a box of 12 and is carried at most grocery stores. If you find the larger pies (packaged for resale in vending machines) you’ll need 9 for this recipe.
    To shortcut this recipe, you could use an 8 oz. tub of frozen whipped topping, but the homemade whipped cream really makes a difference in flavor. The finished dessert will be sweeter using the whipped topping, because it is presweetened. The homemade whipped cream has no sugar added and relies on the caramel to deliver sweetness. 

    Keyword canned pumpkin puree, cream cheese, fall desserts, Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin trifle

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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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.

    #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 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.

    #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 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.

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    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.

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    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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