Delicious desserts in a dash

No time to spend hours baking this holiday season? No problem.

The holidays bring out the baker in many of us, but not everyone has the time to create show-stopping bite-sized desserts from scratch. Using ready-made products from your local grocery store can be a big time-saver without compromising creativity or flavour. Amaze your guests with these tiny treats — no one needs to know they only took minutes to make.

CHOCOLATE CUPS WITH ORANGE-SPICED MASCARPONE CHEESE AND POMEGRANATE SEEDS

Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cream cheese, much creamier in taste than regular cream cheese and easy to use for a variety of desserts. Start with a few ingredients: ready-made chocolate cups (or you can make your own), mascarpone cheese, orange zest, milk, honey and cinnamon. Once you have the cups ready, prepare the cream filling. Place one cup of mascarpone cheese in a bowl, then add one tablespoon of orange zest, one tablespoon of milk, two tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir and spoon mixture into a piping bag and fill chocolate cups. Top off with five or six pomegranate seeds.

PHYLLO AND VANILLA PUDDING CUPS WITH RASPBERRIES AND ALMONDS

These delicious pudding cups are so easy to make and have the perfect combination of creaminess, crunch and a burst of raspberry flavour. Begin with a package of frozen phyllo pastry. Separate about five sheets and cut into three-inch squares. Press the squares into a mini muffin pan and bake according to package instructions. Once baked, set aside to cool. Prepare vanilla pudding according to package instructions or use ready-made pudding (you can use chocolate pudding if you like). Spoon or pipe pudding into the phyllo moulds and top with a raspberry and toasted almond slices.

NUTELLA PUFF PASTRY STARS

Nutella has been the hero of many desserts and these puff pastry stars are sure to be crowd-pleasers. All you need are a box of frozen puff pastry, a jar of Nutella, star-shaped cookie cutters and some icing sugar or cocoa powder. Defrost and prepare the puff pastry according to package instructions. Cut out shapes with the cookie cutters and bake as instructed. Once completely cooled, spread a thin layer of Nutella on one star and place another on top. Dust with icing sugar for a wintery effect.

Present all three desserts on a handsome cake stand and watch them disappear.

About the Author

Agnes Borowik


Agnes Borowik is a freelance writer based in Burlington, Ont.

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