Easy Single-Serving Desserts
For the Crust:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2–3 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
In a food processor, pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of salt to combine. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With processor running, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until a dough forms (do not process more than 20 seconds).
Cut dough in half; shape each half into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Cut 1 log into 12 even pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten each piece into a 2-inch round. Press a rounded disk onto bottom and up the sides of each cup of a 12-cup nonstick mini-muffin tin. Repeat with remaining disks of dough and second muffin tin. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F. In a medium bowl, stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and zest, and a pinch of salt. Add berries; toss to coat. Fill shells with berry mixture. Bake until crusts are brown and filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly in tins. Run a knife around tarts; remove from tins. Let cool completely on rack.
Semi-Homemade Fruit and Nut Brownies
1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries with stems, drained and 1/2 cup juice reserved
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 box Betty Crocker dark chocolate premium brownie mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract, if desired
Additional sliced almonds, if desired
- Heat oven to 350 F (325 F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or shortening. Set 12 cherries aside for garnish. Remove stems and coarsely chop remaining cherries; set aside.
- Stir almonds and chopped cherries together; set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir brownie mix, chocolate syrup pouch, oil, reserved 1/2 cup cherry juice, almond extract and eggs with spoon until blended. Spread half the batter in pan. Spoon nut and cherry mixture evenly over batter. Spoon remaining half of batter over nut mixture to cover.
- Bake brownies 45–49 minutes or until the center of brownies spring back when lightly touched with finger. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
Guiltless Strawberry Layered Dessert
If fresh strawberries are available, use those. In winter sometimes it’s hard to find good berries. So I make a compote out of frozen berries and use that instead for the topper.
For the Strawberry Compote:
2 cups frozen strawberries
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the strawberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently. This is also my recipe for refrigerator berry jam (you can use any combination of berries). I just cook off the liquid more. Keep an eagle eye your jam as you stir. It goes from perfect to burnt fast. You must take it off the stove and transfer it to a heatproof dish.
For the Chia Pudding:
1 13 1/2-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup chia seeds
In a small bowl, add coconut milk, cow’s milk or almond milk. Flavor with vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and honey. Mix together. Add chia seeds and whisk to incorporate. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
For the Crust:
I personally like a good granola. I have also used a mix of pecans and almonds chopped for the base as well. Once your compote is cooled, you can start building your layers.