Take Five!

The holidays are creeping upon us, and days that are already busy are only going to get busier. During the holidays, we want things festive and to enjoy the festivities, but we want time-savers wherever possible.

So, toward that end, I’m listing here five quick and easy dessert ideas.

Why desserts? Well, even if you’re not a big dessert eater (and I’m generally not), during the holidays, it’s nice to be able to whip together a fun dessert sometimes now, isn’t it?

So go ahead, be a cool cat and listen to the Dave Brubeck Quartet as they play “Take Five” while you read about these five easy desserts — you know you want to!

1. Waffle with Ice Cream

I know this might sound nutty, but it really is tasty — I came up with it one Sunday evening when we were wanting something sweet to enjoy while watching “The X-Files” (yes, it was that long ago! ūüėČ ). ¬†Not only is this quick and easy, but you can make just as much or as little as you want, from a single serving to enough for a group of 6 or 8!

For each serving:

  • Frozen waffle (homemade or store-bought — you can “healthy” this up by using a NutriGrain waffle)
  • Scoop of ice cream of desired flavor (we use no-sugar-added ice cream)
  • Desired toppings: flavored syrup, whipped topping, nuts, a cherry — whatever makes you happy and you have on hand
  1. Toast waffle.
  2. Top warm waffle with scoop of ice cream.
  3. Dress with desired toppings.
  4. Enjoy!


2. Brownie Special Treat

In the town where I attended university and spent my early career days working, at the time, there was a sandwich, soup, and salad shop downtown called “Annie’s.” And one of the yummiest things on their menu was “Annie’s Special Treat.” It’s very easy to replicate at home and, as with the first dessert listed above, it is easy to make for as few or many servings as you like.

For each serving:

  • Single serving of brownie (homemade or store-bought — we do a no-sugar-added brownie)
  • Scoop of ice cream of desired flavor (we use no-sugar-added ice cream)
  • Desired toppings: flavored syrup, whipped topping, nuts, a cherry — whatever makes you happy and you have on hand
  1. Gently warm brownie in microwave or oven.
  2. Top warm brownie with scoop of ice cream.
  3. Dress with desired toppings.
  4. Enjoy!

3. Ice Cream with Pudding Sauce 

You can use either homemade pudding or the convenience of a packaged cook and serve pudding — but it must be the “cook and serve,” NOT instant! It tastes decadently delicious, yet when made with sugar-free pudding (with skim or 1% milk) and no-sugar-added ice cream, it’s a treat you needn’t feel guilty about.

While a recipe of pudding (whether a convenient cook and serve box mix or from scratch) typically makes four 1/2 cup servings, if you’re making for one or two (or three!), you can just refrigerate the remaining pudding.

  • One recipe/package (four 1/2 cup servings) COOK AND SERVE pudding of desired flavor (we prefer chocolate) OR equivalent of homemade cook and serve pudding (we use sugar-free pudding mix or make sugar-free pudding)
  • Scoop of ice cream of desired flavor (we use no-sugar-added ice cream) for each serving
  • Desired toppings: flavored syrup, whipped topping, nuts, a cherry — whatever makes you happy and you have on hand
  1. Make pudding according to package directions or recipe.
  2. Spoon out individual servings and top each with scoop of ice cream.
  3. Dress with desired toppings.
  4. Enjoy!

4. Baked Mixed Fruit 

As with so many things, my mom introduced me to the simple delicious of baked mixed fruits. While you need to allow some time for it to bake (‘though I suppose one could microwave it), once you get all the fruit together, all you do is put it in the oven and smell its yummyliciousness while it bakes.

  • Assortment of desired quantities and types of fresh or frozen fruit (such as seedless grape, apple, pear, etc.), sliced/cored as appropriate
  • Dots of butter/margarine, as desired
  • Splashes of vanilla, as desired
  • Sprinkle of seasonings (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, etc.), if desired
  1. Spread/arrange desired amount of prepared fruit in an oven-proof container. Dot with butter/margarine. Splash with a bit of vanilla. Sprinkle with seasonings, as desired.
  2. Bake at 350F/375F until tender, juicy, and bubbly (usually 30 to 60 minutes).
  3. Enjoy alone, with ice cream, and/or with a sprinkling of nuts and/or whipped cream/topping.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers. Also delicious over pancakes or waffles.

5. Makes Everything Special Hot Chocolate Sauce 

And once again, this is a special treat my mom introduced me to. As a special treat — or on days when I wasn’t feeling well — she would make this as the “syrup” for my breakfast pancakes. Whether served over pancakes, waffles, or ice cream, it’s delicious — and you can make as much or as little as you want.

  • Dot of butter/margarine, as desired (for each serving, I use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of butter/margarine)
  • Splash(es) of vanilla
  • Milk (skim, 1%, or evaporated/cream), to taste (2 to 3 tablespoons per serving)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder (1 tablespoon or so, as desired, per serving, more or less, depending upon taste)
  • Sweetener (sugar or artificial sweetener) to taste (anywhere from 1/2 the amount of cocoa powder to 1 1/2 times the amount of cocoa powder, as is your preference)
  1.  Melt margarine/butter in a small saucepan/skillet over low heat.
  2. Stir in cocoa powder and splash of vanilla until smooth. If using sugar, stir in sugar to cook and melt.
  3. Splash in desired amount of milk. Cook down to desired (thickened) consistency, stirring constantly.
  4. Serve over waffles, pancakes, ice cream.
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About MissieLee

I love tasty food prepared in a healthy way with a budget in mind.
This entry was posted in Cake, Dessert, Ice Cream, Pudding and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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