Could you pick your three favorite desserts?

 

Let me begin by stating that my husband has very high standards for the quality of our food. We eat a lot of un-messed-with organic fruits and vegetables (many of which we grow in our gardens) and locally raised meats. Our milk is hormone-free, our butter is from pasture-raised cows, and our chickens are free-ranging across our yard right now.

 

However, every now and again, he goes through periods of food experimentation and since I'm the cook in the house, it's my job to implement his idea-of-the-moment. During the last few years, we have experimented with a blood type diet, a pH diet, gluten-free, no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no processed sugars, the three season diet, ayurvedic, vegetarian, and vegan. (I personally don't think that life is worth living without dairy so he tried vegan all on his own, for a short while.) But we gave them all a chance at one time.

 

The reason I mention this is because his current kick is to avoid flour and sugar, which basically means no desserts! I love to bake pies. But I can't make one now because I will end up eating 80% of it or it will go bad! Can you imagine a pie going bad?! The horror!

 

But since I'd like to share my favorite desserts with you, I will pretend that it is a happier time when desserts still existed in our house. Here are my three current favorites.

 

 

Easy-Peasy Homemade Fudge

 

Don't tell my husband but I made a batch of this yesterday actually! I had to because there was a can of condensed milk staring at me from the cupboard and fudge is the only recipe I know of that uses it!

 

Here's how I did it: one and a half bags of chocolate chips (I used some semi-sweet and some dark chocolate), a can of sweetened condensed milk, a splash of vanilla and a dash of salt all melted together in a saucepan and then poured into a square 8" casserole dish lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours, cut into bite-sized pieces and then put the whole batch into zipper bags in the freezer. (Otherwise, you might end up eating two-thirds of it in one sitting like I have done accidently several times before.) It will stay fresh in the freezer for a long time; I don't know how long exactly because it always disappears before it has a chance to get freezer burn.

Triple Berry Pie

 

I used to make my pie crusts with Crisco, but recently switched to butter. If you're interested, here's my double crust recipe, but you can just as well buy frozen pie crust.

 

2 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons vodka

 

For the filling, I thaw two to three pounds of Wyman’s of Maine triple berry blend (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries) in a colander, discard the juices, and mix in two heaping tablespoons cornstarch and 3/4 cup sugar. If you don't make a lattice crust like the one in the picture, be sure to cut slits in the top crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until bubbling. Let cool completely before cutting (unless you like soupy pie).

Good Ol' Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Early in our marriage, my husband challenged me to make 'his perfect chocolate chip cookie.' He had a long list of cookie characteristics that he wanted me to achieve: gooey but not raw, thick but not fluffy, crispy edges but not dry... the list went on and on. Week after week, month after month, I would try out new recipes, some simple, some incredibly complex, and each time he would provide constructive criticism about how they weren't quite right yet. I would decrease the temperature of the eggs while increasing the temperature of the butter, then modify the cooking time by 30 seconds and try again.

 

By my 47th batch, I was starting to wonder if this was just his way of getting me to bake him a whole lot of cookies. But finally, in January 2015, I created a batch of perfect cookies! They were the right size, the right height, the right amount of top brown, the right amount of bottom brown, the right amount of center softness, and the right amount of dough/chip ratio!

 

If you'd like to try out my ultra-honed recipe, here it is. Make the cookie dough using the instructions on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag. Or as Phoebe from Friends would say:

 

But here's the trick. Put the dough in the fridge for at least a half hour. Preheat the cookie sheet and the oven. Bake small balls of cold dough on a hot pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Then eat as many of them as you can while they are still warm.

I'd love to hear your top dessert recipe in the comments.

Published by Phoebe DeCook