Monday, August 31, 2015

The Importance of a Killer Dessert

Chocolate Chip Squares (photo by Jenny Craig)

You can slave in the kitchen for days making the perfect meal, but if the dessert doesn’t prompt guests to demand seconds, thirds and fourths, you might as well have ordered out.  Even guests who tell you they’re on a diet or they don’t eat carbs or they’re too full will remember an outstanding dessert.  And if you somehow made a mess of the main dish, they’ll forget it immediately because they’re slavering over something much better.

You can even make your mark at someone else’s dinner party if you volunteer to bring the dessert—as long as it looks fabulous and tastes even better.

What do I bring to get attention?  Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie, Flourless Chocolate Cake and the extremely easy-to-make Chocolate Chip Squares (see recipe below). 

If you have a killer dessert to share, write it down in the COMMENTS link, and I’ll post it. 
Chocolate Chip Squares – serves 8 (adapted from “Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen”)  
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips 
Place one of the oven racks in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
To save time on cleanup, cook and bake in the same container.  Place an 8-inch square metal baking pan on a stove burner over low heat and add the butter.  As soon as it’s melted, turn off the heat.  
Add the two sugars and stir thoroughly.  Make sure the pan has cooled down and then add the egg, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt, and stir until well combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top of the dough has begun to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan. 
Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the squares. Cool on a rack.  To remove from the pan, cut the baked square in half and then in quarters.  Slide a metal spatula under 1 of the quarters and lift out.  Repeat for the other quarters.  Cut each quarter in half so that you have 8 large oblong pieces.  Serve.
           For more chocolate recipes get “Chocolate on the Brain”