“Mommy! We have to hurry up and eat a bunch of desserts before Lent starts!”
Says my 8-year-old daughter, upon realizing that Lent begins next week. My thoughts exactly.
We always give up desserts as a family during Lent. So, in order to capitalize on the remaining dessert nights, I will share with you some of my favorite easy, weeknight desserts. The kind you can quickly throw together and then be named The Very Bestest Mom in the World.
My favorite is apple crisp. It is so easy! And it’s healthy! It’s apples! So what if there’s a little sugar involved? Sugar is natural. So it must be good. Right?
- 4 medium apples, sliced (about 4 cups)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnammon
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
- Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients (except ice cream) until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
- Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream.
Another favorite fast dessert is brownies. I don’t usually keep brownie mix on hand, but I usually have chocolate baking bars, and can whip up a batch of chocolate brownies in no time. I love brownies. I usually set aside enough for us to eat for dessert and then quickly freeze the rest. Otherwise I’ll eat them all before morning!
And a frozen brownie packed into a lunch box will defrost just in time for good little girls and boys to have a lunch dessert.
I like this recipe from Hersheys.
Quick & Easy Fudgey Brownies
- 1 package (4 oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking bar, broken into pieces
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped nuts, optional*
*sometimes instead of nuts I add chocolate or peanut butter chips, or toffee pieces. Sometimes instead of vanilla I’ll use mint or almond extract. It’s fun to experiment, and really hard to mess up a brownie!
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
- Place chocolate and butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Add sugar; stir with spoon until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour and nuts, if desired; stir until well blended. Spread in prepared pan.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.
One thing I’ve really learned to love is crock pot desserts. I used to have two crock pots, and I could cook dinner in one and dessert in the other. But my old one broke, so I’m back to only using one at a time. Gasp! If dinner is NOT in the crock, then it is free to make one of these fabulous desserts:
Triple Chocolate Cake
- 1 package chocolate cake mix
- 1 4-oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 16-oz container sour cream
- 6-oz chocolate chips
- Spray slow cooker insert very well with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, eggs, and sour cream. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Scrape batter into prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hour or on high for 3-4 hours.
The crockpot recipes come from Stephanie O’Dea’s website and/or books (crockpot365.blogspot.com; Make it Fast, Cook it Slow; More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow). I love, love, love Stephanie O’Dea. She is amazing. I consult her books not quite daily, but close to it. I used to think the crockpot was only for soups and stews.
But now I know it is also for chocolate cake.
I will warn you now, so you don’t call me on it later. There is an exception to our No Desserts During Lent rule. St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, so we make a teeny allowance for 1. Irish candy potatoes and 2. Shamrock Shakes. Not at the same time. So technically, there are two exceptions.
But my sister did promise me that if I do a 3-mile run with her on Saturday then I can have a Shamrock Shake as a reward. And that’s still before Lent starts.
Oh, I almost forgot. The critics are always unanimous about dessert. “Yummm!”
As if there was any doubt 🙂
Happy Dessert-ing 😀