last moon

Monday, September 3, 2012

How to Make a Dessert in a Jar

One of the latest food trends is dessert in a jar.  These are simple to create and it’s always more about the presentation than the actual dessert.  You can turn almost anything into a dessert in a jar.  Some desserts will be baked right in the jar and others will be more of a composed dessert, kind of like a trifle.  Try some of these at your next get together and enjoy the compliments that roll in.
  1. Strawberry Shortcake The beauty of this dessert is that you can make it ahead and screw the lids onto the jars and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.  Then pack it up for a picnic and eat it within 2 to 3 hours.  Start by baking a yellow cake.  Once cooled you can crumble the cake up into big chunks.  Press some yellow cake into the bottom of 4- quart sized canning jars.  In a bowl mix together 1 can of vanilla frosting with 8 ounces of whipped topping.  Add a layer of the whipped topping mixture to the jars.  For the third layer add some sliced strawberries.  Repeat the layers one more time or until the jar is full and put the lid on.
  2. Basil Strawberry Lemonade Granitas Kind of like a slushy all grown up, the granita is a wonderful way to cool off on a warm summer day.  Create a simple syrup with 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and a handful of basil leaves.  Cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and remove from the heat and allow syrup to cool.  When the syrup has cooled remove the basil leaves.  Meanwhile, in a food processor blend together 4 cups of sliced and hulled strawberries, and the juice and zest of 2 lemons.  Pulse this mixture together until smooth.  Add in the cooled simple syrup and mix together.  Pour mixture into 10- 8 ounce jars about three quarters full.  Place jars in the freezer covered loosely.  After 30 minutes scrape down the sides of the jar and place back in the freezer.  Repeat the scraping process after another 90 minutes in the freezer.  Now freeze for at least 3 hours.  When you are ready to serve, stir the mixture with a fork again.
  3. Cherry pie Take a store bought refrigerated pie crust (or make your own) and let it come to room temperature according to package directions.  Unroll the crust and cut out 4-6 inch circles of dough.  Use a saucer as a guide when cutting.  Gently slide the crust into the jars.  The crust should be about ½ inch from the rim of the jar.  Place ½ cup of cherry pie filling into the jars. (This can be canned or your own recipe.)  Using the lid of the jar cut out 4 smaller circles of dough to act as the top crust.  Gently press the smaller circle of crust on top of filling and using your fingers or a fork press the two edges of the crusts together to seal.  Brush the top crust with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.  Cut a hole in the top crust to act as a vent.  You can put the lids on the jars now and freeze them for up to 3 weeks.  Otherwise, bake the jars without the lids for 40 to 45 minutes at 400 degrees F.  If you want to bake one straight from the freezer add an extra 10 minutes to the cooking time.
  4. Double Decker Cupcakes   Have the kids help you with this simple to do dessert.  Take a standard cupcake to the next level.  Bake off some cupcakes (cupcake papers needed) and allow them to cool completely.  Slice the cupcakes in half and put the first half in the bottom of the jar.  To make it easier to handle put some frosting in a zip top bag and cut a little hole in the corner to create a piping bag.  Squirt some frosting on top of the first half and press the other half into the jar.  Add more frosting and another half of a cupcake.  End with frosting and some sprinkles and you have a beautiful cupcake in a jar.  Tie a disposable spoon to the jar with a pretty ribbon and you have a lovely dessert for your next party.
  5. Chocolate trifle Ever feel like you don’t get every layer of a trifle when you dip into that big bowl?  Now you will because each jar is its own dessert.  Bake a batch of brownies and allow them to cool.  Cut them up into bite-sized pieces.  Mix up a box of chocolate pudding and defrost some frozen whipped topping.  Hull and slice a pint of strawberries.  Layer in some brownie bites, pudding, whipped topping and sliced strawberries and repeat until you reach the top of the jar.  Put the lids on and refrigerate until party time.  This desert is best when eaten the same day.
P. S. This post was  proposed to me for publication by Suzanne Cullen   I'm therefore publishing it by her invitation and under her permission. See also the link below fore more information:

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