Last week, I wrote about 10 essential recipes that I think everyone should know how to make. It was really hard for me to nail it down to just 10 recipes, and I didn’t have any room for desserts on my list. So this week I wanted to share with you 5 dessert recipes that I think are essential for everyone to learn how to make.
1. Chocolate Cake – A simple chocolate cake recipe is essential to know for any home cook. It teaches you how to follow a recipe, and even a little chemistry in the process too. It’s the perfect thing to make not only for birthdays, but other occasions when you want to show someone you care. Nothing says I love you with all my heart more than a good homemade chocolate cake. I know it’s so easy to just go to the bakery and get a pre-made cake, but it always tastes so much better when it’s homemade. One thing that all home cooks are afraid of when making any cake is that it will be dry. I’ve found that chocolate cake recipes that contain boiling water as an ingredient are always sure to be moist though. One of my favorite moist and chocolaty cake recipe comes from Hersey’s. You can find it here in a recipe where I made it into cupcakes, and the original recipe here. For birthdays, my favorite is German Chocolate Cake. You can find the German Chocolate Cake pictured above here. For a few more great recipes for cakes, check the swan’s down cake flour website here.
2. Homemade Pudding – Homemade pudding is a dessert that so many people take for granted. Those pre-packaged pudding cups and box mixes have made most people forget that you can actually make it on their stove-top, with ingredients from the pantry. Simple cornstarch puddings are very easy to make, taste way better than that boxed stuff, and are much cheaper too. I love Hersey’s recipe for a simple chocolate pudding you can find here. For the Dark Chocolate Pudding recipe pictured above, click here.
3. Pie – I was first going to say an apple pie, but some people don’t like fruit pies, so I am going to generalize and say you must learn how to make just one sweet pie. I don’t know any man, or woman for that matter, that would turn down a piece of their favorite pie. Pie gives us that warm fuzzy feeling inside. It’s like a big hug from your little old great-grandmother when your were 5 years old. There’s no feeling like it. My weakness is a pecan pie. It’s my granny’s recipe which I later found out was also the Karo recipe too. Oh well, it’s wonderful, and no secret recipe. You can find the Karo recipe on the side of the bottle, or here. My husband’s weakness is an apple pie. Last fall I created a caramel apple pie with pecans shown above to meld together our favorite pies, apple and pecan. Click here for that recipe.
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies – Chocolate chip cookies are a must for everyone to learn to make. You can make them so many ways. I usually just make them plain, or with added walnuts or pecans. To bake the perfect cookie, that doesn’t have a burnt bottom, I use an airbake cookie sheet. It’s something that I’ve done since I was a kid. They come out perfect every time. For a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe that’s perfect every time, I suggest Nestle’s recipe you can find here, or on the back of the bag of Nestle chocolate chips. For the Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies shown above, click here.
5. Brownies – Brownies are so easy and delicious, and there are so many ways to make them. They’re the perfect dish to take to potlucks or to the office just because it’s Tuesday. You can add applesauce, bananas, zucchini or even avocado to them for added nutrition. You can also add any type of nut, extra chocolate chips, a caramel swirl, or even Nutella like I’ve done in the photo above. One of my favorite go to recipes for brownies is this cocoa brownie recipe you can find here. For the Nutella Brownies featured above, click here.