Take your pick from these classic Southern Living treats.

Southern Living

 1. Basic Creme Brulée

2 cups whipping cream
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Garnishes: fresh raspberries, fresh mint sprigs

  • Combine first 4 ingredients; stir with a wire whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Pour evenly into 5 (5x1-inch) round individual baking dishes; place dishes in a large roasting pan or a 15x10x1-inch jellyroll pan. Add hot water to pan to depth of 1/2 inch.
  • Bake at 275 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until almost set. Cool custards in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cover and chill at least 8 hours.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over each custard; place custards in pan.
  • Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat (with electric oven
  • door partially opened) until sugar melts. Let stand 5 minutes to allow sugar to harden. Garnish, if desired. Yield: 5 servings.

Related: Wickedly Delicious Chocolate Desserts

Variations
Berry Creme Brulée: Place 8 to 10 fresh blackberries or raspberries in each baking dish; pour custard mixture over berries. Proceed as directed in basic recipe, baking 45 minutes.

Chocolate Creme Brulée: Combine 4 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate and 1/2 cup whipping cream from basic recipe in a small heavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream; reduce vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Proceed as directed in basic recipe, baking for 55 minutes. For a Chocolate-Raspberry version, place 8 to 10 fresh raspberries in each baking dish, add custard, and increase baking time to 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Related: The Best Way to Make Homemade Caramel

Double Raspberry Creme Brulée: Reduce vanilla
to 1 teaspoon; add 1 additional egg yolk and 1 1/2 tablespoons Framboise or other raspberry-flavored liqueur to custard mixture. Place 8 to 10 fresh raspberries in each baking dish; pour custard mixture over berries. Proceed as directed in basic brulée recipe, baking 55 minutes.

Orange Creme Brulée: Reduce vanilla to 1 teaspoon; add one additional egg yolk, 2 tablespoons grated orange rind, and 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur to custard mixture. Proceed as directed in basic brulée recipe, baking 1 hour.

White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Creme Brulée: Combine 4 ounces white chocolate and 1/2 cup whipping cream from basic brulée recipe in a heavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups whipping cream; reduce vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Proceed as directed in basic brulée recipe. Place 1 tablespoon chopped macadamia nuts, toasted, in each baking dish; pour custard over nuts. Bake as directed 1 hour and 10 minutes.


2. Candy Bar Brownies

4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa
4 (2.07-ounce) chocolate-coated caramel-peanut nougat bars, coarsely
chopped
3 (1.55-ounce) milk chocolate bars,
finely chopped

  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well.
  • Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; stir into sugar mixture. Fold in chopped nougat bars.
  • Spoon into a greased and floured 13x9x2-inch pan; sprinkle with chopped milk chocolate bars. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack; cut into squares.
  • Yield: 2 1/2 dozen


 

3. Lemon Bars
 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
3/4 cups butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind (optional)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Powdered sugar

  • Combine 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar; cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Spoon mixture into a greased 13x9-inch pan; press firmly and evenly into pan, using fingertips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.
  • Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour and baking powder; set aside. Combine eggs, 2 cups sugar, lemon rind, if desired, and lemon juice; stir in flour mixture. Pour over prepared crust.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Cool on a wire rack. Dust lightly with powdered sugar; cut into bars.
  • Yield: 2 dozen.



4. Chocolate-Raspberry Shortcake

1/2 cup butter or margarine,
softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons Chambord or other raspberry-flavored liqueur
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 cups fresh raspberries
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

  • Grease two 9-inch round cake pans; line with wax paper, and grease wax paper. Set aside.
  • Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  • Combine flour and next three ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  • Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  • Cook jam in a small saucepan over low heat until melted; stir in liqueur. Set jam mixture aside.
  • Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy: gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
  • Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; brush with half of jam mixture. Arrange half of raspberries over jam. Spread half of whipped cream over raspberries.
  • Top with remaining cake layer, brush with remaining jam mixture. Spread remaining whipped cream over jam mixture; arrange remaining raspberries on top of shortcake. Garnish. Yield: 10 servings.

 

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