Quarantine and bored? Instead of getting lazy, change the day with some productive work. Believe us the results are going to be a lot sweeter and tastier than you can anticipate. Still doubting? Read the recipes, bake it, taste it and find yourself.
CHOCOLATE-PEPPERMINT MINI PIES
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 15 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Process graham crackers in a food processor into fine crumbs. Add brown sugar and pulse to combine. Whisk egg and butter in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the butter mixture through the feed tube and process until a dough comes together.
3. With damp fingers, lightly press about 2 Tbsp. of the dough into the bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup.
4. Bake the crust until the edges start to crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Spread ½ tsp. chocolate into the bottom of each crust with an offset spatula. Freeze until set, about 15 minutes.
6. Gently fold 1 cup whipped topping, confectioners’ sugar, peppermint extract, and food colouring (if using) in a medium bowl with a flexible spatula until combined. Fold in 2 more cups whipped topping. Divide the mixture among the chilled crusts, using about 2 Tbsp. for each; freeze until set, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
7. Just before serving, remove the mini pies from the freezer. (Remove the paper liners, if desired.) Top each with a dollop of the remaining 1 cup whipped topping and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy. Serve immediately.
CRANBERRY-ORANGE PUDDING CAKES
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place four 6-oz. ovenproof ramekins (or ovenproof dessert cups) in an 8-inch-square baking dish with tall sides. Put a kettle of water to boil.
2. Combine the sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, orange juice, and oil in a large bowl; whisk vigorously until light in colour and foamy, about 1 minute. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl.
3. Add the flour mixture and milk to the egg yolk mixture in 3 additions, alternating the flour mixture with the milk and whisk well after each addition.
4. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a flexible spatula, fold the beaten whites into the batter in 3 additions.
5. Divide the cranberries among the ramekins (about 2 Tbsp. each). Top with the batter (about ⅔ cup each).
6. Pour boiling water into the baking dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the tops of the cakes have puffed and are lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
7. Remove the baking dish from the oven; transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving warm or at room temperature.