Easy, Beautiful Autumn Desserts
White Chocolate Rainbow Mousse Shooters
Serves 6 (in tall shot glasses) or 4 (in stemless wine glasses)
I had to throw in some chocolate because Halloween is all about candy! This recipe from Club Crafted calls for pastel dyes in layers to give the dessert a rainbow effect.
1.5 cups white chocolate chips
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*Optional: Yellow and orange food dye. For the topping, use store-bought whipped cream, then add sprinkles, dark chocolate shavings or candy corn.
In a bowl, melt white chocolate chips at a defrost setting in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted. Heat half a cup of the cream over medium heat in a saucepan until it barely begins to simmer. Whisk this into the bowl with melted chocolate, then add the vanilla until thoroughly combined. Place in refrigerator for 30–45 minutes until chilled. Using an electric mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream on high speed until peaks form. Remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge and gently fold in the whipped cream. Divide the mousse evenly into several small bowls.
If you are making the recipe in a candy corn design, you will need 3 bowls—one for yellow dye, one for orange dye, and the last one for the original color mousse. Add the dye colors to each bowl of mousse, then stir until blended. Return bowls to the refrigerator for 1–2 hours. Carefully spoon each mousse color in layers, one at a time, into 6 tall shot glasses or 4 wine glasses.
Pro Tip: To make the process easier, empty each separate bowl of mousse into several small Ziploc bags, snip the bottom corner of each bag, then pipe the mousse evenly into the glasses.
If you are making the candy corn design, place the white mousse in the bottom of the glass, followed by the orange, and then finish with the yellow to resemble candy corn. Leave enough room at the top of each glass for the whipped topping.
Return to the refrigerator for at least 1–2 hours until well chilled. Refrain from removing it until you are ready to serve. Top with store-bought or homemade whipped cream and candy of choice (either 2 candy corn pieces for each glass, shaved chocolate or sprinkles).
Apple Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large apple: peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 package cranberry quick bread and muffin mix
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan. Mix brown sugar and melted butter in a small bowl and spread over the bottom of the pan. Arrange apple slices and dried cranberries over the sugar mixture. In a large bowl, combine all cake ingredients and mix until moist. Spoon batter over the fruit. Bake at 350°F for 35–40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pan for 2 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Makes 18 Bars
Nothing says fall more than recipes made with pumpkin, and this dessert from Celebrating Sweets fits the bill.
15 whole graham crackers
¼ cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1¼ cups canned pumpkin
puree (not pie filling!)
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoons flour
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1⅔ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla
½ cup sour cream
⅛ teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, room temp
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil. Crush graham crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Combine crumbs with sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Mix well, then press down evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 10–15 minutes until light golden brown. Remove and cool. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, spices and flour. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla, sour cream and salt. Continue mixing. Beat eggs in one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add 1½ cups of the cream cheese mixture to the pumpkin mixture.
Alternate scoops of the combined pumpkin/cream cheese mixture with scoops of the remaining cream cheese mixture all over the crust. Use a sharp knife to drag/swirl the two mixtures together in figure 8 patterns for a marbled effect (be careful not to let the blade touch the bottom of the pan). Bake for 35–45 minutes until the center slightly jiggles but the edges are set. Cool, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours before serving.