Dessert Chips and Dip

Last night I went out to a Greek place on Larchmont with a few new friends I made at a screening. It was late and we really just wanted something light to share. So we ordered a combination of three Greek dips that came with warm, fresh, grilled pita bread. I could have eaten just the pita, but the dips were good, particularly the whipped caviar. I confess I generally try and stay away from refined starches, but if you can resist a plate of warm pita, clearly you’re some form of inhuman. By the time we were done there was a little bit of two of the dips left over and I ended up being the one to take it to go. By this time all the pita was gone, but I figured I’d find something to do with the dips eventually – vegetables or something. When I got home and unloaded the bag to put the dips in the fridge, I discovered that the restaurant was nice enough to include an extra stack of their pita triangles… bastards. I confess I was in the mood for something sweet, but didn’t want to go out and tempt myself to spend yet more money and buy something horrible. Thanks to the Greeks, I had all I needed.

I turned my oven to 375 degrees and prepped my pita. I brushed each one with olive oil, then dipped them in cinnamon and sugar I mixed together in a bowl. I placed them on a sheet pan and baked them until they were good and crispy, about 10 minutes. Now the chips are good by themselves, but I felt, considering the theme of the evening, a dip was in order. So, I took two scoops of the raw almond butter in my fridge, placed it in a bowl, added a big handful of chocolate chips, and stashed it in the microwave for 45 seconds until it was warm and melty. Then, I stirred it together with a dash of vanilla and a pinch of cardamom (because I’m pretentious that way… really I just wanted an excuse to use it, it’s been on my shelf for months), and voila. Dip. Easy, resourceful, delicious, and supremely starving artist.

No Fuss S’mores Brûlée

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love crème brûlée. I also don’t know anyone who wants to take the time to make it. Custard? Time consuming. Baking ramekins in a water bath? Please. Instead I’ve come up with a perfect starving artist solution: s’mores. When using my new kitchen torch to make the Peeps s’mores from my last recipe post, I started thinking about crème brûlée and the idea of combining the two hit me. All you have to do is prep the layers, fill the ramekin, and torch it. 10 minutes, no baking, no custard-making, and voila, a delicious and elegant treat that no one will be able to resist. In fact I may or may not have made this every day for the past week.

Don’t own any ramekins? Use cereal bowls. Or better yet, double the recipe and make a huge one in a pie plate. Don’t have a kitchen torch? Stash it under your broiler for a minute or two.

Smores Brûlée (Recipe PDF)

Dessert Oatmeal

So the other day I was milling around my kitchen looking for a late night sweet. I generally don’t keep dessert items like ice cream and cookies in my house simply because I will eat them… all of them. So really I was search for something sweet that wouldn’t make me hate myself, which of course had me stumped… until I noticed the old fashioned oats sitting on top of my fridge. It occurred to me that if oatmeal is often prepared as a sweet and hearty breakfast, why can’t it also be a dessert? Hell, everyone loves oatmeal cookies. So, with the help of some ingredients I had laying around my kitchen, Dessert Oatmeal was born. Cooked in almond milk and maple syrup and finished with almond butter, chocolate chips, and nuts, this hearty on-the-fly dessert will satisfy your late night cravings with minimal guilt.

Dessert Oatmeal (Recipe PDF)