Mom’s Day desserts take some planning

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Tuesday, May 6, 2008 5:53pm
  • Life

If you’re planning to fix a fab feast for your mom this Mother’s Day, you might be in the market for a special something or other to provide a real flourish of a finish to the meal.

In which case, if you’ve been hemming and hawing, trying to twist your brain around various dessert possibilities, you can quit on that right this very minute, because two Forum contributors share a pair of choices and solutions to the fix what-or-which-what problem.

Dianne Berst, Marysville cook and longtime helper-outer, offers us a dolled-up takeoff on chocolate cherry bars. This recipe starts with a batch of box-mix brownies, layered with pudding, cherry pie filling and sweetened whipped cream. A sprinkling of sliced almonds adds the crowning touch, and voila! It’s a trifle!

If a cheesecake always tops Mom’s list of likes, Arlington cook Marcella Henske supplies us with a liqueured-up concoction that will knock her socks off. This one is chocolate on the top and chocolate on the bottom, with a creamy, minty filling in the middle.

You’ll notice both of these recipes not only can, but must, be made ahead of time, thereby saving us from any of those all-too-familiar, frantic last-gasp finishing touches.

Black Forest brownie trifle

1package (19.5 to 19.8 ounces) brownie mix

1/2cup vegetable oil

1/4cup water


1package (8-serving size) chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix

2-2/3cups milk

1can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling

2cups sweetened whipped cream (recipe follows) or 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/2cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark-coated metal pan). Position a rack in the lower third of the oven Spray the bottom only of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with foil.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the brownie mix, oil, water and eggs with a wooden spoon until just blended and all dry ingredients are moistened. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean (do not overbake). Transfer brownies to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut cooled brownies into 1-inch squares; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the pudding mix with the milk until pudding begins to thicken. Refrigerate 5 minutes.

Place half of the brownie squares in the bottom of a 3-quart glass bowl or trifle dish. Spread half of pudding over brownies in bowl; dollop with half of the pie filling. Spread with half of the sweetened whipped cream or topping. Repeat layering with the remaining brownies, pudding, pie filling and whipped cream. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Sweetened whipped cream

1cup heavy whipping cream

3tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled mixing bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Use immediately. Makes 2 cups.

Creme de Menthe cheesecake

Chocolate pie shell:

1/4cup butter or hard margarine

1 1/4cups chocolate wafer crumbs

2tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)


12ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2cup granulated sugar


1/3cup mint-flavored liqueur, such as green Creme de Menthe


1/2cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2cup sour cream

For the pie shell, turn butter or margarine into 1-quart microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for about 35 seconds, until melted. Stir in wafer crumbs and sugar until well mixed. Press into bottom and up side of 9-inch glass pie plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes. Set aside.

For the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar together in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add liqueur and mix well.

Pour into pie shell, cover with waxed paper and microwave on medium for about 10 minutes (turning dish midway through cooking time if microwave doesn’t have a turntable), until middle is set. Cool.

For the topping, turn chocolate chips into a 1-cup liquid measure. Microwave, uncovered, on medium for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, then add sour cream and stir. Spread over the filling. Chill for 3 to 4 hours, until set.

Makes eight servings.

The next Forum will appear in Friday’s Time Out section.

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