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You don’t need to be a pastry chef or spend loads of money to create tasty, homemade desserts. Best of all, you can use store-bought shortcuts and still create treats that will impress your family and friends any day of the week.
Kind-of Homemade Pie
OK, so you want to serve fresh-baked pie but don’t want your kitchen to end up looking like a tornado came through. No problem! Just head to the grocery store and pick up a pre-made pie crust and a can of pie filling and you’ll have the perfect shortcut to any number of inexpensive homemade pies. As an even quicker homemade alternative, try filling a crushed cookie crust with a mixture of mint chocolate chip ice cream and fluffy whipped topping for a light, luscious, no-bake dessert pie.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Drain the juice from a large can of yams or sweet potatoes and reserve the liquid to use later as needed. Mash the potatoes by hand or with a mixer until they are smooth and creamy. Add back some of the liquid you reserved if the potatoes aren’t as creamy as you want. Add just enough raisins to enhance, but not overwhelm, the casserole (make the sweet potatoes the star). Add some cinnamon, nutmeg and/or brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it. Put the mixture into a baking dish, cover with mini-marshmallows and bake at 350 F until the marshmallows are gooey and golden brown.
Brownies, Cupcakes and Cookies
Use a just-add-water brownie or cupcake mix or pre-made cookie dough for a quick shortcut to these homemade goodies. While you’re shopping, pick up some essentials to add homemade flair to your quick-fix treats: cookie forms to shape your sugar cookies, pretty cupcake wrappers, and a pastry bag and decorating tips to ice your cupcakes. For more family fun, let the kids help with cookies or get them to add sprinkles to the cupcakes.
Homemade doesn’t have to mean made from scratch. Use store-bought shortcuts and enjoy your sweets – and your sweet free time – with your family.
This article was written by Sam Ashe-Edmunds, contributor for The Daily Clutch.