It’s late at night and the craving for something sweet hits you like a ton of bricks. You head to the kitchen but can’t find anything sweet to eat. Instead of running to your favorite Gelato spot or heading out to stock up on candy bars, save your money and whip up one of these easy desserts, using pantry items you probably already have on hand.
Cinnamon Tortilla Chips – Chances are you pretty good that you have a package of tortillas somewhere in your kitchen. Grab a handful, brush with melted butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Then, cut to form triangles and bake in a 350 degree oven for roughly eight to ten minutes, until they turn a light golden brown.
Bread Pudding – This is one of my favorite desserts. If you don’t want to wait the hour or so it takes to make a traditional bread pudding, don’t worry – you can achieve the same delicious results in less than five minutes using the microwave. I discovered this yummy recipe for microwave bread pudding from the King Flour website. All you need is a few slices of bread (bread that is a little stale works best), an egg, milk (I like to use Half & Half), sugar, cinnamon and whipped cream (optional). If you have any raisins or other dried fruit, mix a handful in. Be sure to cut the bread in large chunks so it doesn’t get too mushy.
Nutella Pizza – Ah, Nutella. The creamy richness of cocoa, milk, and hazelnut all wrapped up in a delicious spread. Where have you been all my life? There are a lot of desserts that can be made with this tasty treat. One of my favorites? Nutella Pizza. I first heard about this delicious dessert from watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey. There are many different versions of this recipe that include adding fruit toppings and sauce but I like to keep it simple. I use ready-made pizza dough from the grocery store or my local pizzeria, cover with melted butter, then bake as directed. When the pizza is ready, I take it out of the oven, and generously spread Nutella all over it then finish it off with a light dusting of powdered sugar. *Generic Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread) can also be used for this recipe. I find it to taste just as good as Nutella.
Rice Pudding – The ultimate comfort food, rice pudding is a breeze to prepare, especially if you happen to have some leftover rice in your fridge. It is best served warm, topped with whipped cream and dusted with cinnamon.
Caramel Apples – Homemade caramel sauce is unbelievably easy to make and takes a matter of minutes to prepare. All it requires is butter, half and half, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. I like to use this recipe from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. If you have peanuts, you can cover the caramel apples with them but they are also good without nuts.
Peanut Butter Cookies – You may not have any chocolate handy but you probably have a jar of peanut butter. Peanut Butter cookies are simple to make and only take about ten minutes to bake. Make a double batch so you will have more for the next time your sweet tooth comes around.
See, it’s easy to satisfy that nightly sweet tooth; all you need are a few basic pantry items and a little bit of creativity. It is amazing what you can come up with when you force yourself to work with what you have on hand. Don’t stop with just these recipes. There are a number of incredible desserts that can be created from basic ingredients. Experiment for yourself and see how easy and cheap it is to make your own sweet treats.