Family visits and food can go hand in hand, and most people just love desserts. I know I do. When a family visit is in order, eating well can go out the window. Holidays and family times are special occasions to live it up and not worry about food intake. I’ve put together a couple of delicious recipes that you may want to try next time you have family visiting, or when you go visit your family. These two desserts are great for taking with you to a party.
Frozen Pomegranate and Cashew Cake
- 1½ cups raw almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts
- ½ cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 12 fresh Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil
- ⅓ cup agave syrup (nectar)
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2–8 hours
- Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ vanilla bean split lengthwise
- Seeds from 2 medium pomegranates
- Juice of ½ lime
- An 8″-diameter nonstick springform pan
Grind almonds, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds in a blender or food processor for 1 minute. Add dates, oil, and salt and purée until mixture comes together. Place in springform pan and press evenly across the bottom of the pan. Chill.
Heat oil and agave in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking, until liquid. Place mixture in a blender or food processor; add soaked cashews, lemon juice and zest, orange juice and zest, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; discard bean. Purée until very smooth, 2–3 minutes. Pour filling over crust and chill in freezer until set, about 30 minutes.
Place pomegranate seeds and lime juice in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour topping over cashew filling. Chill in freezer until solid, 30–60 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 10–15 minutes before serving. Run a sharp knife under hot water to make it easier to cut the slices.
Do Ahead: Cake can be made two days ahead. Remove from freezer and let stand about 20 minutes before serving.
Mississippi Mud Cheesecake
This cheesecake is inspired by Mississippi Mud Bars, the famous brownies smothered in toasted marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate frosting.
1.Heat oven to 300°F. Wrap outside bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil to prevent leaking. Lightly spray inside bottom and side of pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix crust ingredients with the fork until crumbly. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake 12 minutes or until set. Cool crust 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, the flour and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Beat in melted chocolate. Pour over crust.
3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until the edge of cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from the edge of the pan, but the center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes. Run small metal spatula around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Sprinkle with pecans.
4. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High 15 seconds or until pourable. Drizzle frosting over marshmallows and pecans. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
5. To serve, run a small metal spatula around edge of pan; carefully remove foil and side of the pan. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.