Mango Pudding

Mango Pudding

Here’s a dessert that I’ve made dozens of times and it has always brought rave reviews. Thanks to my aunt Uma for the recipe. Super easy to whip together, Mango Pudding can be made a day or two ahead, and will keep refrigerated for a couple days if covered tightly. This is a great dish to take for pot-luck meals as it travels well; no sloshing and spilling on your party outfit :)).

Mango Pudding

Mango Pudding

Mango Pudding

(Makes 35 1/3-cup servings; approx 12 cups total)

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 8 oz plain cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (30 oz) mango pulp can – [available at most Indian grocers]
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (thawed)
  • saffron, cardamom powder, almonds/pistachio to garnish (optional)

Mango Pudding

1) Boil 3 cups water on the stove and stir well to completely dissolve 3 packets gelatin in it. Cool till luke warm – about 10 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, in a large round bowl (at least 4 quart/4 liter capacity), add the cream cheese and beat with a hand blender till smooth.

Mango Pudding

(Yes, I know the photo shows cream cheese & sugar together. You could do that too :).)

3) Add the sugar and blend with the cream cheese till light and fluffy, and well incorporated.

4) Add the mango pulp and CoolWhip – a little at a time – and beat well till no lumps remain. Scrape down the sides if necessary and mix well with the sugar-cheese mixture.

Mango Pudding Mango Pudding

5) Now slowly add the cooled gelatin in batches and make sure to thoroughly mix it with the rest of the ingredients. This step is important for the entire dish to set.

Mango Pudding

6) Pour into a 3-quart serving dish or into individual serving cups and chill till set, at least 6 hours or overnight.

7) Garnish with more Cool Whip, chopped nuts or saffron before serving.

TIPS: Do not use hot gelatin water as the rest of the ingredients will change consistency. Make sure to add a little pulp at a time while beating or else the cream cheese will ‘ball’ and leave lumps. Mix the gelatin well with the rest of the ingredients for consistent consistency. If bubbles form while transferring into a serving dish, they will set and look weird (in my opinion – but then, I’m finicky like that!) Pour gently or spoon the mixture into your serving dish and shake out the bubbles if you see them. Garnish only after the pudding has set.

While this looks like a lot of steps, it is surprisingly easy to make and is totally worth the effort. Hope you enjoy this pudding, and leave some feedback on how it turns out.

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Coconut Macaroons – To dip in chocolate or not?

Coconut Macaroons

I got this recipe from a PTA mom at my son’s school a long time ago – she must have given it to over a dozen people as the cookies were SO good – and I’ve looked at it and put it away so many times over the years. Finally decided to try making them, and boy, are they easy to make. In fact, I would say the ‘hardest part’ was scooping them onto the cookie tray (well, besides sweating it out on the treadmill and cursing myself for eating too many! But that’s a different blog post ;)).

Coconut Macaroons

You can dip these macaroons in chocolate if you like, but they are good as-is too. Super easy to make, crispy on the edges, chewy on the inside. YUM!

Coconut Macaroons

(about 3-dozen cookies)

  • 1 (14 oz) package flaked coconut – sweetened**
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 egg whites – room temperature
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1-2 cups chocolate chips – optional

1) Preheat oven to 325*F.

2) In a large bowl, add flaked coconut, sugar, flour & salt, and mix well.

3) In another small bowl, add the egg whites & the almond extract, and beat lightly.

4) Add eggs to the coconut mixture and mix well.

5) Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie tray.*****

6) Bake 18-20 minutes, until edges are golden brown.

7) Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

8) If you are using chocolate, melt the chips according to package directions and dip the macaroons halfway. Set on the same parchment lined trays to harden completely.

9) Store in an air-tight box for several days.

 

NOTE** : If you decide to use unsweetened coconut flakes, increase the sugar to 2/3 cups.

NOTE*****: I always use parchment paper to ensure my food does not stick to the pan, and also to make for easy cleanup.

For easy and even scooping, I use a small ice cream scoop (and NO – I don’t make any revenue by linking to Amazon from here. This is just to give you an idea.)

 

Ooey Gooey Cake Bars

Ooey Gooey Cake Bars

 

Considering that grill-friendly & red-white-blue food recipes are easily available, I decided to post this dessert as an alternate option for your Memorial Day gathering. Super easy to make , it’s something you whip up in minutes, and set at the table with no further attention. Soft cake top with chocolaty, caramel bottom, these bars are one of my favorite desserts. My teenager took a big box of these cake bars to school and he said his friends ‘attacked’ it before the morning bell. His words: “The bars are awesome because you’re awesome mom”. Teenage sarcasm ignored and brownie points banked :)).

Ooey Gooey Cake Bars

(9 X 13 pan – 24 squares)

  • 1 box (16.25oz – 18.5 oz) yellow or white cake mix – any brand
  • 2 large eggs – room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can (12oz – 14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter – room temperature

1) Preheat oven to 350* F.

2) Grease a 9 X 13 pan and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs and oil till well incorporated.

4) Press two-thirds of the mixture onto the bottom of the greased pan and flatten gently.

photo-1

 

5) In another bowl, microwave the chocolate chips, condensed milk and butter for about a minute. Mix well and stir to ensure it is completely melted.

6) Pour over the cake mix in the 9 X 13 pan and spread gently to the corners if required.

7) Drop the remaining cake batter on top of the chocolate mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ooey Gooey Cake Bars

8) Bake 28-30 minutes, or till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

9) Cool completely and cut into 24 pieces.

Ooey Gooey Cake Bars

10) This is a great recipe to make with kids, and is always a hit at bake sales.

(Sorry for the bad step-by-step photos. I noticed that my regular camera was out of charge after I had started to mix everything, and I had to rely on my phone for photography.)