Sometimes the best place to look for a solution is in the past. That’s why I’ve chosen these vintage recipes and given them a heavy dose of modernity. We’ve got some delectable goodies for you with your health (and sweet-tooth) in mind. Sure, we’re still using sugar, but these dishes will give you the simple satisfaction of having made them yourself and knowing what’s in them! Super important for those with sensitivities, allergies or plain ‘ol preferences. If you’re looking to prepare classic and delicious desserts to serve up to your loved ones this holiday season, read on for 5 Old-School recipes I tweaked to festive perfection.
1. Cozy Hot Chocolate
We’ll stay true to the old-school methods of making hot chocolate– this will still involve a few squares of chocolate and a little water. However, we’re gonna put a whole lotta love into this classic with some flavors that warm the soul without being too sweet or artificial.This’ll serve 3- 4 of your closest homies. Ahhhh, the things we do for the ones we love.
- 2-4 Squares Unsweetened Chocolate (depending on how indulgent you’re feelin’… I love Endangered Species and Green & Black)
……….OR 2- 4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder– Equal Exchange’s makes a magical product!
- 1-4 Tablespoons Cane or Brown Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup or Molasses if that’s your thang.
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Boiling Water
- 3 Cups Milk (Almond, Coconut, Whole– you choose)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 2- 3 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- Dash of Cinnamon with 2- 3 Drops of Orange Essential Oil
- Dash of Cayenne
- 1 Tablespoon Whisky OR 1/4 Cup Red Wine (I know, it’s okay. Let that one sink in.)
If the stomach is the way to the heart, then this drink will open yours and have you crying tears of joy and compassion like you wouldn’t imagine. Really. It’s a thing. Cacao has been used by the Olmecs and Mayans for centuries as a medicinal beverage, during ceremonies and rituals. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac, baby.
How to Feel the Love
1. Bring the milk to a gentle boil (in a double boiler if you’ve got one.)
2. Place the chocolate in a saucepan, add 5 tablespoons of hot water and stir until smooth.
3. Add the salt, sugar, and the remaining boiling water gradually. Do your best to keep the mixture smooth.
4. Let boil for 3- 5 minutes before adding the heated milk.
5. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.
6. Bask in the love and praise you’re about to receive for serving this up!
It’s up to you to decide if whipped cream or marshmallows are a must! I love making my own whipped cream– see below for recipe. Oh, and Dandies makes some BOMB marshmallows!
2. Creamy Vanilla (or whatever you want it to be) Puddin’
Since I was a child, I loved pudding. Vanilla pudding, to be particular. But we all grow and learn– and I came to understand more about the dangers of processed food. The solution– choosing more substantial foods to replace the commercial, under-nourishing products I had once craved! Have fun with this recipe. Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors you enjoy! You, too, can put the twist on this classic dessert.
The quantities below are fit for about 8- 10 folks. So, halve or double depending on the kind of gathering your preparing for.
- 4 Cups Milk (Almond, Coconut, Soy or Whole)
- 4 Large Egg Yolks
……OR replace eggs with… 1 Tablespoon ground flax or chia seed with 3 Tablespoons hot water (equivalent to 1 egg)
- 2 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 Cup Cane Sugar
- 6 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1-2 Teaspoon of Peppermint Schnapps or 1-2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- 1- 2 Teaspoons of Kahlua and a dash of cinnamon
- 1- 2 Teaspoon of Rum and dusted with cocoa
Steps to Make Luscious Vanilla-ey Wonder of the World
- In a large saucepan, combine dry ingredients (sugar, cornstarch, and salt).
- In a large bowl, whisk milk and egg yolks. Gradually stir into saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture thickens and is bubbling. Whisk constantly!
- Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and other desired flavors. Spoon into individual serving dishes or a large bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until firm.
3. Intoxicating Chocolate Cream Pie
Holy Mother of Pies. Goddess is Good.
- 1 (9-Inch) Arrowhead Mills Graham Pie Crust
…………..OR Glutino, Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur make Gluten Free Mixes if you’re game for making your own
- 1 (4-Serving Size) Package of European Gourmet Bakery Chocolate Pudding and Pie Filling Mix (Sooooo Sooooo Good)
- 1 3/4 Cups Milk (Opt for dairy free if you’re about that life ;])
- 1 (.25 Ounces) Envelope Unflavored Gelatin or Great Lakes Gelatin
- 3 Tablespoons Hot Water
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream OR Equal Parts Blended Silken Tofu and Soy, Almond or Coconut Milk OR Coconut Cream
- 2 Teaspoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Cane Sugar
- 1/8 Teaspoons Salt
Steps to Chocolate Heaven
- Bake pie shell according to package directions.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine pudding mix and milk; mix well. Add cocoa powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine gelatin and water and beat with a fork until completely dissolved.
- Add to pudding mixture; mix well.
- Pour into pie shell and refrigerate 2 hours or until pie is firm.
- In a medium-sized bowl, grab your hand mixer and put that baby on medium speed. Beat that cream and sugar into submission– roughly 2 to 4 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over firm pie. Mmmh.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.
Heavy cream whips up best if made in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters. So if you can, put the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for about a half-hour before whipping.
4. Strawberry Mint Rhubarb Fool
Gooseberry Fool recipes date back to 15th century England! It didn’t make the cook boos until the 50’s, though. These days, folks are using whatever berries are in season. There’s your tidbit of history for the day!
- 3 Cups Sliced Rhubarb (1-inch pieces)
- 1/3 Cup Cane, Brown or Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream, Whipped Coconut Cream or Equal Parts Soy Milk and Silken Tofu
- 2 Cups Halved Fresh Strawberries
- Mint, Whole Leaves to Garnish or Chopped
How to Make a Fool for, not of Yourself
- In a large saucepan, combine salt, sugar, O.J. and rhubarb. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer covered, about 6-8 minutes or until rhubarb is soft. Cool slightly.
- Blend rhubarb mixture until silky delicious texture is achieved.
- Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate covered, until completely cool.
- Whip up some cream until fluffy peaks appear in a large bowl. Lightly fold in pureed rhubarb and strawberries.
- Garnish with mint!
5. Timeless Lemon Meringue Pie
I was recently grocery shopping and happened across Jeanine, who works the self check-out. I told her about this article and she laughed brightly, confessed to being born in the 40’s and said, “People don’t really believe we used to wear flour sack dresses back then, but we did!” She went on to gush over childhood memories of her mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie, so I decided that this list would be incomplete without this classic dish. The truth is that this one is too good to have it any other way. It’s festive any time of the season!
- 1 Baked Pie Shell
- 2 Cups Water
- 3 Egg Whites
- 3 Lightly Beaten Egg Yolks
- 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Zest
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Butter or Coconut Oil
- 7 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1 1/4 Cups Cane/ Coconut/ Date Sugar
- 4 Tablespoons Sugar
How to Live the #LemonMeringueLife
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup water and cornstarch to thin paste.
- Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/4 cup of sugar in double boiler and bring to boil over direct heat.
- Add cornstarch paste and cook in double boiler until mixture is smooth and thick (about 15 minutes).
- Pour over lightly beaten egg yolks, then return mixture to double boiler and cook 1 minute more.
- Save a teaspoon of lemon juice, add the rest, zest and butter. Blend well.
- Cool, stirring casually. Pour mixture into pie shell.
- Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Add 4 tablespoons sugar gradually (tablespoon by tablespoon), beating constantly.
- Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and beat.
- Spread meringue tenderly on filling and bake 20 minutes, or until firm and delicately browned.
Maybe during the old days, desserts were dieter’s despair. But we’re not using Crisco, corn syrup or dyes in these pleasing recipes. Healthy indulgence is an option!
May you enjoy the holiday season and remember this one as a creative, succulent, home-made experience filled with sweet sweet TLC! Please leave comments below, Friends!