Chocolate Cream-Filled Graham Shells

Last week I shared a recipe for a dish I took to a friend’s golf tournament stuffing party. As most of our gatherings do, we ended up dancing and singing along to songs Alexa provided. How crazy is technology in our time that we can tell an inanimate object (she is, right?) to play and song and it happens!

I usually take at least two desserts, since not everyone likes the same thing. I took two gallons of ice cream (French vanilla and Chocolate) and hot fudge and caramel sauces. Easy peasy, something for everyone 🙂

I don’t mean to be flip about this, but dancing and celebrating life are important even, or maybe especially, when you’re fighting a life-threatening disease. How can it be anything but beneficial to have fun with friends and family who love you, to know that you are surrounded by people who want you to kick cancer’s ass?

I write this, talking about desserts for a friend who has breast cancer, the day after an extended family member lost her battle with lung cancer. Cancer is a disease that touches everyone, in one way or another. If you can, please consider donating to an organization that does cancer research. It is heart breaking to lose a life so young (52), for parents to outlive a child, and children to lose a parent before they are fully grown themselves.

Having a support system with people ready and willing to do what needs to be done is key. I hope everyone has such support and love in their lives.

Making dessert won’t save a life, but sharing food and camaraderie, dancing and singing, are a deposit in the memory bank to hold onto when times are tough and chemo is making you feel less than your best.

And now, the recipe.

Chocolate Cream-Filled Graham Shells (Makes 12)

2 packages of Graham Cracker shells, 6 shells per package

2 tubs of frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 3.4 oz package of instant pudding mix (I used vanilla, but you can use any flavor you like)

2 T hot fudge sauce

3 biscotti, crushed into crumbs

Mix the pudding mix into the whipped topping; divide the mixture into two tubs. Add the hot fudge sauce to one and stir to combine; reserve the other tub for a different use (Toasted Pound Cake with Caramel Cream – recipe posted 10/2/17). Refrigerate overnight.

Fill the graham cracker shells with chocolate cream. Top with crushed biscotti.

Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.

Enjoy!

Freddie Award for Writing Excellence (FAWE) deadline extended!

Calling all writers!

Due to the recent hurricanes we’ve experienced nationally, MWA Florida has extended the deadline for our annual writing contest.

If you’re interested in entering the Freddie Award for Writing Excellence (FAWE), the deadline is now November 15. Details are at : http://mwaflorida.org/contest/

Toasted Pound Cake with Caramel Cream

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma left us without power for five days, without internet for a week, but with only yard debris to pick up. I pulled my back out getting ready to come back to our house once the hurricane passed, and spent the next ten days or so healing it while tending to the house.

Hurricane Maria devastated areas in the Caribbean before declining in strength. Portions of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, among other areas, were hit by the double whammy of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and are in desperate straits. My heart aches for those in those ravaged areas, and for friends who have friends and family there who are in a tough situation. I hope all those who were awaiting word about them have heard how they fared.

There are many organizations on the ground, providing support, and trying to get aid to those who need it. If you can, please consider donating to the worthy organizations that are helping.

October is the recognition month for two causes near to my heart: Domestic Violence Awareness and Breast Cancer.

I have a friend currently going through treatment for breast cancer, and friends put together a fundraising golf tournament to help with treatment costs. She’s gotten through the first stage of treatment, with two more to go.

Friday night we had a party to put together goodies for the golfers (pink golf balls, a pink coozie, and a pink Team Melissa wrist band). People brought food for a potluck buffet, and I brought dessert. The dinner ended up with dancing and a singalong, and a lot of fun. The best times are often spent with friends and family, when a casual plan turns into a night we’ll remember.

Toasted Pound Cake with Caramel Cream

1 pound cake (I bought one from Publix, but a frozen one would be fine – no frosting either way)

2 tubs of frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 3.4 oz package of instant pudding mix (I used vanilla, but you can use any flavor you like)

2 T caramel sauce

3 biscotti, crushed into crumbs

Mix the pudding mix into the whipped topping; divide the mixture into two tubs. Add the caramel sauce to one and stir to combine; reserve the other tub for a different use (Chocolate Cream-Filled Graham Cracker Shells – recipe to come). Refrigerate overnight.

Slice the pound cake into 1/2″ thick slices, or to fit into your toaster. Cool the toasted pound cake and then cut into 1/2″ cubes.

To assemble: I used plastic drink cups to make individual servings, but this could also be used to make a trifle. If making a trifle, several layers of cake/cream/biscotti would look lovely against the glass sides.

Put toasted pound cake cubes in the bottom of a small container. Top with a large dollop of caramel cream, and top with crushed biscotti. You can make several layers if you are making six servings or less; for more servings, one layer will be enough.

Chill for an hour, then serve.

I like to bake my own treats, but sometimes there isn’t enough time. In that case, I like to take store-bought ingredients and put them together in new ways. This recipe can have endless variations, and the method can be used for other desserts as well.