On Monday, October 14th, Americans will be able to shamelessly indulge their collective sweet tooth– without waiting for Halloween– in honor of National Dessert Day.

While the history of the holiday is unknown, most Cowetans seem to associate their favorite dessert with a memory: ” My favorite dessert is a chocolate ganache tart. Not only is it the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted, it reminds me of sweet times with my husband and college pals”, says Crystal Manis, a 5th Grade teacher at Western Elementary. 

Angela Cambas, a daycare provider who recently lost her mother, both the holiday and her favorite treat are bittersweet: ” My favorite is a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting made by my Mama all my life. No other cake comes even close to how the one she made me taste. I am guessing it was her sweet finger testing the batter and frosting before anyone else that made it just perfect.”

Mari McCoy simply couldn’t choose a favorite. “Old-fashioned maybe, but apple dumplings are so tasty and perfect at this time of year. A bit newer on my go-to list of favorites? Strawberry shortcakes with chocolate shortcake, berries macerated in Gran Marnier, and freshly whipped cream.”

For those of you who aren’t bakers, there are plenty of places to participate in this decadent holiday. A number of local restaurants are offering specials on Monday:

 

CHOCOLATE DELIGHT

Of course, if you simply cannot wait until Monday to indulge, here’s a recipe for Chocolate Delight, submitted by reader Scarlett Inman:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ cup of chopped pecans
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 small container of Cool Whip
  • 2 small boxes chocolate instant pudding
  • 3 cups of milk

First Layer – Combine flour with butter and work together like a pie crust, then add nuts. Press into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let it cool.

Second Layer – Mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar, then add one cup Cool Whip. Beat together with a mixer, then spread over cooled crust.

Third Layer – Mix pudding and milk together until thick. Spread over the second layer.

Fourth layer – Spread the remainder of the Cool Whip over the third layer, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

CARAMEL PUMPKIN MAGIC BARS

Ingredients

  • 9 graham crackers 1 sleeve
  • 25 Ritz crackers 1 sleeve
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce I used store-bought but you could make your own!
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line with foil and grease with cooking spray.
  • Add graham crackers and Ritz crackers to a large food processor and pulse until fine crumbs.
  • Add melted butter and pulse until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a time or two.
  • Press mixture into the bottom of your greased 9×9″ pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and stir until well combined.
  • Pour over crust.
  • Top with chocolate chips, followed by almonds, 1/4 cup of caramel, and coconut.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 38-42 minutes, until coconut is golden and sides look
  • Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, drizzle with remaining caramel, and then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, for about 4 hours.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!