Dessert Ideas

Those who dream of cake shops and cafés share the sinking feeling that comes from finding only a few lonesome oatmeal cookies at Commons. However, with just a layer of cream cheese, drizzle of chocolate and a sprinkle of creativity, mundane Commons options can be transformed into decadent desserts. All ages melt over cheesecake for its tangy flavor, crumbly crunch and surprising toppings. To whip up this classic in Commons, spread a thick layer of cream cheese over a graham cracker. For the right ratio of cream cheese to cracker, the layer should be thicker than the amount you would spread on a bagel. But what would cheesecake be without exciting and tasty toppings? Possibilities include the strawberry sauce located in the waffle bar or cinnamon sugar, which can be found at the end of the organics bar on the first floor. Another option is to make a fudgey chocolate sauce. Melt a small scoop of chocolate chips, also found in the waffle bar, and a little butter in the microwave for 45 seconds. Add a splash of whole milk and stir until shiny with a smooth texture. Spoon on some sauce and swirl for a marble effect. This chocolate sauce can liven up a range of desserts, but make sure that you use it soon after melting, as it thickens quickly. You’ll be surprised by how similar this quick cake tastes to the traditional dessert. Chocoholics be warned—the creamy, chocolaty, rich and delectable “Deluxe Hot Chocolate” is an addicting creation. Begin by filling a mug with whole milk and microwaving it for a minute and a half. If looking for a healthy option, don’t let “whole milk” scare you, it only adds to the smooth texture but can easily be replaced with skim or 2 percent. Now, steaming milk in hand, venture over to the cappuccino maker in the café to find the secret ingredient: real cocoa powder. Add one heaping spoonful and sugar to taste and top it off with a dollop of Cool Whip. To put the final touches on your chocolate creation, drizzle on some of the chocolate sauce described above. If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a trick that will take you back to the original chocoholics, the Aztecs. Spice up the drink with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and savor your delicious creation. No one can deny the pleasure of biting into a cookie, with its chewy texture, moistness and flavorful morsels. Many would agree, though, that occasionally you want a change of taste, a twist on the classic. A quick solution is the ice cream cookie sandwich, a warm weather favorite or an ice cream lover’s year round treat, which you can customize to suit your taste. On nights when Commons serves cookies, select two of your favorite flavor—chocolate chip or M&M work well—and spiral a circle of either chocolate, vanilla or twist frozen yogurt onto one cookie. Sandwich the other cookie on top, then, to add pizzazz, place chocolate chips around the exposed edge of ice cream. Though it may be messy when you bite in, this cold treat is a worthy fix for the cookie monster inside you. Even if you’re not up for a café aficionado, your dessert cravings can still be satiated by a quick trip to Paresky Commons and, of course, a little bit of creativity.