Two Quick Dessert Recipes to Make for Your Holiday Potluck

Have your dessert, and make it fast too! Quarantine has given a lot of us a ton of time to make more food at home, so why not try making some homemade desserts? Being a mom, I’m all about quick — I don’t like a long process when it comes to food! Both my recipes below use Nilla Wafers but you could also use Graham Crackers or any other thin wafer cookie.

  1. Key Lime Bars
    This one is by NYT Cooking columnist Samantha Seneviratne and such a great dessert for the summer — but I don’t believe in seasonal desserts so why not make it for the holidays? I made this over the summer and posted a photo on Instagram only to get reshared on NYT Cooking, which literally made this sucky year so amazing!
    • What You’ll Need:
      • Sweetened Condensed Milk (1 can approx. 14 oz)
      • Nilla Wafers (1 box approx 11 oz)
      • Lime Juice or Fresh Limes Squeezed (3/4 cups)
      • Heavy Whipping Cream (1 cup)
      • Granulated Sugar (2 tbs)
      • Powdered Sugar (1 tbs)
      • Egg Yolks (5 total)
      • Melted Unsalted Butter (8 tbs or 1 stick)
    • Steps:
      • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.
      • Start on your crust! In a food processor/blender or big old ziploc bag, crush the Nilla wafers into fine crumbs and combine with granulated sugar. Add butter and mix until evenly moistened. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press it down with your fingers into an even layer. Bake until fragrant and a shade darker, about 15-17 minutes.
      • Now make your filling. In a mixing bowl, whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice and lime zest (optional). Pour filling over crust (it’s okay if the crust is still warm from coming out of the oven).
      • Bake for about 15 minutes or until the filling is set. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
      • Use a knife to release the edges from the pan and then use the parchment overhang to lift and transfer the bar to a serving plate. Just before serving, make fresh whipped cream by whipping the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the bars and cut into 16 squares to serve. Et voila!
  2. Banana Pudding
    • What You’ll Need:
      • Nilla Wafers (1 box approx. 16 oz)
      • Cool Whip (1-2 tubs depending on size, but will need approx 16 oz)
      • Sweetened Condensed Milk (1 can)
      • Instant Vanilla Pudding (Prepare 1 box)
      • Vanilla Extract (1 tbs)
      • Ripe Bananas (use as many as you want — I typically use 3-4 because I don’t like too many)
    • Steps:
      • Take your prepared instant vanilla pudding and mix with sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
      • Add vanilla extract and fold in about half the Cool Whip
      • In a large serving bowl, start by layering the Nilla Wafers, then bananas, then pudding and repeat in that order until no more pudding is left.
      • Top with remaining half of cool whip and chill until ready to serve! This can be kept for up to 3 days but in my experience it barely makes it a day and a half. 😉

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