Category Archives: Dessert

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

I have a new favorite fall dessert, y’all.

Normally I don’t think ‘cookies’ when I’m thinking about fall and Thanksgiving, but I was looking for an easy dessert to bring to a small church fellowship. I wanted to make something pumpkin, but cutting into a whole pumpkin pie outside & dishing it out just didn’t sound fun. Plus I was trying to stay away from “communal” dishes, with these unprecedented times and what not (if I had a nickel…). Luckily I came across a great recipe & in my usual fashion I tweaked it to my liking.

These soft, tender cookies really do taste like a pumpkin pie. You can really taste that subtle pumpkin flavor. I also love the natural color that the pumpkin puree and spices give to them.

I had to stop myself from eating too many before taking them to our fellowship! I may need to make another batch or two for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Makes approximately 30 cookies. Adapted from Kimspireddiy

For cookies:

  • 1 ¾ sticks softened butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (300g)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups flour (300g)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • pinch each of cloves, ginger, & nutmeg
  • pinch of salt (up to ½ tsp if using unsalted butter)

For glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (120g)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar in mixing bowl.
2. Add egg yolk, pumpkin puree, & vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & mix until combined.
6. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat.
7. Use your clean fingers to gently pat down cookie dough into uniform discs.
8. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes on cookie sheet and then allow them to cool completely before glazing; cookies will be soft.
9. To make the glaze: Whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp pumpkin puree, ½ tsp cinnamon, and 1-2 tsp of water. Drizzle over cookies by using a ziplock bag & cutting a tiny hole in one corner. Glaze will harden & set.

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

***This Covid-19 life is HEAVY. I don’t know quite how to address it with sensitivity, but I also can’t just be like “here’s a cookie recipe”. I love to bake, and find baking very satisfying (relaxing isn’t quite the right word for me, I get more of a sense of accomplishment.) So if baking is your thing, or you’re trying new things, and you have these ingredients on hand or in your next grocery delivery, here’s my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

There is almost nothing better than the combination of salt & chocolate. In general, I am a huge fan of recipes that call for salted butter. It’s pretty much the only butter I ever have on hand.

I got this recipe from Pinch Of Yum & it has been my go-to chocolate chip cookie for years now, using a slightly different method than she does. There are two tips/tricks to this recipe: don’t use too much flour (I’ve been weighing mine out) & let your cookies cool on the baking sheet. I made a huge batch of these cookies once, and in an effort to speed up the process I slid the parchment paper with cookies off of the baking sheet too soon & plopped them on the counter. The cookies were still tasty but just a tad too soft & pale – and this is from someone who loves a soft cookie! Leaving them on a tray continues to cook the bottom for a bit, so you have a still quite soft but just slightly browned and chewy on the bottom.

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Apparently these freeze well, but I have never had any left over to try that for myself 😂

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 15-18 cookies

  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 6.75 oz of all purpose flour (1 1/2 cups spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds, until it is mostly melted but not hot.
  2. Beat the butter with the sugars until creamy using a stand or electric mixer.
  3. Add the egg & beat until just incorporated. Then add vanilla.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients on low. When fully incorporated, add chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop 15-18 cookies onto parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets.

 


I’m trying to remember the words Jesus said & not worry about tomorrow. We will all get through this, Lord willing.

Cream Cheese Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Cream Cheese Buttercream

Baby Blue is 6 months old!

We’re finally past the bleary eyed newborn stage & getting more sleep. And more sleep means more time for baking so hopefully I’ll be able to share regularly again!

Last weekend was his baptism. We are so happy to have him be the newest member of our church, which we’ve really grown to love here in GA. Our family came to celebrate with us, so naturally there was a small party at our house after church. I wanted to make a cake & decided not to reinvent the wheel & use the same design I did for Cupcake’s baptism 3 years ago (howwwww has it been that long? 😭).

This time, I made my own buttercream & that’s the recipe I’m sharing today.

Cream Cheese Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This cream cheese buttercream is THE BEST! After trying several recipes recently, I find that you get more of that tangy cream cheese flavor by using slightly less than a stick of butter. Also, I almost always use salted butter in my buttercreams & that’s exactly what I use in this recipe, too.

Blame the Great British Bake Off, or call it laziness, but lately I have been weighing out my ingredients. One cup of powdered sugar is 120 grams, so when I make this recipe I use 480 grams (or 17 oz). It’s so much easier to put your bowl on a scale & dump the sugar in. No messing around with a measuring cup!

I used 1.5x the recipe to frost 24 cupcakes. The buttercream holds its shape nicely and ‘crusts’ – which I really enjoy. Everyone at the party really enjoyed it, too!

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He’s getting so big! It feels fast and slow at the same time.

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Blue’s baptism fell near his 1/2 birthday, so we celebrated that with cupcakes as well!

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This has become my go-to buttercream. I don’t think there’s a cake out there that wouldn’t go great with it!


Cream Cheese Buttercream

Recipe will frost about 18 cupcakes, or 1 small cake
  • 8 oz. (one pack) cream cheese, softened
  • 7 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (480 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or cream
  1. Beat butter & cream cheese using a stand or electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract & mix on low until just combined. Do not over mix the cream cheese.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed for a few seconds between each addition.
  3. Add 1-2 tbsp of milk or cream until desired consistency is reached. Increase mixer speed to medium/high & mix just until smooth.

 

Adapted from The Kitchen is My Playground

Due Date Cookies

I am doing everything in my power to get baby boy Blueberry out in a natural way. One of the things I’m doing is eating 6 dates a day. According to studies, women who eat 75 grams of dates (approximately 6 deglet noor dates, or 3-4 medjool dates) a day for the last month of pregnancy have shorter & easier labors. Dates are also packed with nutrients like potassium and magnesium which help with with swelling and blood pressure. You can read all that Mama Natural has to say about them here.

The only problem is that I am not a fan of the taste of a plain date. Therefore I have been finding creative ways to get them in without just forcing myself to eat them. I’ve been putting them in smoothies, eating Larabars, making them into peanut butter balls, and baking these cookies. I found this recipe and tweaked it to make it more date-y and also a little more simple for the 9 months pregnant mama. There’s no waiting or chilling in my recipe – just whip up & bake!

Due Date Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Cupcake loves making these cookies with me, or as she says it “mixa con Mami”. I love toddler speak! She really enjoys eating these cookies, too. My husband said they were ‘good, not great’. He’s more of a chocolate chip guy. I told them they weren’t for him – they were for me and the baby!

Due Date Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Dates and walnuts go really well together, but I have also made these with a mix of walnuts, almonds, and pecans. You can’t go wrong with any or all of those nuts.

Due Date Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This recipe contains 24 dates and makes 24 cookies. Therefore with this recipe you can be saying 6 cookies a day instead of dates!

Please say a prayer for me as I approach delivery day!

Due Date Cookies

  • 24 pitted deglet noor dates (or 12-15 medjool)
  • 1 cup walnuts (or your favorite nut)
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Using a food processor, chop the dates and walnuts together until they are broken up into very small pieces – a little bigger than a coarse meal. Alternatively, chop by hand to desired size. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar using stand or electric mixer.
  3. Add the egg & beat until incorporated. Then add vanilla.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients on low. When fully incorporated, add date/walnut mixture.
  5. Scoop 24 cookies onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until bottoms just start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cool completely. Enjoy!

Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is our tradition around here for New Year’s.  The only issue for New Year’s 2019 was that I had just found out about baby #2’s existence & my mousse recipe has raw eggs. This does not bother me one bit on a ‘normal’ day, but I do eat more carefully for my little ones. Inspired by my last pregnancy when I made pregnant tiramisu, I knew I could find a way to make this dessert pregnant-friendly, too. Turns out it was pretty easy!

The basic ingredients for my mousse are chocolate, butter, and a basic (French) meringue – just egg whites & sugar whipped together. Thanks to the Great British Bake Off, I have learned there are actually 3 types of meringues: French, Swiss, and Italian. French meringue is the only one where if you don’t bake it the eggs stay raw. Therefore I figured if I used one of the other types of meringue to make my mousse, the results should be similar to the original recipe while being pregnancy safe. I was right!

Mrs. Dessert Monster - Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

I chose to use an Italian meringue to make my New Year’s treat. The results were pretty close to my original! The consistency and flavor are about the same – maybe a touch sweeter. I enjoyed it so much that I made it again when my cousin & her family came to visit us for a few days in the spring. It’s one of her favorite desserts.

This was my first experience with Italian meringue. I was initially concerned that I didn’t do it properly because there was a good bit of sugar crusted in the sauce pan, but the meringue did fluff up nicely and was plenty sweet enough. I should probably invest in a candy thermometer instead of using my all purpose food thermometer. I should also mention that’s the only thing about Italian meringue – you really do need a thermometer to tell you when the sugar mixture is at the correct temperature. I haven’t played with it enough to know of any ‘hacks’ that will let you know when it’s ready without one. To be honest, getting burned is one of my biggest fears so I don’t think I’ll be playing around too much with molten sugar!

Mrs. Dessert Monster - Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

I am really happy with how this recipe turned out, and will consider making this one when I make mousse to share from now on!

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Baby #2 is just a few weeks away from coming out! Cupcake is so looking forward to finally holding her baby brother.

Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (one bag)
  • 1/2 lb butter (one stick)
  1. Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan. Heat over high heat until sugar syrup reaches 240°F on an instant read or candy thermometer. Brush down sides of sauce pan as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water to minimize crusting.
  2. Combine egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly drizzle hot sugar syrup into mixer bowl while it’s running. Increase speed to high and whip until meringue forms stiff peaks. Add vanilla while mixer is whipping.
  4. Melt chocolate chips & butter in a hot water bath.
  5. Gently fold melted chocolate mixture into meringue until smooth & uniform in color. Let it set in the fridge overnight either in individual servings or one large container. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit.

 

My Favorite Hispanic Recipes

Hola amigos! Today marks the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. I hope you’ve had a good one!

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Hispanic influenced recipes NOT from this blog. Some are traditional recipes & some are more like Tex-Mex or fusion like.

My Favorite Hispanic Recipes - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Food brings people together & introducing people to new flavors is a great way to introduce them to new cultures.

¡Buen provecho!

  1. Mexican Corn Dip from Well Plated – It’s like elote, but in dip form & not too heavy because of a few sneaky swaps! I made it for my mother in law, who loves all things corn, for her birthday & the whole family loved it.
  2. Black Bean Avocado Salad from Nancy C. – I make this often! Y’all know how I feel about tomatoes & this salsa-like salad checks all of the flavor boxes WITHOUT any tomatoes!
  3. Vaca Frita from Fabulous Fare Sisters – Vaca Frita is my favorite thing to order at Cuban restaurants, but you can totally make it at home! I’m making this tonight with some white rice & maduros.
  4. White Chicken Enchiladas from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen – Green chile & I are BFFs. This recipe, while not super authentically Mexican, delivers on the green chile front! This is one of the first foods I cooked for my husband while we were dating <3. It’s still a favorite!
  5. Churro Truffles from Pizzazzerie – For when you want that churro flavor without the choux pastry & deep frying.
  6. Merenguitos (Cuban meringue cookies) from Three Guys From Miami – This blog includes 2 authentic Cuban merenguitos recipes. Personally I only ever use the first one – sugar & NO cream of tartar. I love merenguitos that are super crunchy on the outside but still just the tiniest bit chewy on the inside. Yummmm!

What are your favorites from around the internet?

Pastelitos De Guayaba

In South Florida pretty much all of the grocery stores with a bakery have an assortment of Hispanic pastries/baked goods. Empanadas, arepas, and of course, pastelitos.

Pastelitos are Cuban pastries with various fillings. They can be sweet or savory. Today I’m sharing with you the king of all sweet pastelitos – pastelito de guayaba.

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This pastelito is filled with guava paste, which is a very sweet, very thick guava reduction. It is absolutely one of my favorite things. I’ve briefly shared about it before in a couple of recipes.

In this recipe, guava paste is the star. Pastelitos de guayaba (the Spanish word for guava, as you may have guessed) come in two forms – con queso y sin queso. The combination of guava paste & cheese is truly wonderful. Any cheese will do, but for pastelitos it’s cream cheese. The two flavors melt and marry beautifully in the puff pastry. If cheese isn’t your thing, that’s OK. Just stick with the guava.

Thanks to the wonder that is frozen puff pastry, this recipe is ridiculously simple. I don’t make it often because it’s kind of a calorie bomb, but it’s worth every single one.

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To make a dozen pastelitos, cut the guava paste brick into 12 slices. I usually cut in into quarters & then each quarter into 3 pieces. Then lay the guava slices on to the puff pastry sheet, using the folds as natural dividers. For this batch I put cream cheese on half of them.

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Top with the other sheet of puff pastry, cut into 12 squares that each contain a guava slice, & score the top. Then brush with an egg wash to get that nice golden color.

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These pastries are so flaky and delicious. Cuban people would call this breakfast, but this makes a great dessert, too. Basically good for any occasion, any time of day! Pastelitos are delicious warm or cold, but you definitely want them to cool for a few minutes after coming out of the oven. Hot guava = lava. Hey, that rhymes! These can be a little messy between the flaky crust and warm, gooey guava. You’ll definitely be licking your fingers!

Now that I don’t live in South Florida anymore I might be making these more often. If your local grocery store bakery doesn’t offer pastelitos, now you know how to make your own!

¡Buen provecho!

Pastelitos De Guayaba

Makes 1 dozen pastries

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry
  • 1 brick of guava paste (approx. 14 oz)
  • cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 egg for wash
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. You want it thawed enough to unfold without cracking, but not soft.
  2. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  3. Cut guava paste into 12 slices. Place 4 slices per pastry sheet fold to get your 12 servings. If adding cream cheese, place 1 tbsp (or slice of the same length as guava slice) on top of guava.
  4. Unfold the second puff pastry sheet and place it over the one with the guava paste. Cut into 12 squares and score the tops of each.
  5. Brush egg wash on each square. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Can be enjoyed warm or cold.
Nutritional info (with cream cheese): 307 cal, 44 g carbs, 13.5g fat, 4 g protein

Classic Cuban Flan

Deciding what recipe to share with you this week for Hispanic Heritage Month inspired me to make something that I have not made in ages: flan.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

What is flan? Flan is a delicious cooked custard. There really is nothing like it in my opinion. It can be very hard to describe. When done correctly, the texture is light and dense at the same time while being totally smooth; truly one of a kind. The caramel on top is just as important as the custard. Flan can be many different flavors. This here is the OG flan.

Every Latin country has their own flan recipe. Actually, it probably even varies family to family! This is my family’s recipe.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

I made my family’s classic Cuban flan the old fashioned way – in the pressure cooker.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

Hisssssssss

We’ve never made it any other way. There are other recipes out there for making it in the oven. This recipe is staying true to my roots & embracing the scary pressure cooker. There really isn’t anything to be scared of. I bought this one like 10 years ago & it has a sensor that WILL NOT allow you to open it if it’s still pressurized. It’s pretty fail safe. The hissing sound it makes really takes me back to my childhood. I introduced Cupcake to that sound today – she wasn’t a huge fan. Yet.

You CAN make this recipe using an InstaPot, or so I have read. I have zero experience using one, so I’m not sure what the conversion would be. It took me many years to embrace the CrockPot, so I think it’ll be another while before I can embrace the InstaPot.

The other item you need to make this recipe the traditional way is a flanera.

flanera flan Mrs. Dessert Monster

I just bought this one off Amazon (not affiliate link, just sharing!). It’s actually a little sad I didn’t already have one, but I really haven’t made flan in ages! Siglos, as my mom said. The locking lid prevents water from getting in to it. Again, there are other recipes that omit this equipment, even using a pressure cooker or InstaPot. For me, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m not messing with success & proven results!

This recipe and this cooking method is a part of my heritage. Sure, there are other times I totally embrace different ways of making classic recipes. Or even just outright buy my favorite Cuban foods. No one I know makes their own croquetas anymore, thanks to Goya. But this flan is special. And special equipment aside, it’s pretty simple to make.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

Back when I did make this flan more often, I quickly jotted down my mom’s recipe one day. You can totally tell English is my heart language, even though Spanish was my first language. Since it’s been a while I called her to clarify & wrote down the instructions more clearly for all of us.

Classic Cuban Flan

  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ~1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a large mixing bowl. Take the now empty can of sweetened condensed milk & fill it with milk (it’s approximately 1 cup, but doing it this way ensures you have equal parts by volume milk & sweetened condensed milk).
  2. Add eggs & vanilla to bowl. Mix thoroughly using electric mixer or by hand with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. To make caramel, pour 1 cup of sugar into medium saucepan. Melt until a light golden liquid caramel forms. Carefully pour caramel into flanera, using oven mitts to turn the flanera to cover the sides with caramel.
  4. Strain the egg custard mix into the flanera with caramel. Close the latches.
  5. Place flanera into pressure cooker. Fill with water until just below lid of flanera (this was less than 2 cups for me, just to give you an idea). Do not fill too high. Close pressure cooker properly. TIP FROM MY MAMI: when using an electric stove top, you may want to use a metal or foil ring to prevent flanera from being in direct contact with the heating element. I have a gas stove so I did not do this step.
  6. Turn the stove on medium heat. When the pressure cooker begins to hiss, cook for 30 more minutes, then turn off heat. Allow pressure cooker to fully depressurize before opening. I usually leave it for about an hour. Take flanera out & put into fridge for 1-4 hours.
  7. When ready to serve, open flanera. Take your serving dish, invert it over flanera & flip flan out. You want a serving dish with some sort of edge so you don’t lose all that precious caramel! Cut into slices & spoon residual caramel over top.
Nutritional info, based on 12 servings: 200 calories, 32 g sugar, 5.8 g protein, 5.1 g fat

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

I had some help in the kitchen today making these fudgy brownies.

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(and some help licking the bowl!)

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Recipe below! Note: cooking time depends on thickness/size of pan. I made these a little thicker this time & it took more like 35 minutes.

Mrs. Dessert Monster

A few weekends ago I had the type of Saturday that only comes around once every couple of months. It was a glorious Saturday with absolutely no plans. It was a no-need-for-pants kind of day.

This is not to be confused with the type of Saturday where you are bored & wishing for plans. This was a much needed break from busy lives. My husband & I did things around the house. We watched college football. We had the whole day to ourselves to do whatever we wanted. After a delicious steak dinner, I realized we did not have any dessert. My husband said, “we haven’t left the house all day – do you want to go out for some frozen yogurt?”

I said no.

We hadn’t left the house all day! I was not about to put pants on, especially not after dinner.

So instead, I decided to make some…

View original post 572 more words

Cocoa Powder Microwave Fudge

Sometimes mami just needs a chocolate fix & there is nothing prepared in the house. That’s where this super easy fudge recipe comes in!

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This is a one bowl recipe – a microwave safe bowl. That’s part of what makes this recipe so amazing – no cooking! You pretty much just dump the ingredients in the bowl, zap it for a few minutes, & stir.

It has only 5 easy ingredients – powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, milk, & butter. I don’t think I could call myself Mrs. Dessert Monster if I didn’t always have these on hand!

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I originally found this recipe on allrecipes & have been using it for years to make this quick, delicious fudge.

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It doesn’t last very long in my house!

Cocoa Powder Microwave Fudge

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Grease a square dish. (8×8 or 9×9, whatever you got!)
  2. Stir together powdered sugar & cocoa powder in a microwave safe bowl. (If desired, sift the powdered sugar. I almost never do this – I don’t really mind little bits of sugar throughout!)
  3. Add milk & butter to the bowl. DON’T mix! Microwave for 2 minutes, until butter is melted.
  4. Add vanilla & stir until smooth. Pour into greased dish. Chill until set & hardened (~30 min in fridge/10 min in freezer) & then cut into squares.