There’s nothing as classic and American as apple pie! Although, technically, apple pie is thought to be English or Dutch in origin. From chocolate chip cookies to pound cakes, there are some desserts that we see more often than others. But if the sugar cookies and chocolate cakes are becoming a little too “plain jane” and you’re looking to deviate from your standard desserts, we’ve got some great ones from around the world that are bound to make you smile.
Here are some desserts that are just too good to not know!
Brigadeiros – Brazil
If you like chocolate truffles, try Brazilian Brigadeiros. They are chocolatey goodness, usually eaten at celebrations. You can find them at Brazilian places, but they’re easy enough to make at home too.
1 tablespoon butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate sprinkle, as needed
1. In a pot over low heat, melt the butter, condensed milk, and cocoa powder, stirring continuously until you can see the bottom of the pot for 2-3 seconds when dragging a spatula through.
2. Pour onto a greased plate, then chill for 1 hour.
3. Shape and roll the chilled mixture into balls.
4. Roll the balls in chocolate sprinkles.
Cheesecake – Japan
Take your cheesecake game to new levels! Japanese Cheesecake is soft, fluffy and delicious. Unlike cheesecakes from other countries, Japanese Cheesecake is similar to a soufflé, it has a lighter texture due to its whipped eggwhites. These cheescakes can be flavored, dusted with powdered sugar or eaten plain. No matter what, they’ll be just as decadent as they are fun!
Kolaczki – Poland
If thumbprint cookies make you smile, then kolaczki or kolaches will have you delighted. These cream cheese based cookies have delicate jammy centers and are found across Europe, including Poland, Russia, Austria and more!
FOR THE PASTRY:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 – 11/2 cups filling, such as fruit jam or preserves, nut or poppy seed filling
You can also make your own jam if desired, but pre-made or canned is always fine.
- Cream the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy
- Stir in flour and salt
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour
- Preheat oven to 350
- Roll out the dough by first dusting the surface (mat or countertop) with granular sugar
- Roll to 1/8 inch and cut into 2-inch squares.
- Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each square
- Fold over opposite corners and seal well
- Bake for 15 minutes or until corners just begin to brown
- Cool on a rack and dust with powdered sugar.
Egg Tarts – China
If you like custards, then try Chinese Egg Tarts. These treats are not too sweet and are commonly served at Chinese Dim Sum restaurants. They’re flaky, buttery and rich in flavor. There’s a Hong Kong version and a Macau version, one main difference being the Macanese caramelized top.
Macau used to be a Portuguese colony, which might be why this dessert became as popular as it’s cousin the “pasteis de nata”. Portuguese egg tarts are made with flaky pastry and tend to be a more on the sweet custard side, though both desserts are the perfect creamy treat!
Gulab Jamun – India
Go nuts for doughnuts? Then gulab jamun might be your new favorite! Meaning “rose berry” or “rose water berry”, these delightful balls of fried dough are soaked with sugar syrups and flavored with rose water and cardamom. Made from milk solids (though now often made from dried milk instead), this dessert has many variations with each just as tasty as the last.
Malva Pudding – South Africa
If you like apricots and bread pudding, then Malva Pudding from South Africa will suit your palate. This pudding is creamy and cozy, great with ice cream! It’s spongy and the cream sauce is poured over top when it’s still hot.
FOR THE PUDDING
6 1⁄2ounces sugar (3/4 cup, 200 ml, or 180) 2 large eggs
1 tablespoon apricot jam
5 ounces all-purpose flour (150 g)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (a generous tablespoon)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1⁄3 cup milk
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