Parfaits…The Only Action Our Wine Glasses Ever See!

Welcome  Last week I shared a no-bake, low-carb, high protein dessert with you titled “Cookie Dough” Cheesecake.  Today I have a couple of lower sugar desserts along with a couple of “regular” desserts, and they’re all no-bake!  The beauty of these desserts is just that…they look beautiful in a parfait glass.  And at our house, a parfait glass is usually a wine glass.  Or maybe they’re water goblets.  I don’t know, that’s how little I know about wine and how to serve it!  We don’t even own a corkscrew!  But they make great dessert vessels and the treats are really delicious, easy to prepare, and look pretty when you serve them.

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Food For Thought  I promise this is not a temperance or evils-of-alcohol lecture-type post!  But, to be completely honest, I was raised in a “dry” household.  I went to a Christian university in a “dry” county.  I can honestly say I didn’t even taste my first liquor until I was 23 years old.  As a conservative Christian, I do have to make choices about how I choose to celebrate or relax sometimes.  Now, since I am being honest here, I can also say that I really appreciate a good rum or bourbon.  I also use alcohol in some of my cooking and baking.  But it’s far from a temptation for me or my husband.  In fact, we just plain don’t like beer or wine.  Most people really don’t understand why I don’t like to drink wine.  To me, though, it tastes exactly like what it is–grape juice that’s gone bad.

The irony of it all, we have dining room hutch that has a wine rack and places for wine glasses.  It’s a beautiful piece of furniture.  It has about eight bottles of wine on it, unopened, that have been decorating the wine rack since we moved into our house about 13 years ago.  You could say they are well-aged!  This is also where we keep the “baking booze.”  Additionally, we have a large assortment of crystal and fine wine glasses and champagne flutes.  We use them to toast with sparkling grape juice on New Year’s or other special occasions.  Mostly they sit on the shelves, unused.

But there are times to pull these glasses off the shelf!  They make great presentation for parfait desserts.  Our family loves dessert and sugar-free parfaits have been a staple in our household.  So the glasses do get to see some action, even if not in the form of wine and spirits.  It makes dessert fun for everyone and we were using these glasses long before the Mason jar trend caught on.  I think it’s a great example of how you can repurpose almost anything in your house for what you need just by looking around with a creative eye.

Today’s Useful Products  When making parfaits, I find it very helpful to have a whisk, some measuring cups and spoons, and, of course, some parfait (or other clear) glasses.  The following products are available on Amazon.

OXO Good Grips Whisk

Pyrex 4-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon Set

KOVOT 5-oz Dessert or Appetizer Glasses, set of 4

Tulip Dessert and Sundae Glasses, set of 4

Stainless Steel Long-Handled Ice Cream Spoons, set of 8

Today’s Recipes  We love parfaits!  They are the easiest single-serve desserts.  They use minimal ingredients, can be healthy or NOT, and no baking required.  Today, I’m going to share four of my family’s favorite parfait desserts.  I serve mine in our vast collection of wine glasses, but you can also serve them in Mason jars or other glass vessels.  It’s ideal to serve them in something clear, though, so you can see the pretty layers of the dessert.

Note: My dessert servings listed for each parfait is for a substantial dessert portion.  If you want to use mini-glasses, you can stretch the number of servings and offer guests or family a smaller portion.

Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits
A lighter, and simpler, dessert than traditional cherry cheesecake, but with the same classic flavors.

 

Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits (Reduced Sugar; makes 4 servings)

This one is honor of my husband’s birthday this week!  He loves cherry cheesecake, but is diabetic, so this is a lower-sugar option for him to enjoy and still tastes very good.

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 9 cracker sheets; NOT fine crumbs)
  • 1 1-ounce pkg sugar-free cheesecake flavor instant pudding mix (I used Jello brand)
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 20-ounce can no-sugar-added cherry pie filling (Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand is a good option)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup sugar-free Cool Whip

 

Whisk pudding mix and milk together; set aside for 5-10 minutes to thicken.  In the bottom of four parfait glasses (or jars or other vessel) add a quarter cup of graham crackers.

When pudding is thick, add a quarter cup of the pudding to each glass.  Top the pudding with 2 tablespoons of the cherry filling.

Divide remaining graham crackers between each glass.  Divide remaining pudding between each glass.  Add one more tablespoon of cherry filling to each glass (I had a small amount of cherry filling left, I put it in a sealed container in the refrigerator).  Top each parfait with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar-free Cool Whip.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Banana Pudding Parfait
A new parfait twist on the classic flavors of banana pudding.

 

Banana Pudding Mousse Parfait (Reduced Sugar; makes 4 servings)

  • 1 0.9 oz. sugar-free instant banana pudding mix (I used Jello brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 8-oz carton sugar-free Cool Whip
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 graham cracker sheets)

 

Whisk together pudding mix and milk; set aside.  In bottom of 4 parfait glasses (wine glasses or mason jars also work), place 1/8 cup of graham cracker crumbs.  Top the graham crackers with 1/4 cup of banana pudding.  Slice one banana and divide the banana slices to each glass.

Stir 1 cup of the sugar free cool whip into the remaining banana pudding, mixing until a thick mousse-like texture is achieved.  Divide the mixture between the four glasses.  Divide the rest of the graham cracker mixture between the four glasses.  Slice the other banana and add the banana slices to each glass.

Top each glass with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Cool Whip.  Garnish with any leftover graham cracker crumbs, if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Chocolate and Mint Mousse Parfaits
If you are a lover of the chocolate and mint combination, this easy, no-bake dessert is perfect for you!

 

Chocolate and Mint Mousse Parfaits (6-8 servings)

  • 1 5.9-oz chocolate pudding mix (I used Jello brand)
  • 1 1-oz cheesecake pudding mix (I used Jello brand)
  • 4 cups milk, divided
  • 2 cups Cool Whip topping
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • a few drops green food coloring
  • 16 chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Oreo cookies)
  • 1 4.67-oz pkg chocolate mint candies (I used Andes candy mint thins)

 

Whisk together the chocolate pudding mix and 3 cups milk in bowl; set aside.  Roughly chop cookies, yielding about 2 cups of cookies (not crumbs); set aside.  Reserve 6-8 candies for garnish.  Roughly chop the remaining candies, yielding about 1 cup of candy.

In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk and cheesecake pudding mix.  Fold in 2 cups of Cool Whip topping.  Add peppermint extract and green food coloring and continue to stir gently until a fluffy mint mousse has formed.

In the bottom of each parfait glass (you will need 6-8 glasses or jars, depending on the size you use), add a tablespoon of cookies.  Top the cookies with 1/4 cup of chocolate pudding, followed by 1/4 cup of the mint mousse.  Top this layer with 2 more tablespoons of cookies.  Divide the chopped candies between all the glasses, adding to the cookie layer.

Divide the remaining chocolate pudding between the glasses, about a quarter cup each.  Top each glass with the remaining mint mousse, about 2 tablespoons, or so, per glass.  Garnish each parfait with the remaining cookies.  Stick one of the reserved chocolate mint candies in each glass.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Cookies and Cream Parfaits
A simple, no-bake dessert with 5 ingredients or less? We’ve got that, with this Cookies and Cream Parfait Dessert!

Cookies and Cream Parfaits (makes 4 servings)

  • 8 chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Oreos)
  • 1 4.2-oz Oreo Cookies and Cream pudding mix from Jello
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups Cool Whip topping
  • 2 TBS chocolate sauce

 

Place one cookie in the bottom of each (4) glass or jar.  Whisk together milk and pudding mix.  Let stand 10 minutes to thicken.  In another bowl, fold together the cool whip and chocolate sauce.

When pudding is set, divide between each of the four glasses.  Top each pudding layer with a portion of the chocolate cool whip.  Take remaining cookies and garnish each glass with another cookie, either whole, halved, or crumbled.  Chill until ready to serve.

I hope you found a parfait in one of your favorite flavors today!  Or maybe try them all!

Have a blessed week!

 

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