By Collier Curran
I will admit, the title of this article can be slightly misleading. All college students–especially upperclassmen–know that the stress of midterms never truly fades until reading week, when it is replaced by equally suffocating finals stress. However, activities like cooking and baking can provide a temporary reprieve from hours in the library, with the added bonus of a delicious snack to boost morale. I have found three tasty and indulgent dorm-friendly recipes for when you need a sugary, buttery pick-me-up.
- Easy Pie Crust Cannolis
This is definitely more of a hack than a formal recipe, but I loved it so much I had to share! Whoever thought that ready-made pie crust could be transformed into crunchy and flavorful cannoli shells, and with no fancy tools or equipment? All you need to do is cut out circles in your pie crust using a drinking glass and dust them with cinnamon sugar. To get the distinct cannoli shape, form long cylinders with aluminum foil, adjusting the diameter to how large you want the cannolis to be. Simply spray the foil with cooking spray and fold your circles of pie crust around the cylinders. After you bake the shells for 20 minutes at 350º, they’ll be ready to enjoy! As far as filling goes, Delish has a great fall-inspired recipe for a pumpkin filling (search “Pumpkin Cannoli”). If you’re tired of all things pumpkin spice, these shells could be filled with nearly any sweet filling you desire. I would suggest whipped cream, jam, frosting, or even a homemade ricotta filling, if you’re feeling bold (or very stressed about midterms!).
- No-Bake Turtle Cheesecake Dip
I feel it is necessary to remind you all that I did label these recipes as indulgent, so I cannot be held accountable for how you use this information. That being said, I firmly believe that this dip can satisfy any stress-induced dessert craving out there. It would be great eaten on its own, but also as intended with graham crackers, pretzels, or apples as dippers.
To make this dip, beat 8 ounces of softened cream cheese until light and creamy. Beat in one cup of powdered sugar and mix in 8 ounces of thawed whipped topping. Stir in ¾ cups each of chopped pecans and chocolate chips, and swirl in ⅓ cup of warmed caramel sauce. The result is a dreamy and rich dip with ribbons of sweet caramel and the lovely crunch of chocolate and nuts. This dip is great to share with friends or roommates, or to bring to a club meeting or party. For more on this recipe, feel free to check out the blog Back For Seconds.
- Banana Pudding
So, I visited Magnolia Bakery a few weeks ago and I am still dreaming about the banana pudding. The texture is absolutely perfect, and I love the moist bits of cake thrown in with the ripe banana slices. Unfortunately, Magnolia Bakery is quite a distance from Morningside Heights, in addition to being a burden on the college bank account, so a homemade rendition is in order! I was shocked to see just how easy online banana pudding recipes could be. It really is as simple as whipping up instant vanilla pudding (with a few tweaks) and adding ripe bananas and nilla wafers (or vanilla cake pieces if you want to go the extra mile). I especially like AllRecipes’ take on banana pudding because they enhance the store-bought mix with condensed milk and whipped topping in order to create that signature Magnolia texture. I always buy more bananas than I need when I’m at the store, so this recipe is great to use up those last few bananas that are too ripe to eat as is.
For this recipe, beat one package of instant vanilla pudding mix with two cups of cold milk. Blend in one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk until well combined. Stir in one tablespoon of vanilla extract (for added vanilla flavor) and fold in one 12 ounce tub of thawed whipped topping. After that, you’re ready to layer! Start with Nilla Wafers, then add bananas, pudding, and repeat the process until your container is full. This recipe would be great to bring to a study group, since it is definitely sized to share!
Every Barnard student knows the struggles that accompany midterm season. When times get really tough, stress creates a void only sugar, butter, and chocolate can fill. Become the talk of the study group and bring along one (or all) of these delicious recipes to make papers and exams that much more bearable. Good luck with exams, and I will see you all next time!