An impressive Christmas dessert in 30 minutes

Published on December 20 2010 - 9:55 PM
An impressive Christmas dessert in 30 minutes

Is Christmas really on Saturday? If you’re like me, it’s quite possible that despite your best intentions, your get-ready-for-the-holidays to-do list has more things on it that need to be crossed off than actually are crossed off. Whoops.

Related: Last-minute stocking stuffers from your kitchen

One of the things I have left to do is figuring out what dessert to bring to the Christmas Eve party I’m going to. When I had all the motivation in the world three weeks ago, I had planned on making an epic cookie platter with 6 varieties of fancy cookies. Now that it’s right around the corner, my motivation—and time—for such feats has dwindled.

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30-Minute Holiday Side-Dishes

Which is totally fine because, you know what? I only need 30 minutes to make an awesome dessert worthy of any Christmas dinner. Full disclaimer: In total, these desserts take a bit longer than that. But they only need 30 minutes of your attention. The rest of the time they’re chilling in your fridge or baking in the oven. That means you have a little at-home time to wrap presents, trim the tree or whatever else you have left to do.

So what did I decide to make? Vanilla Bean Flans with Agave Syrup & Caramelized Walnuts. Light and creamy and topped with highly addictive caramelized nuts, they are the perfect sweet finale to end a holiday meal. Plus the flans and the nuts can be made a couple of days in advance, which is a boon if I find myself with extra time one night after work. And this is a dessert that travels extremely well—perfect for so many of us who are driving to see family for the holidays.

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Carolyn Malcoun combines her love of food and writing as a recipe contributor for EatingWell. Carolyn has a culinary arts degree from New England Culinary Institute and a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin—Madison. Carolyn lives in Burlington, Vermont, and enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and running in her free time.