There's always room for dessert

Shavuot is a great time of the year to indulge in some great sweet dairy treats; here are some options including rice pudding and cookie bars.

baked rice pudding 311 (photo credit:
baked rice pudding 311
(photo credit:
Okay, I was going to do something different but it is Shavuot after all.  How can I stay away from cheesecakes – or at least, the option of dairy desserts.  So here are some terrific endings to your Shavuot meals, made all the more delicious by the fact that we frequently only indulge once a year.
Baked Rice Pudding
This is one of my favorite all time desserts. I like it plain and simple but you can treat it like frozen yogurt and mix in the toppings of your choice – raisins, dried apricots, chocolate chips, coconut, pecans and more.
2 cups water1 cup long grain rice2 quarts (8 cups) milk1 cup sugar1 teaspoon vanilla2 teaspoons cinnamon2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan.
Add rice and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes and drain well.
Return rice to saucepan and mix with milk and sugar. Heat slightly. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and eggs. Whisk well to ensure eggs don’t curdle.
Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, until thickened - about 2 hours.
Serve warm, cold or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator.
Mascarpone Cheesecake with Nutella Drizzle
Crust:1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs3 tablespoons sugar1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Filling:2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature1 1/4 cups sugar2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice1 teaspoon vanilla extract4 large eggs, room temperature
Topping:1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)1/4 cup whipping cream
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil.
Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form.
Press the almond mixture onto the bottom only of the prepared pan (not up the sides). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
For the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for about 1 hour or until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
For the topping: Combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend - about 1 minute.
Cut the cake into wedges. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the wedges and serve.
Mini Cheesecakes
12 round shortbread cookies (like Walker’s)1/2 cup strawberry, raspberry, blueberry or blackberry jam1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk2 eggsFresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries for garnish (depends on the kind of jam you chose)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and put cookies in bottom. Cover each cookie with 1 teaspoon jam.
Beat together cream cheese, condensed milk and eggs until smooth. Pour batter into muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes – until set. Cool on wire rack.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.Remove mini cheesecakes from muffin tin. Glaze each cheesecake with remaining jam (slightly warmed so it will spread thinly). Top with a fresh berry, if desired.
Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars
These are an old favorite – easy as can be, but so good and so rich! 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs1/2 cup butter, melted1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk1 cup semisweet chocolate chips1-1/3 cups coconut1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter and press into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.
Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients. Bake 25 to 30 minutes – until lightly browned. Cut into bars when cool.
Store in the refrigerator and take out a few minutes early to soften before serving.
For more great kosher recipes go to: