Quick to make, these little bites of lovely layers hit all the right buttons. They are a wonderful gluten-free alternative to traditional pumpkin pie, too!
There are some of us who don’t feel a meal is complete until we have something sweet. After a big meal, however, the thought of a big dessert is not even remotely appealing. (Well, okay, maybe it is remotely appealing, but we know, on a conscious level, that it would be a regrettable indulgence.) That’s where little bites come in. Intense, fabulous flavors, great textures, and a beautiful presentation — the trifecta of pretty food. This 4-layer pumpkin dessert distills the essence of fall.
The secret to being able to put these together quickly is to plan ahead. Make the recipe for Five Spice Nuts from PrettyFood — but make them with a twist: use pumpkin pie spice instead of five spice powder. These nuts keep well for weeks in a sealed baggie and you can throw them on salads, top ice cream with them, and eat them for snacks. And when you are ready to make this dessert, the time-consuming part (making the nuts) is already done!
- Five Spice Nuts (but made with pumpkin pie spice, instead of Five Spice Powder)
- butter (approximately 1 tsp. for each 1/8 cup of the nuts)
- can of pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, which already has stuff in it that we don’t want)
- cream cheese (and if you start with the whipped cream cheese, it will make this easier) – approximately 1 oz. for each little dessert
- sour cream (approximately 1 tsp. per little dessert) [As an alternative, you can use plain greek yogurt]
- Splenda or sugar (you will need 1 tbsp. per dessert to mix with the cream cheese and sour cream mixture and another tbsp. or so to mix with the pumpkin)
- Pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have it, mix together some cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little bit of dried cloves)
- whipped cream
- Crush a tbsp. of the spiced nuts PER DESSERT. Reserve some of the least crushed pieces to sprinkle on top Mix each tbsp. of nuts with a tsp. of melted butter. Put into the bottom of whatever you are serving your dessert in.
- Mix together (for each dessert) 1 oz. softened or whipped cream cheese and 1 tsp. sour cream.
- Add 1 tbsp. Splenda or sugar to the cream cheese mixture. Taste a tiny bit. You may want it sweeter — but remember that the pumpkin, the nuts, and the whipped cream will all be sweet, so you don’t want the cream cheese layer to be too sweet. Put this layer gently on top of the nuts layer in your individual dessert containers.
- Mix 1 1/2 tbsp. pumpkin with 1 tbsp. of Splenda or sugar. Add 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Stir well. Taste. Add more pumpkin or more sweetener, to taste. Plop that layer in.
- Top with whipped cream, sprinkled with spiced nuts. Feel like a star!
Tip: If you are serving a crowd, just print out this recipe and multiply. If you’re having 8 people — that’s 8 oz. of cream cheese, 8 tbsp. of sour cream, etc. Mix your different sets of ingredients in prep bowls. Place the pumpkin mix into a baggie. Do the same with the cream cheese/sour cream mixture. Cut a small piece off the corner of the baggies and squirt those layers in on top of the nut “crust” to make it really easy to populate the little dessert containers quickly.