Five Easy Christmas Desserts

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Photo by Lori L. Stalteri
Bread pudding is a perfect ending to any Christmas dinner.
Planning a Christmas Eve and/or Day dinner can be stressful. But it doesn't have to be. Or at least the dessert part doesn't have to be.

After you have prepared and cooked a delicious meal for your family, the last thing you want to do is stress over the dessert. Here are five easy last-minute Christmas dinner desserts you and your entire family will love.

5. Bread Pudding

Prepare this comforting dessert in advance, then bake it while you're enjoying dinner. Slice a sweet bread such as panettone or brioche, and place in a 13x9x2-inch pan. Cover the bread chunks with a mixture of sugar, eggs, milk (or heavy cream) and vanilla extract. Sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar, butter, nuts (such as pecans or almonds), fruit (raisins, cranberries, apples or figs) and cinnamon. Bake the bread pudding for 35 to 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven, then serve warm for a comforting and sweet dessert after dinner.

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Photo by Molly Dunn
The majority of "cooking time" for panna cotta is spent cooling in the refrigerator.
4. Panna Cotta

While many think this is a difficult dessert, it is actually quite simple. All you have to do is add four cups of heavy cream, whole milk, or half-and-half to a saucepan with half a cup of granulated sugar. Heat the mixture until all of the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the stove and add a couple teaspoons of vanilla extract. Then, sprinkle two packets of powdered gelatin over six tablespoons of water in a large bowl; let the mixture sit for ten minutes or so. Pour the milk mixture over the gelatin and stir until everything is fully incorporated. Finally, place the panna cotta mixture into eight custard cups or ramekins sprayed with cooking spray or lightly coated in oil. Stick the panna cotta in the refrigerator for at least four hours, the colder, the better! Then pull out of the fridge and serve at dinner with warm chocolate sauce and a mixture of berries.

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