One of my favorite European desserts has been a staple of my Grandmother’s dessert table at holiday dinners for as long as I can remember. The best part is that it is something that I was always able to help with. Stuffed dates were always a task that the kids could do, by simply taking the pre-sliced dates and stuffing about a tea spoon full of cream cheese into them and then dotting them each with a pecan, we could be happy to know we had helped. Even if we ate a date or two along the way. A variation on this dessert, which is popular in Europe takes a little bit more grown up help. After the dates are stuffed with the cream cheese, a grown up can dip the date into a mixture of bittersweet chocolate and milk and then let them harden. The product is a delicious, almost candy-like concoction that appeals to the sweet and the salty taste buds.
There are desserts that many people take for granted. Rice pudding, for example, is one of the simplest pleasures for European households. Milk, sugar, rice, and cinnamon are the staples of this favorite, but it can be substituted to taste with extra sugar, honey, nutmeg, or raisins. My personal favorite is with extra cinnamon and dried cranberries.