You Can Make These Incredible Desserts In The Microwave

In my mind, microwaves have always been attached to two not-so-great food memories:

1) An ex I dated for a while who really liked microwavable Hungry Man meals (I still shudder thinking about the smell).

2) My childhood friend's mother, who ate a lot of (totally unappetizing, IMO) Lean Cuisine.

So, I have always been a little suspicious of the microwave. I mean, yeah, I get it from a practical, impatient, I-need-hot-food-in-my-face-right-now perspective, but is the food it cranks out actually pleasurable to eat? Well, after I saw that we could make incredible breakfasts in three minutes (or less!), I started realizing that maybe my attitude needed some updating. And now, just to drive the point even further home, here are three incredible recipes for our sweet tooth, all ready — and oozing — in three minutes or less.
Photographed by Jackie Alpers.
S'mores Brownie In A Mug
Brownies are pretty good all on their own, but when you fold in marshmallows and give them a soft, melted chocolate center, they take on a whole new level of decadence. Even better, you can make this recipe just for yourself, day or night.

Ingredients

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup self rising flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Dash of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp mini marshmallows
1 graham cracker, crushed
1 mini Hershey’s chocolate bar
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Instructions
1. Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, and salt in the mug with a fork, then whisk in the water and vegetable oil until smooth.

2. Stir in half of the mini marshmallows.

3. Break off one of the sections of the Hershey’s bar (fun fact: the sections are called “pips!”) and press it into the middle of the batter.

4. Spoon 3/4 of the crumbled graham cracker on top.

5. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until almost set.

6. Pile the rest of the mini marshmallows on top of the mug brownie and microwave for 15 to 30 more seconds, or until melted.

7. Garnish with the remaining chocolate bar sections and graham cracker crumbs. Enjoy!

Photographed by Jackie Alpers.
Mug Strawberry Shortcake
Not to be confused with the popular childhood cartoon, this strawberry shortcake is actually edible. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the famous cartoon character may have even been inspired by this fine fruity dessert, which is now available in microwave mug form.

Ingredients
1 tbsp cold butter, cut into tiny pieces
3 tbsp self rising flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
5-7 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4-1/2 cup whipped cream, such as Cool Whip

Instructions
1. Smash together the butter and the sugar in the bottom of a large mug with a fork until combined and crumbly.

2. Stir in the flour and salt. Then, gently fold in the cream.

3. Microwave for 45 seconds.

4. Check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it doesn’t come out clean, microwave for 10 to 20 more seconds.

5. Spoon the whipped cream into the mug and top with sliced strawberries. Enjoy!

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Photographed by Jackie Alpers.
Pear & Berry Microwave Crumble
Repurpose a leftover cookie into a stunning microwave dessert that cooks in three minutes or less! You can really use any kind of cookie for the topping — just be sure the flavor complements the fruit and that your cookies are not frosted. Sugar, shortbread, or oatmeal cookies would all work perfectly here.
Ingredients
1 pear (small enough to fit in the middle of a large mug)
Cooking spray or vegetable oil
1/2 cup mixed berries
1 small store-bought oatmeal or sugar cookie
1 tsp brown sugar
3 tsp almond meal (if you don’t have almond meal, you can also substitute in all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour)
1 tsp slivered almonds
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
1. Sprinkle the berries in 1 teaspoon of almond meal and toss until well coated.

2. Spoon into a large, microwave safe mug. Press the pear into the fruit so that 3/4 of it pokes out the top and it stands up straight.

3. Spray the pear with a small amount of vegetable oil (if you don’t have spray oil, you can rub the oil on).

4. Surround the pear with the crumbled cookie, slivered almonds, and the rest of the almond meal.

5. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the whole thing, including the pear.

6. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until the fruit is hot and the pear is tender to the touch. (Watch out, the pear will be hot!) Enjoy.
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