Christmas Panna Cotta

Christmas Panna Cotta

I just love all the desserts that pop up each year at Christmas time. Peppermint & eggnog are everywhere these days and it’s such a treat! This Christmas Panna Cotta is a new one and it happened almost accidentally. SOLO Foods wrote to me, asking if I was interested in creating a recipe for their Sweetest 16 contest. I don’t have anything against contests but I typically don’t participate (especially anything that has online voting; I like to put my work into the recipe, not pandering afterward for online votes) and I never, ever use prepared pastry and pie filling – yet, for some reason, I agreed. I was in a creative baking mood that day and I thought, what the heck? Let’s see if I can come up with something delicious!

When the box arrived, I instantly went for the Raspberry Pastry & Pie Filling since 1) I love raspberry and 2) it’s red, for Christmas! I grabbed a small spoon and gave it a taste so I could decide what steps I’d need to take to make it taste homemade and delicious. But…WOW…it was good. REALLY good. It has a full raspberry flavor and none of the artificial flavor I’d assumed it would have. I’m still shocked at how tasty it is. Since there was no need to change its flavor, I realized that I could use it as it’s intended – as a filling. But what to fill? Muffins? Cookies? Cake? And how to incorporate the other colors of Christmas?

I decided to go to my trusty old standby – Panna Cotta. Easy, sophisticated, delicious…and it would go perfectly with raspberry. The white of the Panna Cotta reminds me of Christmas snow:

Christmas Panna Cotta

I “hid” the filling so that only when you took a spoonful did you realize that there was more to it than just the creamy Panna Cotta. It was simple: make one batch (takes about 5 minutes to put together – so easy!), pour into dishes and chill. Top with raspberry filling then with another batch of Panna Cotta mixture, then chill until ready!

Creamy Panna Cotta

I also like it layered so that you can see the raspberry. Here I served it in tiny dessert dishes with sprinkles of chocolate; you could serve a big crowd if you used these!

Raspberry Panna Cotta

Christmas Panna Cotta