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Get creative - desserts without perishables?

I have all the basic dry ingredients but no butter, eggs, and very little (1/3 cup) milk. I find myself in this situation fairly often when I am running out things. My sweet tooth doesn't get the memo. I have sweetened, condensed milk, maple syrup, and applesauce. I know sometimes those ingredients are used for vegetarian and vegan desserts. Looking through vegan and eggless recipes, I see most riddled with soy milk, egg substitute, tofu, etc.- things I don't normally have. I have tons of baking ingredients (chocolate, coconut, shortening, spices...) outside of substitutions.

What are your favorite desserts when you should have gone to the store yesterday? Or suggestions on how to get creative with what I have? Thanks!

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  1. If you have any nuts and/or dried fruit in the pantry, make bark with the chocolate. You can also melt it to dip pretzels or potato chips if you have any of those.

    Shortening can replace butter in a lot of recipes.

    If you have flax seeds, there's your egg substitute. If not, things like applesauce, canned pumpkin, mashed banana, or yogurt can replace eggs in some recipes like cakes, brownies & quick breads. Or try 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda.

    And you didn't mention canned coconut milk, but if you have some it's a great substitute for cream.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Great to know those substitutes! Thank you.

    2. Do you have ice cream? There are recipes out there where melted ice cream is used in place of milk/eggs/butter, and are mixed with dry ingredients to make muffins, cupcakes, cookies, or cakes.

      Do you have regularly have a neutral oil like vegetable oil? Many recipes call for oil instead of butter.

      This recipe works with what you have if you try replacing the butter with oil (if you have it).

      http://www.egglesscooking.com/2011/08...

      If you have chocolate, you can make condensed milk based chocolate fudge.

      Or you could make dulce de leche with the condensed milk and eat it with a spoon...

      5 Replies
        1. re: wyogal

          Also a fine suggestion! I actually had two spoonfuls over the sink this morning.

          1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

            Always good. I mix it with hot tea sometimes for a quick treat and eat a spoonful or two while making it :)

        2. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

          I also remembered there is a recipe for coconut balls that I'm sure you'll find many variations of, but most involve condensed milk and coconut to be mixed and rolled into balls. Some recipes call for butter, but some don't, so you could probably find one to fit your ingredients.

          1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

            All great ideas. I normally don't have ice cream but that makes sense. Thanks!

          2. Bread pudding, a rich one, using the sc milk, and maple drizzle.

            2 Replies
              1. re: wyogal

                Yum. I love the bread pudding idea!

            1. Hmm, sounds like you might have the makings for truffles, if that appeals to you.

              I love these Oat Crisps that don't require any dairy or even flour. Just be careful with the baking time. Once the edges are darker than the center, they just taste burnt.
              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

              1 Reply
              1. re: MrsJonesey

                The oat crisps look great. I will definitely have to try those soon!

              2. This is a depression-era recipe that was born out of necessity. I've not made this exact recipe, but a similar one and it's not bad. No eggs, butter or dairy required, all ingredients are non-perishable.
                http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Crazy-Cake/

                2 Replies
                1. re: iluvcookies

                  I always go for haystacks when my sweet tooth calls and ingredients are low.

                  Edit: I forgot they have butter, I wonder if you can make them with oil?

                  I agree with the dulche de leche!

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    I was thinking of making something like haystacks but just coconut and chocolate. Delicious!