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Panna Cotta is one of  those famous Italian desserts that is thought to be much more difficult to make than it truly is. It is insanely simple! My friend Rebecca White from A Pleasant Little Kitchen and I were discussing this last week over coffee and both agreed one of its best attributes is that the recipe forces you to make it ahead. No stress come dinner time! (She has recipes for Peppermint Panna Cotta and Chocolate Espresso Panna Cotta on her blog that are TO DIE FOR!)

You can make these up to a week ahead of time and store them in the freezer tightly wrapped in foil. Take out about 15 minutes prior to serving.

ingredients:

1 Box Brownie Mix, baked according to package directions…or if you have a go-to favorite  brownie recipe, use that. You know about me and baking, so I have to stick with the Box…

1 cup of red berries, ie: stawberries, raspberries or even pomegranite seeds

1 TBS Water

4 cups Heavy Cream

1/2 cup + 1 tsp sugar, divided

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 packets powdered gelatin

6 TBS COLD water + 2 TBS water, divided

directions:

(for the Panna Cotta)

1.) Heat cream and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in Vanilla Extract.

2.) Lightly oil 8 custard cups (I used a muffin tin) or spray with non-stick spray.

3.) In a medium bowl, pour water and stir in gelatin over cold water. Let stand 5-10 minutes.

4.) Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.

5.) Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill until firm, which will take at least 2 hours.

6.) Gently slide a small spoon or knife blade between cup and Panna Cotta to loosen and spoon onto desired plate.

(for the berry pureé)

Combine berries, 1 tsp sugar (sugar is optional) and remaining water in a blender, and pureé until completely liquid. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to capture seeds. Serve in a small glass pitcher.

to assemble, place 1 brownie square on a plate and top with 1 Panna Cotta cup. Drizzle with Berry Pureé.

Buon Appetito!

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-ciao for now-

lauren

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