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Bored after four long years on the meal plan? Is that Malott cookie simply not cutting it anymore? In search of a more elevated and sophisticated end to your meal? Though many 5C dining-hall offerings are truly delicious, it’s easy to fall victim to a monotonous and unsatisfactory dessert routine. Yet, it is possible to counteract this vicious cycle of dessert dullness. Once again, The Forum is here to provide solutions for all of your dining experiences.

To get the most out of your meal-plan experience, check out this official guide for the best 5C dining-hall dessert hacks:

*Since the products needed to make many of these desserts are contingent on specific menu-items (which rotate day-to-day), The Forum cannot guarantee that particular ingredients will always be available. Nonetheless, there are recommendations included which delineate the most suitable dining-hall(s) for each dish.

Affogato

Translating to “drowned” in Italian, this classic is incredibly easy to make and requires only two ingredients: espresso, and ice cream. Simple, yet tremendously tasty, this Italian classic will counteract both your sugar and caffeine cravings.

To make, pour the shot of espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy while it’s still chilled.

Variations: Hot Chocolate Affogato

If you cannot go a meal without some type of cocoa bean product, consider substituting the traditional espresso for a concentrated shot of hot chocolate.

Frozen Yogurt Parfait

Miss those glory days when Pinkberry used to serve up frozen yogurt parfaits? We certainly do. While Pinkberry may have revamped its menu, eliminating it’s arguably best product, dining-halls across the 5Cs can provide you with a worthy alternative.

To make this delectable concoction, take a standard 12oz cup and base it with a frozen yogurt flavor of your choice, add a dry-base (usually some sort of cereal works) and then pile on a variety of different toppings. Repeat layering process until the cup is full.

Recommended Combinations:

Fruit – Frozen Yogurt (Strawberry or Vanilla), Granola, Pineapple, Banana, Berries (if available), and Honey.

Best suited for Collins/McConnell.

Cookies n’ Cream – Frozen Yogurt (Swirled Chocolate-Vanilla), Frosted Flakes or Granola, Crushed Oreos, White Chocolate Chips.

Best suited for Malott/Hoch/McConnell.

Chocolate Peanut Butter – Frozen Yogurt (Chocolate), Reese’s Puffs, Crushed Peanuts, Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter.

Best suited for Malott.

S’mores – Frozen Yogurt (Vanilla), Golden Grahams or Granola, Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips.

Best suited for Malott/Hoch.

Ice Cream Float

Possible to make at any of the 5C dining-halls, relive that nostalgic childhood taste by combining two scoops of ice cream with your soda of choice. Take the classic route and mix root beer with vanilla ice cream, or get more creative and make a concoction of your own – the possibilities are endless.

Recommended Combinations:

Root beer with Vanilla Ice Cream

Orange Soda with Vanilla Ice Cream

Coke with Coffee Ice Cream (if available)

Cherry Coke with Strawberry Ice Cream

Available at most dining-halls.

Honey-PB-Banana Panini

Lunch and dinner at Collins would never be the same after the introduction of its exquisite panini press. While this beloved contraption has given birth to an impressive array of savory sandwiches, many seem to overlook its potential for dessert options, like the Honey-PB Banana masterpiece.

To make this indulgent sandwich, spread a layer of creamy peanut butter on white bread, and top it off with sliced banana slices and a pinch of honey. Put in the panini press until golden (or until the peanut butter starts to ooze out). Consider including chips or pretzels for added crunch.

Best suited for Collins.

Nutella Tortilla

A sort of crepe-tortilla hybrid, this creation is the ultimate dish for a Mexican food-lover with a sweet tooth. Bringing together a beautiful combination of satisfying carbs, delicate chocolate-hazelnut spread, and creamy banana, it’s definitely better than your average dining-hall cookie.

To make, spread a layer of Nutella over the tortilla (preferably burrito-size), top it with sliced bananas, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts for texture and crunch. Fold over twice and you’re ready to feast.

Best suited for Malott.

*Special thanks to Victor Hernandez-Rodriguez for this recommendation

Ice Cream Sandwich

Also feasible to make at almost every dining-hall, take two cookies of your choice, and slather either a scoop of ice cream or sandwich them with a dollop of froyo. If you’re feeling indulgent, spread peanut butter/Nutella/caramel/fudge onto the interior of the cookie, before making the sandwich. Coat the exposed part of the ice cream with a dry topping, like sprinkles or cereal, to increase both its palatability and aesthetic value.

Recommended Combinations:

Double Chocolate Chip – Dark Chocolate Cookie with White Chocolate Chips, Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, Chocolate Chip Coating

Best suited for Malott.

Funfetti – Sugar Cookie, Vanilla Ice Cream or Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, Sprinkles-Coating

Best suited for Collins.

Chocolate Peanut Butter – PB Cookies, Nutella-Base, Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, Peanut Coating

Best suited for Malott.

Cake Milkshake

Craving cake? Also craving ice cream? Don’t know which one to choose? This cake milkshake is the answer to your pressing dilemma.

To make, smash up a slice of (preferably) moist cake, and then combine with frozen yogurt and whole milk in a 12oz cup and swirl until milkshake-like. If you have trouble breaking up the cake, add a couple drops of milk beforehand to help it decompose.

Recommended Combinations:

Yellow Cake with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and Sprinkles

(Best suited for Hoch/Collins/Malott/McConnell)

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and Chocolate Milk

(Best suited for Hoch/Collins/Malott/McConnell)

Variations:

Cookie Shake

If cake isn’t quite your style, there’s no need to worry, you have other options out there – take a chocolate chip cookie, microwave it with a couple of drops of milk on top, and follow the same process outlined above to achieve a luxuriously rich cookie shake.

Bread Pudding Sundae

While most bread puddings offered across the 5Cs are already commendable on their own terms, there’s one way to make them even better – by transforming them into a sundae. Even richer, gooey-er, sweeter and more indulgent, you’ll never be able to eat BP in the same way.

To make, smother the palate-pleasing pudding-base with a spread of your choice (if applicable to recipe), add your toppings, pile on the ice cream, and top it off with a sauce to achieve the ultimate level of satisfaction.

Flavors:

Banana-Caramel-PB-Crunch – Peanut Butter, Banana Slices, Vanilla Frozen Yogurt or Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce

Best suited for Collins.

Cookie Dough – Chocolate Chip Cookie Bits, Vanilla Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream, Fudge

Best suited for Collins.

Apple Cinnamon – Cubed Apples, Vanilla Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Caramel Sauce

Best suited for Collins/Hoch.

Variations:

Brownie Sundae

If you’re insistent on a more classic take, follow the same steps, but replace the bread pudding with a warm chocolate brownie (we recommend microwaving it).

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Vera Armus is a rising senior majoring in Government and Anthropology. A West Coast convert, Vera left behind the frigid winters of her native NYC hometown in favor of the abundant Southern Californian sunshine, and now considers 70 degrees to be sweater weather. In her free time, Vera can be found reliving her track and field glory days by running at Roberts, stealing exorbitant amounts of Andes mints from Collins, and attending every cycle of Ath tea, Monday to Friday from 3-4pm. As Life Editor, she hopes to help generate content that will highlight many of CMC’s noteworthy features, particularly its food scene.