Dream Desserts

Psych faculty ’fess up to a sweet tooth.

Each year in late fall, the psychology department holds a bake-off that pits guilty pleasures against each other in a battle for student votes. After borrowing the idea from the political science department, the psych crowd raised the bar by coming up with dessert names that riff on their field. Here are some of the best (and their creators):

  • Pavlovian Pear Cake (Barbara Coe, Department Coordinator)
  • Fudge-amental Attribution (Graham Cousens, Assistant Professor)
  • Multiple Chews Items (Robin Timmons, Professor)
  • Killer Brownies (Jessica Lakin, Assistant Professor)
    2003 Winner

    1 box chocolate cake mix
    ½ cup butter
    1 cup evaporated milk, divided
    10 ounces unwrapped caramel candy squares (about 35)
    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about one bag)

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix the butter, cake mix and ⅔ cup of evaporated milk. Bake half this mixture in a 9-by-13-inch pan for 15 minutes. Melt the caramels with remaining evaporated milk in a double boiler or in the microwave. Drizzle over the baked bottom, then spread the chocolate chips over the caramel mixture. Spoon the remaining dough on top and bake until center sets,  25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.

  • Chocolate, Chocolate Everywhere (Jill Cermele, Professor)
    2005 Winner

    4 ounces butter
    1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
    1 (6 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
    1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch chips
    1 (6 ounce) package additional chips (milk chocolate, mint, peanut butter—anything that appeals)
    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter in 9-by-13-inch baking pan in hot oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over melted butter; top with chocolate chips, then butterscotch chips and additional chips. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk evenly over all. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into 1½-inch squares.

  • Cogito Ergo Yum (Patrick Dolan, Chair and Associate Professor)
    2008 Winner

    1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
    1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    8 ounces sour cream
    4 large eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil

    Preheat oven to 325° F. With an electric mixer, blend eggs, sour cream and oil in a large bowl until combined. Add cake and pudding mixes, and beat for 10 minutes. Pour half the batter into a buttered and floured Bundt pan. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips and nuts on top. Pour the rest of the batter in pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and nuts on top. Bake one hour. Allow to cool in pan one hour before removing.

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