I'm sorry, but I do. No, wait a minute. I un-apologetically hate Cool Whip. I wince when I see folks put Cool Whip on foods--and don't get me started on recipes that actually say "Fold in a tub of Cool Whip!" Ack! Do you know what is in this stuff? Allow me to elucidate you, if you are unaware: water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oils, sodium caseinate, vanilla extract, xanthan gum, guar gum, polysorbate 60 and beta carotene. For "color." It might as well be called "Non-Edible", let alone "Non-Dairy." And then they went and made the chocolate kind and--ugh--French vanilla. Sign of the end times, my friends, sign of the end times.
If I sound harsh, it's partly because my spell-checker recognizes those words and partly because I'm a believer in real food, not Frankenfood. So, for those of you who need your Cool Whip--or those of you who have friends that need their CW, please allow me to offer you some natural and yummy alternatives to top this year's holiday desserts.
Whipped creme fraiche. Creme fraiche is easy to make, so make some. Once you have it and it's chilled, you can whip it like cream. Use brown or white sugar, or even some maple syrup or honey as your sweetener. You can also add ground spices or extracts. Don't forget your pinch of salt, people. When you whip creme fraiche, it will thin out initially. Fear not, keep whipping and it will thicken up nicely, even to the point where you can form an elegant quenelle to perch atop your dessert. And no, there is no real recipe--just do this to taste, and use flavors that will be complementary to your dish.
Another alternative is whipped cream. You can treat this the same way as the creme fraiche. The only difference will be that your creme fraiche toppings will whip up a little firmer and have a bit more of a tang to them. You might consider saving the creme fraiche for the grown ups and pass whipped cream at the children's table.
And if for one minute you try and tell me that you don't want all those calories from heavy cream, I ask you "You'd rather have high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils mixing with your lovely homemade creation?" Please. It's the holidays. Eat a tablespoon or two of the real stuff.
And that is what I have to say about that. Feel free to weigh in with your comments. I'd love to hear from you! You can also check out my Recipe Page for some more Thanksgiving-ish dessert ideas.