Anyone who has ever baked a batch of brownies knows the joys of the one-bowl dessert. All the ingredients -- wet ones, dry ones, nuts, zests, and other tidbits -- are mixed together in a single vessel. Preparation and cleanup are minimal (no tower of dishes awaits the cook), yet gratification is maximal. The pared-down approach yields basic favorites such as those brownies, of course, and cupcakes, too. But nuanced treats -- a polenta quick bread with lemon and thyme, for example -- can also take shape in one bowl. Sometimes the single dish will be the bowl of a food processor or even the basin of a saucepan -- the better to streamline work. Another upside is that one-bowl recipes are often designed to require no more than (what else?) one pan. These desserts' sole downside: only one bowl to lick.