Life is short. Eat dessert first.
While I am not the originator of this expression, I do believe in the message: Enjoy the sweetness of life. If you put it off, it might be too late to revel in that last bite of cake.
With June well under way, the sunniness of summer dessert shines with fresh fruit, no-bake delights and frozen treats. None of these five recipes are difficult to pull together, plus they will make kids giggle and adults smile from the first bite to the last. And, a special note for anyone with diabetes or on a restricted diet, the Peach-Berry Frozen Dessert is awesome.
Mini S’mores Tarts
If you just want to make the tart crust, you can fill it with any fresh fruit combination, whipped cream, pudding or custard to create your own tarts.
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (18 squares)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
10 large marshmallows, halved
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
Crust: In a bowl, melt 1/3 cup butter and add in 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in graham cracker crumbs.
Press crumbs into bottom and sides of muffin tin (about 1 1/2 tablespoons crumbs per tin)
Bake 5 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Filling: Combine 1/2 cup sugar and egg. Beat on medium for 2 minutes or until thick and pale yellow.
Whisk together flour and cocoa. Add into egg mixture and beat until smooth.
Add in 1/4 cup melted butter. Spoon filling into tarts.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until set and slightly puffed.
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then gently remove tarts from tin. Cool Completely.
Cut marshmallows in half. Place half of one cut-side down on top of each tart.
Broil 30 seconds, or until marshmallows are puffed and lightly toasted on top.
Yield: 18 mini tarts.
LeighAnne Wilkes, yourhomebasedmom.com
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Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
1 pint very soft (almost melted) strawberry ice cream
4 (3-inch) sugar cookies
1 tablespoon crushed freeze-dried strawberries
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
6 (3-ounce) ice-pop molds and sticks
Divide ice cream among ice-pop molds, insert sticks, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Meanwhile, pulse cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer half of crumbs to a plate. Add strawberries to remaining crumbs in food processor and drizzle with butter. Pulse a few times to create strawberry crumbs. Stir strawberry crumbs into plain crumbs on plate.
Line a large plate or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip molds briefly into hot water. Working one at a time, remove ice pop from mold and thaw 1 minute. Dip in crumbs, turning to coat and pressing to adhere. Transfer pops to prepared plate and freeze again at least 15 minutes before serving.
Note: Ice pops can be made a week ahead; freeze in an airtight container.
Raspberry Peach Cheesecake Salad
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
2 cups raspberries
2 cups peaches, sliced
In a large bowl with hand mixer, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Fold in the whipped topping until well combined. Gently fold in the fruit. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
Yield: 8 servings.
Kiwi Summer Limeade Pie
Susan Meier of Omaha, Nebraska, was a Midwest Living finalist in a 2011 recipe contest with this tangy pie.
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, divided
9-inch baked pastry shell
6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 (4-serving-size) package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 medium kiwifruit (peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced), divided
6-ounce carton lime low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 cups frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the macadamia nuts in the bottom of the pastry shell.
In a small bowl, whisk together limeade concentrate and vanilla pudding mix. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
Beat in powdered sugar, followed by limeade mixture.
Transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture to another medium bowl; set aside. Spoon remaining mixture into the pastry shell. Top with two of the kiwifruit.
Beat yogurt into the reserved 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture until combined. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon over filling in pastry shell. cover and chill 8 to 24 hours. Garnish with remaining kiwifruit and nuts.
Yield: 8 servings.
Peach-Berry Frozen Dessert
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 (6-ounce) cartons peach fat-free yogurt with artificial sweetener
4 ounces frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1 cup chopped, peeled fresh peaches; frozen unsweetened peach slices, thawed, drained, and chopped; or one 8.25-ounce can peach slices (juice pack), drained and chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries, raspberries, and/or strawberries, thawed and drained if frozen
1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and yogurt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping, peaches and 1 cup berries.
2. Pour into a 2-quart square baking dish. Cover with foil and freeze about 8 hours, or until firm.
3. To serve, let stand at room temperature about 45 minutes to thaw slightly. Cut into squares. If desired, garnish with mint leaves and additional berries.
Yield: 9 servings
Per serving: 89 calories, 2 gram fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 159 mg sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams protein. Diabetic exchanges: 1 lean meat, 1 other carb.
Make ahead: Prepare dessert as directed through Step 2. Cover and freeze for up to 1 week.