Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summertime Dessert: Frozen Chocolate Cheesecake

This is adapted from another Kraft recipe. My niece and nephews said it tasted like "an awesome chocolate cheesecake." So there you have it - another awesome summertime dessert!

Frozen Chocolate Cheesecake

16 Oreos, finely crushed
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 tubs (8 oz. each) cream cheese spread
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip

Line 9-inch square pan with foil. Leave some extra hanging over the edge for easy removal later.

Mix crushed Oreos with melted butter. Press into bottom of pan.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese spread until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Melt chocolate and mix into cream cheese. Fold Cool Whip into mixture and spoon over cookie crust.

Freeze 6 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before you want to serve. Use foil to lift cheesecake from pan.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summertime Treat: Chocolate Pudding Cupcakes

I came up with this quick dessert idea when I was looking for a way to use up some supplies around the kitchen without having to turn on the oven.

You can serve these straight from the fridge or freeze them. However, the refrigerated version is creamier than the frozen version.

Chocolate Pudding Cupcakes

10 Oreos, crushed
6 Oreos, whole
2 tablespoons butter
2 chocolate pudding snack cups
1 1/4 cup Cool Whip, thawed and divided

Finely crush 10 Oreo cookies. I like to put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and mix them with the crushed Oreos. Push these into the bottom of muffin tins that have been lined with paper or foil cups.

In a small bowl, mix the 2 pudding snacks with 3/4 cup of the Cool Whip. Spoon over Oreo crusts.

Top with an extra dollop of Cool Whip and one of the whole Oreos.

Yields: 6 servings

Monday, July 18, 2011

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

After playing around with a recipe I found online, I baked my first batch of these cookies. Oops, they cooked a bit faster than expected. O.K. on to round 2! These I took out a couple minutes sooner, and they seemed fine, but they were very thin. I decided that perhaps the batter was too runny, so I added some more flour and oats before trying a third batch in the oven. The result was higher cookies that kept their rounded shape from the cookie scooper.

I took samples of both the flatter cookie and the higher, rounder cookie to a friend's house. There was good news and bad news. The good news is that everyone liked the cookies! The bad news is that the vote was split as to which was better--the flatter cookie or the higher cookie! I'll give you directions for both and you can decide which you like better.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons apricot brandy (you can substitute vanilla extract for this)
1 cup flour*
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups quick oats*
1 1/3 cup peeled and diced apple (about 2 small apples)

*for the higher, rounder cookies add an extra 1/2 cup flour and an extra 1/2 cup oats

Preheat the oven to 375 and grease your cookies sheets or line them with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, milk, and apricot brandy until well blended.

In a small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture and beat at low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in oats and apples. Scoop onto cookie sheets and bake 10 minutes. Cookies should be slightly browned around the edges.

Cool for a minute before remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Yields: about 36 cookies

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Make an Easy Ice Cream Cake

I got this idea from a co-worker and turned it into a treat for a friend who was expecting a baby (hence, the baby-themed candles on top).

This ice cream cake is easy to make and super sweet so be sure to share with friends. :)

Ice Cream Cake

9 ice cream sandwiches
hot fudge sauce
Cool Whip, thawed
Peanut Butter Frosting (2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2-3 tablespoons milk)

On a large sheet of aluminum foil lay down two ice cream sandwiches side-by-side. Take a third sandwich and cut it in half. Place the two halves down so that the first layer is the length and width of a loaf pan.

Make the peanut butter frosting (originally posted in the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake post. (Basically, you mix the ingredients listed above.) Spread a layer of the frosting over the ice cream sandwiches.

Then spread a thin layer of hot fudge sauce over the peanut butter frosting.
Repeat those three layers (sandwiches, peanut butter, fudge sauce). Finish with one last layer of ice cream sandwiches.

Wrap the cake with the aluminum foil and freeze for a couple hours. When you're reading to serve, frost with Cool Whip.

The cake has some pretty cool layers when you cut into it.

Serves about 10.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Dessert: Berry Brownie Shortcake

I know I'm posting this recipe too late for this year's Fourth of July, but you can keep it in mind for next year. :) Or you can do the Fourth of July Shortcake I made last year. That photo is still one of my favorites. I swear the blueberry in the lower left corner is smiling at me.

This recipe is yet another adaptation of a Kraft Food recipe. The original version was called Easy Brownie Shortcake Dessert. It called for strawberries and kiwis on the top. I switched the fruit to strawberries and blueberries to give it a Fourth of July flair. After tasting the frosting, I also added more powdered sugar because I was tasting too much of the sour cream and not the Cool Whip.

Berry Brownie Shortcake

1 package brownie mix (plus the ingredients listed on the box)
8 oz. sour cream, divided
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
about twenty-five strawberry slices and at least fifteen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.

Make brownie batter according to the package direction, but add in 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Pour batter into greased and floured 9-inch pan. Bake for 40-45 min. Cool 10 minutes before removing to wire rack. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

For frosting, mix remaining sour cream with Cool Whip, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Cut brownie horizontally in half. Put one layer on cake plate and spread with some of frosting. Gently top with the other layer. Frost again and then decorate with the strawberries and blueberries.

To go with the patriotic theme of the holiday, I arranged the strawberry slices into five-pointed stars and then placed the blueberries in the middle.

Serves about 12.