Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer desserts are easy to make

Sweets without the heat
Summer desserts are easy to make

It’s hot outside, and you don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the house even more. But you’re craving something sweet.

No worries. There are plenty of cakes, pies, parfaits and puddings that don’t require much — or any — cooking!

Like most of you, I have some favorite hot-weather desserts including a pie made in a graham cracker crust and filled with a mixture of cream cheese, whipped topping and powdered lemonade mix, and a simple parfait with layers of cherry gelatin, whipped topping, strawberries and blueberries.

I know many of these ice-box cakes and pies show up at church picnics and covered dish dinners this time of year, so I pulled out a few of my church cookbooks to find some inspiration. I wasn’t disappointed!

A pattern emerges as you flip through the pages or even look online at ice-box or no-bake desserts. Cooks use pre-made or no-cook homemade cookie crusts and fill them with all kinds of sweet treats using a combination of cream cheese, whipped topping, pudding mixes, ice cream or other add-ons including nuts and sauces. And don’t forget fruit; bananas, blueberries and strawberries are often worked into these dishes.

Other favorites use pre-baked angel food or pound cake that’s broken up and mixed with any number of ingredients to make modified trifles.

Many recipes repeat from one cookbook to the next, including various versions of frozen peanut butter pie made with cream cheese and whipped topping and topped with chocolate sauce. Lemonade pie is also a favorite and is made with lemonade concentrate, condensed milk and whipped topping.

I made Donna Teague’s Cool Whip layered pie from the 2008 Hornes United Methodist cookbook. It took me about 20 minutes to make the dessert, which has a layer of cream cheese mixture topped with a chocolate pudding mixture in a cookie crust. Yum! Donna said the recipe was a favorite when she submitted it and that it’s also good made with lemon pudding instead of chocolate.

I’m including several recipes with this column, giving my readers a chance to try something sweet and new this summer.

Cool Whip Chocolate Layered Pie 

4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used reduced-fat)

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1 (12 oz.) tub whipped topping, thawed

1 (6 oz.) chocolate pie crust (I used graham cracker)

11/2 cups cold milk

2 small packages chocolate instant pudding

Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar until smooth. Stir in 11/2 cups whipped toping. Spread on bottom of crust. Pour 11/2 cups of milk into bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat until thick. Stir in 2 cups whipped toping. Spread over the cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate 4 hours. Garnish with remaining whipped topping.

Donna Teague

"Recipes to Warm the Soul” 2008

Hornes United Methodist Church

No Bake Peaches & Cream Cheesecake 

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

6 tablespoons margarine, melted

1 cup sugar, divided

4 packages (8 ounces each) Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less than fat cream cheese) softened

1 (4-serving) package peach flavored gelatin

2 fresh peaches, chopped or 1 (15 oz.) can drained peaches

1 (8 oz.) tub lite whipped topping, thawed

Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and 1/4 cup of the sugar; press onto bottom of 9X13-inch pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling. Beat Neufchatel cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Add dry gelatin mix; mix well. Stir in peaches and whipped topping. Spoon over crust; cover. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Betsy Davis

"Recipes to Warm the Soul” 2008

Hornes United Methodist Church

Pineapple Dream Pie 

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

11/2 cups frozen whipped topping

1 can crushed pineapple, well drained

1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust

1 can pineapple chunks, drained

Mix cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped topping and crushed pineapple. Spoon into pie crust. Top with pineapple chunks. Chill 2 hours. May garnish with additional whipped topping.

Mary Katherine Rowe

"Another Taste of Homecoming” 2003

Little Rock Original Free Will Baptist Church

Lemonade Pies 

2 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts

1 small (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 can condensed milk

9 oz. tub whipped topping, thawed

Mix lemonade, milk and whipped topping together until well blended. Pour into graham cracker crusts and chill for 5 to 6 hours.

Valerie Bunn

"Still Saying Grace” 2012

Marsh Swamp Church

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie 

1 graham cracker pie crust

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup milk

1 cup whipped topping

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

Chocolate syrup

Combine peanut butter, milk and cream cheese in large mixing bowl on low speed. Add powdered sugar and whipped topping. Mix until smooth. Pour into graham cracker crust. Freeze until firm. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Store any leftovers in freezer.

Lori Gunn Baker

"Sharing Our Blessings” 1996

First Baptist Church

Black Forest Cookie Dessert 

1 large package chocolate chip cookies

Milk to dip cookies

1 large carton whipped toping

1 can cherry pie filling

Chopped nuts, if desired

Use a 9X9-inch dish and make 1 day ahead.

Dip cookies in milk and make layer on bottom of dish (don’t use all for this layer). Cover with half of whipped topping. Next, layer with cherry pie filling (save some for garnish if desired.) Add another layer of dipped cookies. Cover with whipped topping. Garnish with pie filling and nuts. Keep covered and refrigerated.

Beth Carpenter

"Sharing Our Blessings” 1996

First Baptist Church

Peach Dessert 

1 (12 oz.) tub whipped topping

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 (16 oz.) can diced peaches

1 box vanilla wafers

In a 9X13-inch dish, place vanilla wafers on bottom and sides. Pour peach juice over wafers. Combine whipped topping, cream cheese and sugar. Stir in diced peaches. Pour over vanilla wafers and sprinkle additional vanilla wafer crumbs on top for garnish.

Rhonda Godwin

"Another Taste of Homecoming” 2003

Little Rock Original Free Will Baptist Church

Lemonade Cheesecake 

1 8-oz package fat-free cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon Crystal Light lemonade, low-calorie soft drink mix

 ¼ cup cold milk (I use skim)

1 8-oz. Cool Whip fat-free or low-fat whipped topping, thawed

1 ready-to-use graham cracker crust

Beat cream cheese and drink mix in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth. Gradually add milk, mixing until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate until firm.

Kraft Foods

My cousin Martha Cayton shared this recipe with me. It’s a family favorite.

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

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