Monday, September 21, 2015

No-Bake Strawberry Bars

When I first tried the original recipe, I was amazed by how delicious it was.  Who could have thought that cream cheese, gelatin and whipped cream go harmoniously together in such a way  in this no-bake dessert?  I give kudos to Judy at The Midnight Baker for sharing the recipe in her original post, No-Bake Cherries Jubilee Pie.  My family loves this kind of dessert and quickly voted to have it in a repetitious rotation :)  

This time I made it with strawberry gelatin and chopped fresh strawberries for the filling, and used rectangular baking dish to make the dessert.  I found that this combination works as well.  I think the only other modification I did was in the amount of sugar used in the crust in that I only used one teaspoon instead of three teaspoons.  Do follow her suggestion of using the extra creamy whipped topping because it makes a difference in the taste and texture.  And lastly, you really should try this because it's super easy and way too tasty not to make!  I, myself, can't wait to try it with different types of flavor and fruit.

No-Bake Strawberry Bars

Makes one 9-x-13 baking dish

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon sugar

1 tub (8 oz) extra creamy whipped topping
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 package (3 oz) strawberry gelatin dessert
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (8 oz) fresh strawberries, save some prettier strawberries for garnish, the rest is chopped into smaller pieces

1 tub (8 oz) extra creamy whipped topping
 Fresh strawberries, halved

Mix all crust ingredients well.  Press into a 9-x-13-inch baking dish.

For filling, beat softened cream cheese with a wire whisk attachment on a stand mixer, set aside.  Mix the strawberry-flavored gelatin in a separate large bowl with the boiling water, stirring until all gelatin is dissolved.  This will take about 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk the gelatin into the cream cheese.  There will be lumps, don't worry.

Place the bowl with the gelatin/cream cheese mixture in a larger bowl filled with ice water and ice cubes until the gelatin is beginning to thicken.  This will take about 5 minutes or so.  Stir every minute or so that you keep an eye so it doesn't actually set.

Fold in 1 tub of the whipped topping, then fold in the chopped strawberries.  If the mixture doesn't "mound" refrigerate for maybe 10-15 minutes until it does (mine mounded without chilling).

Spoon mixture into prepared crust, spreading it out evenly.  Chill for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Top with the second full tub of whipped topping.  Decorate with halved fresh strawberries.

Source:  The Midnight Baker (No-Bake Cherries Jubilee Pie)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Oat Crisps with Fresh Fruits and Honey Yogurt

When I made these crips I was expecting it to be good on their own.  Well, yeah, I wasn't wrong.  I ended up eating them as snacks because they were so addictive.  Crispy, crunchy, and caramel-y, I just love these!

If you want to eat these for breakfast, the simple way to do is to grab yogurt--honey flavored is my favorite--and fresh fruits for a feel good sustenance in the morning.  This recipe is simple and irresistible which what I like from the book by Emily Luchetti, Classic Star Desserts.  I've been going through my baking book collection and trying out recipes this summer when I had a more leisurely time for baking and cooking.  So far I've found very good recipes and I'm very pleased.  I hope I can continue the baking well into the busy school and work year.  Fingers crossed!

Oat Crisps with Fresh Fruits and Honey Yogurt

Serves 6

1 1/4 ounces (2 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 pint blueberries
4 medium peaches, sliced rather thinly
1 cup yogurt--any flavor you like

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and corn syrup and stir until blended.  Stir in the oats, mixing well.

To form the crisps, drop the oats mixture, one tablespoon per cookie, onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart.  Bake, rotating the baking sheets 180 degrees at the midway point, until golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets.  Then, using a metal spatula, transfer the crisps to a large flat plate to cool.

To serve, divide blueberries, peach slices and yogurt among individual plate and place 2 oat crisps alongside or on top of each serving.

Source:  adapted from Classic Stars Desserts by Emily Luchetti

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Corn Crepes with Blueberry Sauce

Before making this dessert, honestly, I've never tried eating corn with blueberry.  I've eaten corn kernels sauteed in lots of butter and spoonsful of sugar with a dash of salt or an Indonesian version of sweet tamale--a mixture of corn, shredded coconut, sugar and salt wrapped in corn husk and steamed until soft.  Boy, that was a good sweet snack!  But never corn with blueberry and ice cream.

This doesn't make me not like the pairing; I think it's a wonderful one especially when the corn and blueberries are in season.  I love crepes and there's an interesting texture of the crepes with the addition of cornmeal in there; a little different but in no way bad.  Blueberry sauce is one of my family favorites to use in desserts so it can't go wrong in this dish.  And, oh boy, the vanilla ice cream just finishes off nicely!

In the last few weeks of summer--it's already cooling down rapidly here in Oregon--I'm sharing this recipe before it's too late!

Corn Crepes with Blueberry Sauce

Makes 6 servings

Corn Crepes:
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (about 1 ear) uncooked fresh corn kernels, preferably white
3 tablespoons white cornmeal, preferably stone-ground

Blueberry Sauce:
1 1/2 pints blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Vanilla ice cream

To make the crepes:  Put the eggs and milk in a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.  Sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt and add it to the egg mixture.  Blend until smooth.  Add the melted butter and again blend until smooth.

Transfer the batter to a bowl and stir in the corn kernels and the cornmeal.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat a 6-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Lightly grease the bottom of the pan.  fill a 1/4-cup measure three-quarters full with the crepe batter and pour it into the pan, rotating the pan so that a thin layer covers the entire bottom.  Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, until lightly browned.  Using the edge of a knife, loosen a corner of the crepe from the pan.  Using your fingers, flip the crepe over and cook for another 15 seconds.  Place the finished crepe on a large plate.  Continue cooking crepes, stacking them, slightly overlapping, on top of each other, until there are at last 12.  It is not necessary to grease the pan after making each crepe.  Wrap the crepes in plastic wrap until ready to use.

To make the blueberry sauce:  Place 1 pint of the blueberries, the sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the blueberries are soft and juicy, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the remaining blueberries.

To serve:  Place a small scoop of ice cream in the middle of each of the crepes.  Fold crepe over the ice cream.  Place 2 crepes on each of 6 plates.  Accompany with some warm blueberry sauce.  Serve immediately.

Source:  A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti