October 23 2006 Desserts Newsletter
Editor: Sandra L. Garth
October 23, 2006
o Editor's Notes
o Make it Snappy
o Quick and Easy Recipes
o REVIEW: Warm Delights by Betty Crocker
o Copyright Info
o Editor's Notes
Hi Dessert Lovers!
Quick and easy; that’s the kind of recipes we need going into the holiday season. With all the shopping, decorating and partying who has time to spend all day in the kitchen. What we want is recipes that are tasty and leave us time to enjoy the festivities. Now is the time to pull out all the modern conveniences and short cuts. This includes appliances as well as ingredients. You’ll find desserts that are time savers and others that are easy to put together. Then others that are a combination of the two. Either way you’ll find something that fits your schedule and energy level. When it tastes good who’s going to complain that you didn’t spend all day in the kitchen? So let’s have it, and start making dessert!
Life is Short, Have Dessert
o Make it Snappy
When time is of the essence, and energy is in short supply, one of the quickest and easiest methods of preparing dessert is to think inside the box. A boxed dessert that is. The possibilities are endless with pre-packaged goodies.
Cake prepared from a mix isn’t limited to just frosting spread on top and between the layers. It can be the base for puddings, fruits, even ice- cream. Baby foods like bananas, tutti fruity and Hawaiian Delight, even carrots enhance the flavor of white and yellow cake mixes. Sour cream and mayonnaise in a chocolate mix adds moisture. Try substituting other fruit juices, soda and even champagne for all or part of the water. A teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract kisses your cake with a touch of blue ribbon goodness. For health conscious cook’s applesauce or pureed prunes are a handy trade off for the oil.
Simple Simon the pie-man probably would have bought a pre-made crust had they been available. These take all the worry out of whether your crust will be flaky or not. Most grocery store chains even offer their own brands, so you save time and money. Toss in some canned filling and dessert is ready. These handy dandy pie crusts can also be used in cobblers. No time or inclination to peel and cut up fruit for your cobbler? The freezer section has that problem covered also with anything from peaches to blackberries, with or without syrup. Don’t forget the non-dairy whipped topping, to top off your pie or cobbler.
That’s the Way it Crumbles
Take your favorite package of cookies; layer them with instant pudding for a parfait. Sprinkle in chopped nuts, and maraschino cherries, and you have an instant and yummy dessert.
o Quick and Easy Recipes
Toffee Apple Pie Cake
1 package spice cake mix**, dry
1 can apple pie filling
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup toffee chips
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350-degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with whip cream or butter pecan ice cream.
**If you are unable to find a spice cake mix, use yellow or butter and add ¼ tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg.
There will always be days when you have a zillion things on your to do list and dessert isn’t one of them. Bring out your old faithful crock pot and let it do all the work. In case you’re worried about the energy bill (and with good reason these days) Using the crock pot costs on average .16 per hour, not bad at all.
Crock Pot Cake Recipes
Chocolate Brownie Pudding Cake
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup water
2 TBS cocoa
2 ½ cups brownie mix, about a half a box
¼ c cup peanut butter, smooth or creamy, your choice
1 TBS butter
¼ cup water
¼ to ½ cup milk chocolate chips, optional
In a saucepan bring ¾ cup water, brown sugar, and cocoa to a boil. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well. A large wooden spoon works well for this.
Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of a lightly buttered Crock Pot, you can also a use butter flavored non-stick spray. Carefully pour the boiling mixture over the batter. Cover and cook on high about 2 hours; turn heat off and let stand for about 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or ice cream.
7 up Crock Pot Cake
This is a super easy version of the 7up cake recipe that was so popular years ago.
1 box French vanilla cake mix
1 12oz can 7 up or other lemon lime soda
Spray crock pot with butter flavored nonstick spray. Combine cake mix and soda, pour into crock pot. Don’t peek inside the pot until minimum cooking time has passed. Cook on low 2-3 hours or until a toothpick inserted in middle, comes out clean.
Self-Frosting Fudge Cake
2 ¼ cups chocolate fudge cake mix
¾ cup water
3 TBS oil
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup chocolate syrup
¼ cup warm water
3 TBS sugar
Combine cake mix, ¾ cup water, oil and eggs. Beat 2 minutes.
Pour in greased and floured crock, or one prepared with a non-stick spray.
Sprinkle walnuts over batter.
Blend together syrup, sugar & water (¼ cup), this makes the frosting. Spoon over batter. Bake in covered crock pot 2-3 hours.
As an alternative substitute yellow cake mix and ¼ cup caramel sauce for the chocolate sauce.
Waste Not Want Not
After getting all the dishes ready for a big family bash, I noticed that I had extra vanilla cake (I always make too much of everything). My first though was to dump it, and then it hit me, make truffles. Cake mix in truffles? Why not! It was so simple to put together. Using cake mix as a binder reduces the amount of chocolate that you have to use. So if you have a cup and a half of pecans or almonds, and a cup and a half of cake crumbs, you’re halfway ready to make White Chocolate Cake Mix Truffles.
Now about that cake; your baking skills can work for or against you in this instance. Preferably the cake crumbs should be dry, which means your cake wasn’t moist. Not exactly the results you want in a cake. If your cake was super moist, like most of us want it to be, it will take extra time for your truffles to firm up (the moisture content of my cake will remain a secret). Ideally these truffles should sit in a covered container in the refrigerator for a week (Yikes) for the flavors to marry. However, I couldn’t wait that long and they were wonderful. Let them sit if you want to wait, or have them now, quick and easy.
White Chocolate Cake Mix Truffles
6-1ounce squares white chocolate
1 ½ cups almonds or pecans
1 ½ cup cake crumbs, processed in food processor (vanilla or white cake)
1/3 cup raspberry liqueur
Melt chocolate in microwave or in top of a double boiler. Grind nuts in a food processor. Stir into melted chocolate. Add the cake crumbs and liqueur, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls.
Let sit in refrigerator for one hour or until firm. Roll in powdered sugar. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for at least 1 week (if you can hold out that long) before serving, so flavors marry.
Got a hankerin for an easy gourmet dessert? This version of Baked Alaska uses a packaged brownie mix, and if you really want to impress your guests, serve them Bananas Foster.
Brownie Baked Alaska
1 10.25 oz package brownie mix (If you’re feeling adventurous use one with walnuts)
1 quart vanilla or Neapolitan ice-cream
2 cups Cool Whip or other non-dairy whipped topping
Line a 1 qt bowl with wax paper; be sure to leave an overhang around the edges. Pack the ice-cream into the bowl and freeze until firm. While waiting on the ice-cream to firm, prepare the brownies according to package directions. Bake in an 8” round cake pan that has been greased and floured or prepared with a non-stick spray. Be careful not to over bake the brownies, they should be soft to the touch in the center. Cool in pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.
Place the cooled, uncut brownie layer on a serving dish and invert the bowl of ice-cream onto it. Put it back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and peel off wax paper. Working quickly spread whipped topping on the top and sides, making sure edges are sealed. Garnish with sliced strawberries at serving time. Uneaten portions must be kept in the freezer.
In less than 10 minutes you can have a genuine New Orleans treasure on the table.
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
4 bananas, quartered
1/3 cup banana liqueur, (if you don’t have banana liqueur, use a banana flavored rum or just double the amount of rum)
1/3 cup dark rum
1 pint vanilla ice-cream
Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat, and then add the brown sugar, cinnamon, bananas and the liqueur. Stir constantly so mixture doesn’t scorch and cook for about 2 minutes or until the bananas are tender. In a small pan with a long handle (very important) pour the rum and heat just until warm. Proceed with caution on this next step and make sure there are no towels or paper nearby. Remove the pan from the heat and ignite the rum, (the long fireplace type matches work well for this) and pour over the bananas. Baste the bananas with the sauce until the flames subside. Serve immediately over the ice-cream. Maple walnut ice-cream would be good with this as well.
o REVIEW: Betty Crocker Warm Delights
When microwave ovens first became popular it was often advised not to bake in them. Many of us were hard headed, tried anyway, and found a charred mass smoking inside our microwaves. It was not as easy as we thought, at least not for me. As microwave technology improved, more ovens became available with the ability to cook at different power levels. Thank goodness. Betty Crocker has made it even easier for us to have our microwave cake and eat it too with Warm Delights.
Warm Delights are single serve desserts that are ready to eat in about two minutes. These desserts are mixed, microwaved, and can be served in the same container. Simply add ¼ cup water, spread the topping on if the chosen dessert has one and microwave for 1 minute, 15 seconds. Microwave at 10 second intervals if it isn’t done at the minimum recommended time. You should let it stand for 5 minutes before serving, and keep in mind that it will cook a little more while standing. The biggest caution here is not to overcook it, or you will have a charred smoking mess in your oven. I chose the Molten Caramel and it took about 2 minutes. It was chocolaty, gooey, and eating it warm made it taste even better. Other flavors are, Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookie, Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie, Lemon Swirl, Molten Chocolate, and Cinnamon Swirl. You can’t go wrong with either of those. Warm Delights are self-indulgence at its best.
o Copyright Information
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