Bakeless Sweets

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It is officially summer time. Although most of us have been suffering from the humid heat for weeks now. That means it is the time of year we try to use the oven as little as possible. What else does summer call for? Parties and sweet desserts. Lucky for me (and the rest of you), I crossed paths with Faith Durand when compiling our graham cracker recipe list. Not only does Faith have some awesome graham cracker icebox recipes (including a s”mores icebox cake), but an entire book full of Bakeless Sweets ranging from puddings and panna cottas to fluff and icebox cakes. Hence the name of her book: Bakeless Sweets.

When I review a cookbook, I”m mainly looking for a book that isn”t going to break the bank in terms of ingredients, allows for easy substitutions, and provides recipes that will impress guests everywhere. With that in mind, I sifted through Bakeless Sweets to choose some sample recipes. The opportunities are endless with so many recipes for gourmet puddings, fruit-shaped jellies, and variations of varies cakes and pies that require NO baking.

I tested out two recipes and was very pleased with the results. The rest – you”ll have to try out yourself. Like I said…there is a S”MORES icebox cake in the book. I”ll be trying that one out soon..

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First recipe – Blueberry Angel Food Trifle, which is apparently also featured in the latest edition of Reader”s Digest. The recipe is simple, takes little time to make, and tastes delicious. Add some strawberries and you”ve got an easy patriotic version for the fourth of July. Here”s the recipe:

  • 8 cups cubed angel food cake (store-bought is allowed)
  • 1 batch of Vanilla Pudding (Faith”s recipe OR instant)
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla blackjack online extract

Layer cake cubes and pudding starting with the cake on the bottom and spreading about 1/3 of the pudding on each layer. As you layer,  disperse blueberries throughout each layer. Use the cream, sugar, and vanilla to create your own whipped cream in a standing mixer. Finally, spread it on top and garnish with berries and powdered sugar. Refrigerate for between 2 to 24 hours before serving.  Enjoy and impress your friends!

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Next recipe – Chocolate Peanut-Butter Pretzel Bars. I believe that sweet and salty is one of the best dessert combinations ever. Think of this recipe as adult rice krispie treats. I thought this was great, and so did the rest of the taste-testers. Only problem – I used a pan that was not big enough – you MUST use a 9 x 13 inch pan, otherwise they are too thick and your jaw will hate you. Anywhoo…here its:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup creamy natural unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups thin pretzel sticks, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups unsweetened puff wheat cereal
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (or additional kosher salt)

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Combine sugar and syrup in a 4 quart saucepan and bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat and stir in marshmallows until about half are melted, then stir in peanut butter until well combined. Add salt and vanilla. Mix in pretzels and puffed wheat and pat firmly into 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle chocolate over top to look fancy and sprinkle smoked/kosher salt on top. Chill for an hour and slice into small bars with a hot, wet knife. Enjoy.

You can get Bakeless Sweets on Amazon here!

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