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Dining In: The dessert trolley

recipes by Karen Diefendorf
Yearning for a sweet? Try one of these...

Fresh Lemon Meringue Pie
   1-1/2 c. sugar
   1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/2 c. cold water
   1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
   3 egg yolks, well beaten
   2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
   1-1/2 c. boiling water
   Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
   2 to 3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
   1 (9-inch) baked pie crust
   Three-egg meringue (below)
   In a saucepan, thoroughly combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually blend in cold water and lemon juice. Stir in egg yolks. Add butter and boiling water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon peel and food coloring. Pour into baked pie crust. Top with Three-Egg Meringue, sealing well at edges. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool for two hours before serving. Makes six servings.

Three-egg meringue
   3 egg whites
   1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
   6 Tbsp. sugar
   In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Ice Cream Layer Cake with Peanut Chocolate Crunch   3 c. peanut chocolate crunch (recipe follows)
   1 qt. vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
   1 qt. chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
   1 c. heavy (whipping) cream
   1 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   Prepare peanut chocolate crunch; set aside. In an 8-inch springform pan with a removable bottom, evenly spread vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 c. peanut chocolate crunch; evenly spread chocolate ice cream over peanut chocolate crunch. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze until firm, about 5 hours. In a medium-size deep mixing bowl using an electric mixer beat heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
   Remove ice cream cake from freezer; working quickly, run a knife around the edge of the pan. Remove outside of pan; place cake on a serving platter. Frost sides and top with reserved whipped cream; lightly press remaining 1-1/2 c. Peanut Chocolate Crunch into sides. Freeze until firm. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired. Yield: 10 to 12 portions.

Peanut chocolate crunch
   Line a large shallow baking pan with wax paper or foil; set aside. In a small saucepan, over very low heat, heat 1 c. milk chocolate morsels until melted, stirring constantly. Add 2 c. crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies; stir until coated. Spread cookie-chocolate mixture over prepared pan. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Place on cutting board; chop into pea-size pieces. Freeze in a covered container until ready to use. Yield: 3 cups.

Butterscotch Fudge Bars
   Cookie base
   1 c. all-purpose flour
   1 c. quick or old fashioned oats
   3/4 c. packed brown sugar
   1/2 c. chopped walnuts
   1/2 c. flaked coconut
   1/2 tsp. baking soda
   3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
   3/4 c. (1 1/2) sticks) butter or margarine, melted
   Fudge
   2 Tbsp. butter
   2/3 c. evaporated milk
   1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
   1/4 tsp. salt
   2 c. (4 oz.) miniature marshmallows
   2 c. (12 oz. package) butterscotch flavored morsels
   1/2 c. chopped walnuts, divided
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   For cookie base:
   Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, coconut, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice in medium bowl; mix well. Stir in butter; mix well. Press into foil-lined 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 13 to 15 minutes, or until slightly brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.
   For fudge:
   Combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar, and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stir constantly. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, butterscotch morsels, 1/4 c. walnuts, and vanilla. Stir vigorously for 1 minute, or until marshmallows are melted. Pour over cooled cookie base; sprinkle with remaining walnuts. Chill until firm.

Banana Split Trifle
   1 c. hot fudge topping
   1/2 c. low-fat, sugar-free strawberry yogurt
   1 (10 oz.) prepared angel food cake, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
   2 c. sliced bananas, divided
   1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, divided
   2 c. sliced fresh strawbaerries, divided
   Whipped topping
   Whisk together hot fudge topping and yogurt until smooth; set aside. Layer half of cake pieces, half of bananas, half of strawberries and half of pineapple into 2 quart staight-sided glass bowl. Spread half of chocolate mixture over the pineapple. Repeat cake, banana, stawberry, pineapple, and chocolate-yogurt mixture layers. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Just before serving, decorate top of trifle with whipped topping. Makes 8 servings. Note: Pineapple may be omitted; proceed as recipe directs.

Polar Ice Cream Sandwiches
   1 c. (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
   1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
   1/2 c. granulated sugar
   2 eggs
   1 tsp. vanilla
   1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
   1 tsp. baking soda
   1 tsp. ground cinnamon
   1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
   3 c. oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
   1 c. raisins or semisweet chocolate pieces
   1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
   Ice cream, any flavor
   Heat oven to 350 F. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered. Spread softened ice cream on bottom side of one cookie; top with second cookie. Serve immediately or wrap airtight and freeze. Makes about 24 sandwiches.

Chocolate Almond Fudge Cake
   1 c. all-purpose flour
   1-1/4 c. sugar, divided
   1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa, divided
   2 tsp. baking powder
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/2 c. milk
   1 egg
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   1/3 c. sliced almonds
   No stick cooking spray
   1 tsp. almond extract
   1-1/4 c. boiling water
   Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl combine flour, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat milk, egg, oil and vanilla; stir into flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in almonds. Pour batter into an 8x8x2-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
   In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and cocoa; sprinkle over batter. Add almond extract to hot water; pour over batter, do not stir. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 8 servings.