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Dining In: Cool desserts

We all scream for ice cream
(Courtesy of Washington Dairy Products Commission.)
   1 sheet (1/2 of a 17 1/4-oz. pkg.) frozen puff pastry dough
   1 pint vanilla ice cream
   1 pint strawberry ice cream
   6 chocolate sandwich cookies, broken into bite-size pieces
   1/2 c. each: crumbled English toffee bars, candy coated chocolate, and miniature marshmallows
   Whipped cream
   Form puff pastry into desired shape with 1/2-inch rim around all edges and bake according to package directions. Cool completely. Toss remaining ingredients except whipped cream in a large bowl and fill center of baked pastry with the mixture. Freeze until serving time. Top with whipped cream. Makes 8-10 servings.

Pink lemonade pie
(From the American Heart Association.)
   1 c. evaporated skim milk
   1 envelope unflavored gelatin
   2 Tbsp. water
   1 6-oz. can pink lemonade concentrate, defrosted
   1 8-oz. carton low-fat lemon yogurt
   4 Tbsp. sugar
   1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
   6 drops red food coloring
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
   Place evaporated milk in a plastic bowl in freezer just until ice crystals begin to form around edges.
   Let gelatin and water stand in a large glass measuring cup for 5 minutes for gelatin to soften. Stir in lemonade concentrate. Heat in a small saucepan over medium-high heat (or in microwave on high for 3 minutes) to dissolve gelatin. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Stir in yogurt, sugar, lemon rind, and food coloring. Pour into a bowl, cover and chill in refrigerator until partially set.
   Remove chilled milk from freezer and whip until stiff. Add vanilla extract to whipped milk just until mixed. Mix 1/3 of the whipped milk into lemonade mixture, then fold in remainder. Pour into cool pie shell, cover, and refrigerate several hours, or until firm. Serves 8.

Light cheesecake with double cherry fluff topping
Yogurt cheese:
   1 container (32 oz.) low-fat vanilla yogurt
   1 1/4 c. low-fat graham cracker crumbs
   3 Tbsp. reduced fat margarine or butter, melted
   2 Tbsp. reduced calorie pancake syrup
   1 pkg. (8 oz.) fat free cream cheese, softened
   1 c. sugar
   1 c. nonfat plain yogurt
   3 Tbsp. cornstarch
   1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
   2 large eggs (or 1/2 c. egg substitute)
   2 large egg whites
   2 Tbsp. lemon juice
   2 tsp. grated lemon zest
   2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cherry fluff topping:
   1 can (16 1/2-17 oz.) pitted dark sweet cherries in syrup
   1 pkg. (3 oz.) sugarfree cherry gelatin
   1 can (20 oz.) light cherry pie filling
   1/4 tsp. almond extract
   1 container (8 oz.) light nondairy whipped topping, thawed
   Additional nondairy whipped topping and pitted dark sweet cherries, mint sprigs, and lemon zest for garnish
   Prepare yogurt cheese. If you do not have a yogurt strainer, line a colander or sieve with muslin or a coffee filter. Place the colander in a large bowl or place the sieve over a bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the colander or sieve to drain. Cover and refrigerate 12 hours to make yogurt cheese.
   Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and syrup. Press crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
   In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly beat in sugar. Add yogurt cheese, nonfat yogurt, cornstarch, and salt. Beat 1 minute or until smooth. Add eggs, egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat 1 minute or until smooth and well combined.
   Pour cream cheese mixture into pan. Bake 1 hour. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake remain in oven for 1 hour. Remove and cool cheesecake in pan or wire rack or place in refrigerator until well chilled.
   Drain cherries, reserving 3/4 cup cherry syrup. Set cherries aside. Place the cherry syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add cherry gelatin and stir until gelatin completely dissolves. Place mixture in large bowl. Add cherry pie filling and almond extract. Stir to combine. Fold in whipped topping.
   Arrange cherries around the top edge of cheesecake. With metal spatula, evenly spread cherry fluff topping on top of cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight or until topping is firm.
   To serve, gently run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Remove the side of the pan. Garnish with whipped topping, cherries, mint sprigs, and lemon zest. 12 servings.