Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Tastey Step

I have got a HUGE sweet tooth, however in this summer heat I do not want to bake. I thought I would pass along some of my summer favorites, that don't involve being stuck in the kitchen. These would each be a welcome addition at your next BBQ.

Strawberries with Cream Cheese
32 Strawberries
11-12 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons semi-sweet or milk chocolate, grated

To prepare- cut a thin slice from the stem end so the strawberry can stand up upright, place strawberry cut side down, cut the strawberries into 4 wedges being careful not to cut all the way through, carefully fan the wedges out being careful not to break them, place aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and the almond extract until it is light and fluffy, fold in the grated chocolate.
Using a teaspoon fill the strawberry towers with the cream cheese mixture (for cleaner presentation use a decorative bag with a decorative tip to fill the strawberries). Top with a little more grated chocolate.

Frozen Butter Pecan Crunch
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 quart butter pecan ice cream, softened
8 ounces frozen whipped cream topping, thawed
2 Heath bar candy bars, crushed

To prepare- In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter, once combined press mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 baking pan, chill in the freezer.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the pudding mix with milk until blended, then fold in the ice cream and whipped cream topping, then spoon over the crust.
Finish by sprinkling with the crushed Heath bar and freeze. Remove 20 minutes prior to serving.

Grilled Pineapple with Mascarpone Cream
1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts
1 lemon juiced and zested
2 (8 ounce) containers mascarpone cream
3 tablespoons honey
8 slices (or more depending on party size) peeled, fresh pineapple 1/2 inch thick

To prepare- heat the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates.
Place the hazelnuts in a small saucepan over medium heat, shake pan until nuts are golden (about 3 minutes), remove from heat and set aside.
In bowl mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, mascarpone cream, and honey, set aside.
On heated grill place pineapple slices on grates till they get score marks (about 3 minutes each side).
To serve, plate 2 pineapple slices on plate and top with a generous dollop of mascarpone cream, then sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Hope these recipes satisfy your sweet tooth as much as they do mine.

Photos from (top to bottom): and

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