Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Sweets & Sips

Do your eats tend to change seasonally?

Mine usually do—fall and winter are filled with comfort foods, hearty casseroles, baked goods that fill the house with a spiced aroma and an array of winter produce. Spring and summer are a variety of grilled fare, lighter and colorful mixed salads, and a rainbow of produce ranging from yellow summer squash to deep purple eggplants.

But one taste palate that never seems to change throughout the year is my sweet toothyes, it changes from fruit-studded tarts and back again to rich carrot cakes, however, it never seems to disappear throughout the 12 months of the year. I like to try a different  dessert once a week to switch things up, and every so often, I’ll make a recipe that deserves to be made once, twice, or in this case, three times within a three week period! I almost considered dedicating one whole post to this first strawberry-studded sweet treat, but figured if a little persuading and a few pictures couldn’t convince you, then a whole post certainly wouldn’t. So instead, I’ll give it the honor of being featured first, and then followed by a few other sweets I’ve been enjoying this spring.

Enjoy!

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Springtime Strawberry Cheesecake Yogurt Pie

Serves:6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Fiber One pie crust (recipe here) or a store-bought piecrust
  • 2 c thinly sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp strawberry jam—I used sugar free
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-8 oz package of fat free cream cheese
  • 1 (6 oz) container of strawberry cheesecake yogurt(from Target), pictured below
  • 2 Tbsp sugar—I used Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 c frozen (thawed) fat-free whipped topping

Directions:

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  • Add sliced strawberries, 1 tsp sugar, strawberry jam, and 1 Tbsp water together in a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and then lower to a simmer until thickened, about 10-12 min. Remove from burner—let cool completely.

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  • In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on high speed 30 to 60 seconds or until fluffy. Beat in sugar until blended. Add yogurt, vanilla and almond extract; beat on low speed 30 to 60 seconds until well blended and smooth. Fold in whipped topping just until blended. Spoon into crust; spread gently to edge.

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  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until chilled.

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  • Top pie with strawberry sauce. Store pie in refrigerator.

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By far one of the best pies that I’ve ever tried/made..and if you make it with my Fiber One crust, it’s clocks in at just about 150 calories per huge slice!!

cinn

Cinnabon Clone with a Twist

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1 c apple pie filling—I used sugar free
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened—I used fat-free
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  • After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Spread the apple pie filling evenly across dough, leaving enough of an edge so it doesn’t squeeze out.
  • filling

  • Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • baking

  • While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
  • The addition of the apple pie filling really adds a lot to these Cinnabon clones and takes them from delicious to out-of-this-world.

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    Chocoholic’s Scotcheroos

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c light corn syrup—I used Lite, see below

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    • 1 c sugar
    • 1 c dark chocolate dreams peanut butter (from PB & Co.)

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    • 3 c Rice Krispies cereal
    • 3 c Envirokids Leapin’ Lemurs PB and Chocolate cereal

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    • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate morsels
    • 1 c butterscotch chips
    • 1/4 c Reese's Pieces for garnish, if desired

    Directions:

    • Place corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Add cereals. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
    • Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Sprinkle with Reese's Pieces if desired. Let stand until firm. Cut into 2 x 1-inch bars when cool.

    I loved coming up with this recipe—using the dark chocolate PB and the PB and chocolate cereal really separates these from the original Scotcheroos, and makes them more gourmet.

    And now onto my latest favorite springtime sip…

    A few weeks ago I decided to drop an insane $4 on a Starbuck’s Lite Vanilla Frapbig mistake. It was so good, and I could see that a possible bad habit could be formed. Instead, I figured out how to make an almost identical version for only a few cents! Here’s my mock Starbucks Lite Vanilla Frap tutorial:

    1. Fill a blender or a Magic Bullet with 1/2 c ice.

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    2. Pour in 1 cup of cold coffee—I keep a pitcher in the fridge.

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    3. Add in about 2 Tbsp of milk—I use unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze—I recommend a vanilla flavored milk.

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    4. Add in sugar free vanilla syrup, about 1 Tbsp. I use Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup—found at Wal-Mart.

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    5. Blend by pulsing about 5 times.

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    6. Stick in a straw if desired, and slurp!

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    10 comments:

    Kelly said...

    Yum. Looks like you've been busy hun.

    Krista said...

    Fabulous treats!! You sure haved been busy. Thanks for posting the recipes!!

    sophia said...

    I tend to eat seasonally, only because the produce is cheaper to eat that way...but right now, I'm like a stubborn bull....I'm refusing to give up my cauliflower and brussel sprouts!

    You've been baking up a storm as usual! Ah, to live in your kitchen!

    Nicole, RD said...

    You have been busy! Those cinabons look amazing! I'm saving that recipe to use sometime when my hubby is mad at me :) He loves cinnamon rolls (and I'm a fan, too..who isn't!?)!

    My eats definitely change the same as yours. Lots of grilling in the summer and LOTS of comfort foods in the winter and fall!

    The Healthy Hostess said...

    Great recipes! I love the strawberry pie - it looks and sounds so delicious!
    :)

    Jessica said...

    You bake the most AMAZING desserts! I'm always so impressed!

    brandi said...

    the cinnamon rolls and scotcharoos look SO good!

    my eats are definitely lighter in the spring/summer. I just want more salads, fruits, and anything grilled!

    Erica said...

    I love your quick, easy and tasty baked goods! The strawberry dessert would probably be my favorite (I'm a huge fruit fan) and I love that you used yogurt in the mix.

    Kim said...

    I love all your desserts, but am really loving on the scotcheroos! Plus, I really want that dreamy dark chocolate peanut butter.

    Gabriela. said...

    Hey, Cassie!
    I wanted to thank you for the sweet comment, in the first place. Definetely makes my day :)
    Delicious recipes, btw! You´re talented, girl!
    Loved your blog ;)
    Have an amazing Thursday!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,
    Gabriela