Summer gets people together, many times in the form of picnics and potlucks. Even though a lot of folks have concluded their summer vacations, we still have quite a bit of summer left to enjoy. If you are looking for some good dessert recipes to make so you can bring a dish that people will gobble up, I hope you find something right here. One thing about potlucks, though, is that all too often people expect you to bring a dish you may be well known for, as in a specialty dish.
At Thanksgiving, that’s how it always was for me; I was expected to bring the candied yams. Perhaps you would like to present a new dish that could become a favorite. Pretty soon you will have several dozen favorites if you don’t already.
Take a browse around this week’s offerings and see if you’d like to try at least one. I hope you are all managing to stay cool and fire safe.
These are like a cross between cookies and candy.
96 Ritz or similar round crackers
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup marshmallow creme
2 pounds milk chocolate candy coating, melted
Candy sprinkles, optional
1. Spread half of the crackers with peanut butter. Spread remaining crackers with marshmallow creme (not too thick). Place the marshmallow creme side down over peanut butter crackers, forming a sandwich.
2. Dip the cracker sandwiches in melted candy coating, allowing excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined pans. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set. If desired, drizzle with additional candy coating and decorate with sprinkles. Store in an airtight container. Makes 4 dozen.
Brownies for a crowd
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, eggs, oil and vanilla. Pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the batter with chocolate chips.
2. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan on wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen.
Glazed apple pie squares
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg, separated
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1 cup crushed corn flakes
9 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 10 medium)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a measuring cup, combine egg yolk and enough milk to measure 1/3 cup. Gradually add to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
2. Divide dough in half. Roll one portion into a thin 15-by-10-inch rectangle. Transfer to the bottom of an ungreased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with cornflakes.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg; toss to coat. Spoon over crust.
4. Roll remaining dough into the same size rectangle and carefully place it over the apple filling. Beat egg white until frothy and brush it over the top crust. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the crust.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and apples are done.
6. For glaze, mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to make the consistency just right for drizzling. Drizzle over warm pastry. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into squares when ready to serve. Makes 2 dozen.
Strawberry shortcake dessert
While not a traditional shortcake recipe, this is still very good and refreshing.
1 package white cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 package (.6 ounce) sugar-free strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 package (16 ounces) frozen unsweetened whole strawberries, thawed, drained and sliced
1 carton (16 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
10 fresh strawberries, halved
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, applesauce, egg whites and egg; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
2. Pour batter into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
3. In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in strawberries. Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern across top of hot cake; immediately pour gelatin mixture over cake. Allow the cake to cool by setting it on a wire rack.
4. Refrigerate cake for at least 6 hours. Spread with thawed whipped topping. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Makes 15 to 20 servings.