Puttin' on The Mitts: Show some love with dessert
I'm not a baker. Ask my 4-year-old, she'll tell you. "Mom, you like to cook. Tina likes to bake." Tina is our day care provider. And yes, she does like to bake. Ironically, I got this non-baking recipe from her who got it from a mutual friend. It...
I'm not a baker. Ask my 4-year-old, she'll tell you.
"Mom, you like to cook. Tina likes to bake."
Tina is our day care provider. And yes, she does like to bake. Ironically, I got this non-baking recipe from her who got it from a mutual friend. It's technically classified as a salad by title. But let me just tell you, if every salad tasted like this, I'd be a happy camper. Furthermore, if every "dessert" was this easy, I'd definitely be a baker.
With Valentine's Day around the corner, I thought this might be a great recipe for those like me who don't bake but enjoy the sweeter things in life. Plus, it's relatively healthy, especially if you use light or fat-free whipped topping.
While the recipe doesn't call for it, I also added about 4 ounces of pineapple tidbits and drizzled a little chocolate syrup across the top of the serving. Both ingredients added just a bit more to the already tasty recipe, which reminds me of a banana split.
Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
12 ounces whipped topping, thawed
1 small package dry cheesecake pudding mix
3 6-ounce strawberry yogurt cups
1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
3 bananas, sliced
½ bag miniature marshmallows
In a large salad bowl, stir together whipped topping, yogurt and pudding mix. Allow mixture to set up in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
You can mix the strawberries (and pineapple tidbits if using) into the salad at this point, but wait to mix in the bananas and marshmallows until just before serving. Keep refrigerated.
Before I began to cook meals, I learned to bake with my mom. One of the first things I can recall making was blondies, or as I called them at the time, blonde brownies.
Blondies were also one of the first things I spectacularly failed in executing, my earliest lesson in carefully reading recipes. We had family visiting from out of town and I was excited to share something I'd baked from scratch. When my cousin took a bite of one, however, the look on his face immediately told me I'd made a horrible mistake.
"They're so salty!" he said as he chucked the rest in the trash.
I checked over the recipe and sure enough, I'd added a whole tablespoon of salt instead of the teaspoon called for. And my cousin wasn't lying; they were terrible.
These blondies are a far cry from the disastrous batch of my youth. In fact, next time I would maybe add just a pinch more salt to balance with the brown sugar sweetness - very carefully, of course. They are deliciously gooey and reminiscent of both chocolate chip cookies and brownies with a little Valentine's Day flair.
They're also quite easy to make and come together quickly, making them a great alternative to store-bought sweets for your sweetie.
Brown Sugar Blondies
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup Valentine's-themed chocolate candies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Melt the butter. Put butter in a large mixing bowl and combine with brown sugar. Allow to cool, then mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
Using a hand mixer or a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated.
Stir in ⅔ cup of the chocolate candies. Gently press the dough into an 8-by-8 glass baking dish. Top with remaining ⅓ cup candies.
Bake for 20-25 minutes and allow to cool before cutting and serving.
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