Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ah.... Ice Cream Pies.... Perfect For Summer!

It's summer and the living is easy.... so says the old adage reminding us that the summer season brings with it long, lazy afternoons, children on school break, vacations on the beach and all else pertaining to hot, sunny days.....

Can we forget those interminable summer vacations when we were young that used to last forever and would actually make going back to school in the Fall a welcome event? Nothing was better than to have an ice cold treat in the afternoon, sitting on the sidewalk and letting the melting ice cream not only run down our chin but slide down your arm? Way back then though, I don't remember the never ending assortment of flavors we now regularly enjoy, and vanilla, chocolate and strawberry seemed to be the main one's you could choose from as a rule, but they were heavenly, right? Unless you grew up in Mexico where we've had hundreds of flavors for eons like Avocado, Tequila, Guanabana and more.... or spent time in Yucatan, Guanajuato or Morelos too.

Naturally, trying to stay on my Atkins diet makes me think of all those things, like ice cream, that aren't on the diet; but just because I shouldn't have certain things (ok, I cheat now and then....) doesn't mean that my family is also on the diet, of course not! I make all the summer treats regularly anyway and put my will power (what's that?...) to the ultimate test.

So come join me on a "Summer's Treat" selection of great "no bake" desserts you can make easily and have them ready in a snap. They'll be ready by the afternoon and you'll have them available for that late-afternoon / early-evening time of the day when a pick-me-up is most welcome or to accompany your "cocktail hour" at the end of the day..... maybe while you're sitting around the pool cooling off from the day's heat and exhaustion (for my Merida friends especially!).... you'll see these recipes are quick and easy and just great!

First and foremost, remember good 'ol "Mississippi Mud Pie"?.... Fabulous! This sinfully rich pie is an old friend. A Mississippi mud pie with ice cream and fudge sauce, how could you go wrong with that? You'll need:
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tbl bourbon or a flavored syrup (DaVinci type), such as vanilla or Kahlua flavor
  • 1 chocolate-cookie crumb crust or graham cracker crust (or make your own, see below)
  • fudge sauce (recipe follows) or use a ready made one from the store
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 pints coffee ice cream
  • sweetened whipped cream or purchased whipped topping
Soften the vanilla ice cream in the refrigerator for about 20 min then spread it evenly on the prepared crust. Top with half the bourbon fudge and half the pecans and freeze for about an hour. Soften the coffee ice cream, and spread over the now firm first layer. Mound the coffee ice cream in the center as necessary. Top with the rest of the fudge and pecans. Decorate with whipped cream and cover loosely. Freeze overnight or at least four hours and serve with warm fudge sauce.

Fudge Sauce

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (or use chocolate chips or candy bar)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup (like Karo)
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbl bourbon, or use 1 tsp vanilla and an extra tbl of cream
Combine chocolate, brown sugar, granulated sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup in a microwaveable bowl and microwave about 3 min, whisking every 30 to 60 seconds. When the mixture has thickened somewhat, whisk in last three ingredients.

Simplified "Mud Pie".- Here's a simpler version of the Mud Pie Recipe that's even easier to make:

You'll need:
  • 1 cookie pie crust (preferably Oreo)
  • 2 pints Coffee Ice Cream, softened
  • 1/2 cup slivered, toasted Almonds
  • 1/2 cup Hot Fudge Sauce
  • Whipped Cream Topping
Put the ice cream into the prepared crust and spread out evenly. Top with half the almonds and then top with the warmed (in the microwave) hot fudge sauce; top with the last of the almonds and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. When serving, let melt a little while, about 10-15 min so you can cut and top with whipped cream.

Triple Layer Eggnog Pie.- A caramel and toasted pecan lined crust topped with layers of creamy eggnog pudding makes this the perfect pie for eggnog lovers.
  • 10 Caramels
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup cold eggnog (or Rompope in Mexico, has alcohol)
  • 2 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Whipped Topping, thawed, divided or whipped cream
  1. Microwave caramels and 1 tbl of the milk in microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM (50%) 30 sec. or until caramels are completely melted when stirred. Pour into crust; sprinkle with pecans.
  2. Beat remaining milk, the eggnog and dry pudding mixes wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Spoon 1-1/2 cups of the pudding over pecans in crust.
  3. Stir half of the whipped topping into remaining pudding. Spread over pudding layer in crust; top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Super Easy Strawberry Dream Cream or Chocolate Chip Cream Fridge Pies.- You won't believe how easy and good these no-bake pies are:

You'll need:
  • 1 cookie pie crust (vanilla for the berry one and Oreo for the other one)
  • 1 container of Whipped Topping or Whipped Cream
  • 1 container Frozen Strawberries & Cream -or-
  • 1 package Oreo Cookies
  • If using just frozen strawberries, you'll need about 1/2 cup of sugar + 2-3 tbl cream
In a blender or food processor: Mix frozen berries, sugar and cream until it becomes a good mix; for the Oreos, process these too until they break up but you can still see the white and cookie parts. Put your mix in a bowl and add the whipped topping or cream and blend together until you get a well blended mix. Pour into cookie crust and refrigerate about 1 hour and serve.

Cranberry-Walnut Cheesecake Pie.- Enjoy the delicious flavor of cheesecake without all the work. This delicious cheesecake flavored pudding pie has a surprise cranberry-walnut filling.

You'll need:
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk
  • 2 (4 serving size) packages Instant Cheesecake Pudding & Pie Filling
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Whipped Topping, divided
  • 1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce, divided
  • 1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted Walnuts
  1. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. (Mixture will be thick.) Gently stir in half of the whipped topping.
  2. Spread half of the pudding mixture onto bottom of crust; cover with half of the cranberry sauce. Sprinkle with walnuts; cover with remaining pudding mixture.
  3. Refrigerate several hours or until set. Top with remaining whipped topping just before serving. Garnish with fresh cranberries, if desired. Serve with remaining cranberry sauce. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.
And last but not least something that brings memories of working in the US and pot-luck's in the office:

Better Than Sex Cake.- The recipe sounds terrible really, but once it's all together, it's really quite wonderful and you'll only need a small piece to satisfy you..... since it's really rich and definitely not on anyone's diet..... an all time favorite pot-luck entry...... You'll need:
  • 1 package cake mix, any flavor (devil's food is best) or buy a sheet cake
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces) like Eagle Brand
  • 1 jar caramel topping (8-12 ounces)
  • 8 oz whipped cream or whipped topping
  • 2 candy bars, any variety, chopped or crushed (I like Heath Bars....)
  1. Mix and bake the cake mix as specified by the package directions in a 13" x 9" pan. Allow the cake to cool for five min. and cut slits into the top of the cake. (I usually poke holes with a large BBQ fork or a skewer, works great!
  2. Mix the condensed milk and caramel topping in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently for five minutes. (or use the microwave in a dish for 1-2 min until you can stir it well and liquid). Pour 3/4 of the caramel mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak into the slits.
  3. Sprinkle 3/4 of the candy bar pieces over the cake.
  4. Allow the cake to cool completely, then top with the whipped cream. Drizzle the remaining caramel topping over the whipped cream, then top with the remaining candy bits.
Cut into 24 pieces, serve and enjoy. Refrigerate any unused cake.

Okay I mentioned making your own pie crusts to give you a perfect custom flavor and look, plus it's easy and fast:

PIE CRUST- Made from store bought or home made cookies!

2-3 cups cookies (can be almost any kind as long as they don't have a filling and if they do, remove it)
1 stick of butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 F. Once done you will bake the cookie crust for about 10 min. and then let cool before filling.

Put the cookies into the blender and blend until you get an almost fine crumb mix. In a bowl, put the crumbs and pour in the melted butter. Mix well until all the crumbs are moist. You can add more or less butter, as long as the crumbs hold together when you pinch them.

Put the crumb mix onto your pie plate and flatten out with a flat bottom glass or large spoon so that it spreads evenly on the whole pan and up the sides. Compact well and make real even. Bake for 8-10 min. Cool then fill.

I've used lemon cookies, ginger snaps, coconut cookies are great for the lemon pie, vanilla wafers; for other types of pies I've used Oreos (but without the cream center, I get the kids to scrape it off). With cookies you don't need to add any more sugar since the cookies are already sweet enough, but try your own combination, you'll see how great this works!

NOTE: These can also be no-bake crusts: Melt 1 stick of butter and keep warm. Put your cookies in the blender or food processor and make crumbs, put the crumbs in a bowl and pour the melted butter over them and mix until they hold together. Put in a buttered pie pan and flatten down until even and well compacted, refrigerate while you prepare your filling. No need to bake since the cookies are already done, this works really well with Oreos.....
How about it, willing to try these? You'll see how easy they are and they will soon become a staple in your dessert offerings. They look and taste complicated but being so easy to make helps a busy person on the go..... plus during the summer it's nice not to have to turn on the oven, right? But you still want to eat great food, so these are perfect! You'll love them......

Gotta go, the Gold Cup Soccer Game Finals are starting on TV and it's Mexico vs the USA! (Not that I watch these all the time but when Mexico's playing the whole country watches and you can hear the !GOOOOL! in stereo all over town and the enthusiasm is catching....) Hope Mexico wins!.... Talk soon.....

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