Tag Archives: frozen dessert

Peach, Apricot and Basil Popsicles

Summer.  Hot days, the sound of lawn mowers, smell of fresh cut grass and barbeque, kids running through sprinklers, and popsicles!  Not just any popsicles, but frozen treats made with fresh summer fruits and herbs.  Easy-peasy, uber-yummy, (healthy!), hot weather relief.  Ahhhhhhhh….

If you’re lucky enough to have farmer’s markets in your area, head on out to select your favorite summer fruits.  I decided on peaches and apricots.  An online search resulted in basil being a nice compliment to these stone fruits, so out to the garden for a handful of fresh basil and I was halfway to popsicle nirvana!  My molds hold 1/2 cup each, so amounts given are for that.  Adjust the recipe for your own molds–small dixie cups and craft sticks work great.  I got these super-cute little bug molds at Pier 1.  Gotta love their little leaf-with-a-bite-out-of-it stands!

  • 2 small peaches, the riper the better, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 4 apricots, the riper the better, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup, infused with 16-20 basil leaves.  (Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, boiled and cooled.  I used 1/2 cup each and had left over, which keeps in the fridge for quite a while.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Prepare your simple syrup, pour into a seal-able container with the basil leaves.  Gently muddle (crush) the leaves to release the oils, seal and allow to cool.  Of course, while basil is super yummy here, it’s optional.  You can just leave your simple syrup, well, simple.

When your syrup is cooled to at least room temperature, prepare the peaches and apricots and plop them in your blender.  Peaches first, because they tend to be juicier–the better to blend, my dear.

Puree to a smooth consistancy and add lemon juice and simple syrup (strain it if you used basil).  Puree a bit longer.  You’ll end up with 2 cups of puree.

Pour into popsicle molds.  Fill them to the brim.  Add the sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Remove from the freezer (Ooooo!  Frosty and cold!) and run the molds under warm water until the molds come loose.

Oh my.  Time to take a break from the heat in the yummiest way ever!

The basil was just barely noticeable in these pops.  I’ll be upping the amount of basil next time–my 16 or so leaves were actually in a bit over 1/2 cup of syrup.  I can’t wait to try different fruit-herb combos, and maybe blend in a bit of yogurt, leaving some fruit chunks in the puree, making layers????  Oh the possibilities!

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Sweet-Tooth Saturday: No-Bake Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Sometimes a recipe in a magazine reaches out and grabs you.  This is one of those.  In a recent Everyday With Rachel Ray, I spied a plate with creamy, chocolatey yumminess on a plate sitting next to a glass of cold milk.  Next to it, a short and simple recipe for Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites.  I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter!  I immediately dog-eared the page and made a mental note to buy ingredients I didn’t already have in my pantry.  Here’s how mine came out…I bet you’ll be making your own list of things to get at the store!

This simple recipe only requires a few things:

  • 1 pre-made chocolate crumb pie crust or 1 cup chocolate wafer cookies and 4 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp gelatin
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 8 oz room temperature cream cheese–I used fat-free
  • 7 oz sweetened condensed milk–the only cans I found were 14 oz–enough to make two cheesecakes!
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter–I used chunky
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips–I used regular ones

If starting your crust from scratch, mix cookie crumbs with butter, and press into an 8×8 baking pan.  Set aside.

Combine gelatin with water, let sit 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, condensed milk and peanut butter until smooth.

Go ahead, have a little taste…I won’t tell! 

Microwave the gelatin 20-30 seconds to melt.  Beat into cream cheese mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips and spread over your crust.

And now for the hardest part: Freeze for 20 minutes.  If you’ve already sneaked a taste…or two….you know how yummy this is going to be and waiting will be difficult.  Distract yourself by cleaning up the few dishes generated by this recipe, read a book, watch Food Network or meditate…… 

Finally, remove from freezer, cut and serve.

Mmmmm!  20 minutes didn’t provide for as hard a set as I thought would happen, making it a bit hard to serve.  However, the creamy peanut buttery-chocolatey wonderfulness was a husband pleaser!  I stored the remainder in the freezer–a bit more difficult to cut, but a prettier, ice-cream pie-like presentation.  A bit of whipped cream and some chocolate curls on top and you’re ready to impress like the rock star cook you are!

BTW, this recipe was invited to Sweet as Sugar Cookies’ linky party!  Go have a look at tons of sweets recipes all in one place!  Yummy!!!

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Sweet-tooth Saturday: Carol’s Frozen Mango, Raspberry and Vanilla Mosaic

Mosaic?  The Wordnetweb definition that comes closest to this decadent dessert is: “art consisting of a design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass.”  It looked like art and tasted like art should!  Carol adapted a recipe from this fabulous cookbook, filled with yummy recipes and beautiful New Mexican art:

Definitely a book I plan to buy–it wouldn’t translate well to my nook.  The recipe she used was called Frozen Mango, Blackberry Cassis and Vanilla Mosaic–changing it to Frozen Mango, Raspberry and Vanilla Mosaic.  I’ll give ingredients according to what Carol used.  Being a frozen dessert, she made this well in advance–I have no pictures of the ingredients.

1 pint mango sorbet

1 pint raspberry sherbert

1 pint vanilla ice cream

6 ounces fresh raspberries

1/4 cup raspberry liqueur, plus extra for garnishing

Soften the sorbets and ice cream in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

In a blender, puree the berries and liquor until smooth.  Strain if you want–Carol didn’t–the crunchy seeds added to the “feel” of fresh berries in the mosaic.

Line a loaf pan with waxed paper or parchment paper, leaving extra up the sides to lay over the top of the dessert–forming a “lid.”

When sorbets and ice cream are soft, fill the pan decoratively with spoonfuls of sorbets and ice cream, pressing down and filling in the spaces with the berry puree.

Smooth top, pressing down with the back of the spoon to eliminate air spaces.

Fold parchment flaps over the top and freeze until solid–about 3 hours.

Remove from freezer and loosen the parchment flaps.

Run hot water into a sink and partially immerse the mosaic to loosen the sides.

Invert loaf pan over a platter, slide off the loaf pan and carefully peel back the parchment paper.

Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut slices–1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.  Place in a deep plate or shallow bowl, garnish with a tablespoon or two of the raspberry liquor and serve!  (The recipe in the book also suggested a sprig of mint for garnish.)

So pretty!  So yummy!  So versatile–use any combination of sorbets you like with coordinating berries and liqueur!  Carol and I were just texting about how yummy this will be in the summer while enjoying a warm evening out on the deck.  She suggested topping it off with even more fresh berries.  Mmmmmm.  Don’t wait until summer to try it, though.  This may be the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert!  Especially if you use the liqueur Carol used:

How perfect is that?  *Swoon*  We enjoyed our mosaic slices with a nip of dessert wine….yummy!

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