Monday, April 28, 2008

Can't Beat Sweet Treats

Who can possibly resist a really yummy dessert or snack? In fact, I defy any one who may actually read this blog to NOT want to snack on at least one of my sweet treats in today's post (email me about it, please). Making home made baked goods is a simple and always appreciated way of doing something nice for you or someone you love. My first at-bats to the stove top were applications of baking. That's way I=tt's funny to me watching these Top Chefs on TV quiver at the thought of having to bake a lovely dessert when I fret over what in the H to do with chicken on a regular basis. Baking is easier than most think and a tradition in my family. I've recently baked the classic chocolate chip cookie, super sweet lemon squares, peanut butter & honey granola bars and a no-bake chocolate cheesecake from Philadelphia cream cheese website.

First up is the classic-the chocolate chip cookie. I've been making this cookie in various ways for more than fifteen years of my life. This batch admittedly are not my best, but still good enough to dunk into a fresh glass of milk.

Pete and his zombie hand looovvvee chocolate chip cookies & milk almost as much as brains!

My second favorite flavor for desserts (chocolate is first of course) is lemon. Lemon can be sweet, tart, light or heavy. It's a very versatile ingredient that pairs really good alongside something like, I don't know....Chocolate! Below are my homemade lemon squares right out of the oven (still need refrigeration and cutting). A few years ago, I would buy the lemon bar mix at the store until it dawned on me that I probably have all the ingredients needed to make them in my house regularly.

Sweet treats are totally wicked for desserts but it's important to make healthy choices for day-to-day snacking. I absolutely love dried fruit sometimes alone or sometimes with some really good nuts and other trail mix accessories. One of my mom's oldest recipes and one of my fondest is peanut butter & honey granola bars. Not only is this snack sweet and healthy, it's easy as 1-2-3. Mix 4 cups granola cereal, any nuts you'd like to add and any dried fruits you'd like to add. Melt 1 1/2 cups peanut butter and 1/3 cup of honey in a saucepan until totally melted. Mix melted mixture in with the granola totally through. Spread on a baking sheet, bake for 20 mina at 325, cool, cut and serve.

Now, the granola bars are easy but this beaut right here is so easy you will kick yourself for not trying this no-bake cheesecake recipe from Philadelphia cream cheese.Above are all the ingredients you need and it totals less than $10 at the grocery store. See the chocolate squares on the corner? Those are Ghirardhelli semi-sweet baking squares, 2 actually. Break them up and melt them down in a small saucepan over low, low heat. Careful not to burn it! Once the chocolate is all melted, take the saucepan off the hot surface. In a mixing bowl, cream together 2 cream cheeses and one 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Next, mix the melted chocolate in totally. Up to this point, use a hand mixer. The last ingredient is a regular size of cool whip. Make sure its defrosted, spoon it into the chocolate, cc and sugar mixture gently until all ingredients make a velvety goodness of no-bake cheesecake. Spoon it into the pre-made crust of your choice and let refrigerate at least 3 hours until 24.

With food prices rising everyday, its smart to stock up with more raw foods and learn to cook and bake for yourself instead of paying out the nose for convenience. It doesn't take much to make your own sweet treat that can't be beat.


Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi CaptnRachel, Thanks for visiting my blog, you have some great sweet treats here on yours! I love lemon bars, there's nothing like homemade, the taste is so much better. Good for you to enter into cooking contests, you have some good recipes there, "Good Luck".I'll be stopping by again to see how it all turned out and to check out your Mom's recipes.:)

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