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Monday, May 25, 2009

Strawberry Desserts

While I was at the grocery store Sunday, I couldn’t resist buying a 4-pound package of strawberries that was on sale. I love strawberries! And I knew they would get eaten, mostly by me. But I decided I wanted to make something different with my strawberries so I started looking through my Cooking Light cookbooks and found two very easy things to make that required no additional trips to the grocery store for additional ingredients. On Sunday, I made desserts for both Sunday and Monday and they took no time at all. My kind of recipes!

In the 2004 Cooking Light cookbook, I found a recipe for Chocolate Strawberries with Mint Dip. This was so easy. The recipe called for 16 strawberries and 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped. For the three of us, I used 12 rather large strawberries and found some dark chocolate chips in my pantry. I used maybe ¼ cup or so – I didn’t measure them out. I washed the strawberries and left the stems on. The recipe pointed out that you need to let the strawberries dry completely. Then I melted the chocolate in the microwave on high according to the package directions, dipped the bottom part of each berry in the melted chocolate, placed on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and cooled in the refrigerator. They said the strawberries are best served at room temperature, which is how we ate ours.

The recipe called for a dip made of ¼ tsp. peppermint extract mixed into an 8-oz. carton of vanilla fat-free yogurt. (I think yogurt only comes in 6-oz. containers now.) Although I actually did have some vanilla yogurt, I decided I wanted pure undiluted chocolate and strawberry flavor without the dip. And the recipe says 4 strawberries makes one serving, but I think you should be able to eat as many of these as you want! They were very good.
Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Then I made tonight’s dessert, Strawberry Granita. This was from the 2005 Cooking Light cookbook. It, also, was super easy.
Strawberry Granita

Mix ½ cup sugar (I used part sugar, part Splenda to cut down on the sugar) and ½ cup warm water in a blender until the sugar dissolves. Then add 3 cups sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and freeze for 3 hours, then stir well. (I forgot to stir after 3 hours. It was much longer than 3 hours before I thought of stirring, then it was frozen too solid so I skipped the stirring.) After you stir, cover and freeze 5 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scrape with a fork until fluffy and serve. The recipe says this makes four 1-cup servings, although I think it looks like much more than four servings. This was very good - a light summery kind of dessert.

If you like strawberries, try one or both of these recipes. They are SO easy!

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