2012-07-12 / Local & State

Great Bake- Free Desserts Ideas For Summer

Nobody likes working in front of a hot oven during the summer. But if you and your family love desserts, you’ll still want to partake of sumptuous treats that will keep you all cool.

According to top dessert experts, there’s a whole world of alternatives to baking for those who suffer from a year-round sweet tooth.

“On hot days, my mind usually turns to frozen treats such as popsicles or sorbet; for something a bit more elegant I'll whip up a chocolate ganache tart with cookie crust,” says Lindsay Landis, author of the new book, “The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook.” Landis has created over fifty recipes using egg-free cookie dough that is safe to eat raw. By repurposing your favorite desserts for the summer season, you can take the need for heat out of the equation.

And don’t forget that one of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit. No matter what you come up with, adding a garnish of exotic fresh fruits like kiwi, pineapple and mango will wow your guests with a boost of natural sweetness. Or create a parfait of frozen yogurt, fresh strawberries and a variety of nuts.

For a bit of inspiration, try out this perfect no-bake summer treat from Landis:

Invisible Cookie

Dough Ice Pops

Makes: 4 pops

Active time: 5 minutes

Total time: 3 hours

1 1/4 cups milk (skim, 2 percent, or whole)

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons mini semisweet chocolate chips

In a microwave-safe container or glass measuring cup, microwave milk 30 seconds or until warm to the touch. Add brown sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add vanilla.

Place 1/ 2 tablespoon chocolate chips in the bottom of each of four 1/3-cup ice-pop molds or small paper cups. Top each with milk mixture. Insert sticks and place molds in freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 3 hours.

To release pops, run molds under warm water 20 to 30 seconds; they should slide right out. If using paper cups, simply peel cups away and discard.

If your ice-pop mold does not include built-in sticks or a lid to hold them in place, you may find yourself with sticks pointing every which way but up. To prevent this, stretch a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the mold and secure it with a rubber band. Cut a small slit in the plastic, centered over each pop, and insert a stick through each opening. Alternatively, you can adjust sticks as necessary after about 45 minutes of freezing, when the pops aren’t yet frozen solid.

Find more ideas at www.cookiedoughlovers.com.

You don’t need an oven. You just need ingenuity to create crowd-pleasing summer treats.

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