Summer Sweets

During the hotter months of the year, the last thing anyone wants to do is stand in a warm kitchen preparing complex desserts. Here are some simple recipes that you might find enjoyable not only to eat but also to make.

Grape and Peach Napoleons
(Approximately 6 servings)
9 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 cups red seedless grapes
1 cup honey
2 peaches quartered
¼ cup honey
1 pint of plain Greek yogurt
½ cup chopped almonds, toasted

Place 1 sheet of the thawed dough on a large level surface (wrap remaining dough to prevent drying) and lightly coat the dough with cooking spray. Dust with powdered sugar. Place a second layer on top of the first, spray, and coat with sugar. Repeat one more time. Press dough sheets lightly together. Cut into three rectangles lengthwise. Cut each rectangle into 12 triangles. Carefully stack together to form 6 even stacks. Press again. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat all steps with remaining dough to form 18 stacks. Place a second sheet of parchment on top and weigh down stacks with a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until the stacks are golden and crispy. Carefully remove the top baking sheet and parchment. Let cool completely.
Toss grapes with honey. Spread on a baking sheet and place in oven at 350°F until grapes are soft (approximately 5 minutes). Meanwhile, cut peach quarters into thin slices and combine with ¼ cup of honey in a small pot. Cook over medium heat momentarily until peaches are soft. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl over an ice bath. Cool completely. Fold into yogurt and mix together thoroughly.
To assemble, place a small portion of yogurt mixture on a stack of phyllo, top with another stack, spoon a couple of grapes on top, place another stack and layer with yogurt mixture again. Finish with another stack. Repeat procedure for each napoleon. Dust tops with powdered sugar and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Enjoy!

Chocolate Mint Pie
(Approximately 10 servings)
8 ounces of dark chocolate (50-70 percent), chopped
4 cups of corn flakes or rice cereal
2 pints mint chocolate-chip ice cream, slightly softened

Fill a medium sized pot halfway with water. Place a medium sized bowl on top with chopped chocolate in it. (Be careful! Do not allow steam or water to come in contact with the chocolate. It will cause it to seize.) Melt the chocolate completely. Using either corn flakes or rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies), place 4 cups of cereal in the bowl with melted chocolate. Stir to combine. Press cereal mixture into the bottom and against the sides of an 8-inch cake pan. Set in freeze for 5-10 minutes to firm. Spread the ice cream in the crust and freeze until firm for at least 2 hours. Any ice cream flavor can be used, but make sure before using a different flavor that it complements the chocolate crust. Serve and prepare to cool down with this tasty treat!

Ice Cream Torte
(Approximately 10 servings)
4 pints ice cream (vanilla, mint, chocolate, etc.)
1 cup sauce (caramel, chocolate, or vanilla)
½ cup toasted chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc.)

This simple recipe can be made a day or two in advance with only a few ingredients that are completely versatile. Press slightly soft ice cream into a 9-inch spring form pan. Freeze for 10-15 minutes. Pour sauce across the top and then sprinkle with nuts. Freeze until firm. To serve, remove pan and slice. Different combinations to try: vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and toasted almonds; mint ice cream, chocolate sauce, and toasted walnuts; or chocolate ice cream, caramel sauce, and toasted pistachios. The combinations are endless and fun to interchange.

Do you have a favorite summer dessert you make? We would love the recipe. Email it over to us at: [email protected].

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