Tuesday, June 29, 2010

4th of July Desserts - Yummy!

Ok, so in the Weight a Minute Monday post I said we would follow up with some healthy dessert options this week BUT, who wants to eat healthy dessert, really? So lets compromise...we will share some healthy options and some that are little more decadent. Just exercise restraint and let "moderation" be your mantra!

Cream Cheese and Pecan Stuffed Berries

20 whole large strawberries, hulled
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each strawberry so the berries stand upright. Place berries, cut side down, on a serving platter. Carefully cut the berries into 4 wedges, cutting almost to, but not through, the bottoms with a criss-cross cut. Fan wedges just slightly, taking care not to break them. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until combined but still stiff. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag with decorative tip, fill the strawberries with the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the stuffed strawberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Paula's Strawberry Cake
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners' sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.

Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.
(Both from the Food Network...note Food Network has "how to videos" you can watch online)

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes! Be patriotic & get your antioxidants.
This recipe is lower fat, and lower sugar, but relies on delicious fruit, that happens to also be the colors of the American flag. Serve these at picnics, parties and fireworks festivals! Yield - 12 cupcakes

Line a muffin pan with cupcake paper cups. Preheat oven to 325.

1 cup egg whites (approximately 5 eggs)
1 ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries (diced into ¼" bits)

In a medium mixing bowl (preferably glass or ceramic) beat the first 3 ingredients until the whites are stiff and form peaks. This can take several minutes, don't give up! Then add the sugar, honey, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until combined, but please don't over mix.
Gently fold in ½ cup blueberries, and ½ cup strawberries into the batter, with a tablespoon. Add the remaining pieces of fruit to the tops of each cupcake.
Gently spoon into the prepared cupcake paper cups and bake approximately 30-40 minutes.

Optional variation: instead of placing fruit on the tops of the cupcakes for a very low-sugar treat, you could make a frosting with confectioners sugar and butter, and add the fruit to the top of the frosted cupcakes, but that's of course, much higher fat and sugar!

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/drnorrischumleysatisfiedlife/2010/06/recipe-delicious-4th-of-july-c.html#ixzz0sOrPyt2N


Anonymous said...

I agree, moderation is key! I like to low fat cupcake reciepe. I don't have one and will try those. Thanks for the desserts.

Anonymous said...

Love the flag picture! Food should always be fun.

I found more food fun at Best Fruit Smoothies.com. They post a new smoothie recipe each weekday.

So tasty!

Spicy Wifey said...

Thank you for checking in and leaving comments! Yes, moderation is key! Especially when you approach your diet as a lifestyle.

I am so excited about the cupcakes too! This is so simple and something I can do with my kids! I love all of the festive themed desserts but many are complicated and intricate. So this is a fun & easy option!

Thanks for the Smoothie site too!
Quin, Co-Founder