Sunday, July 03, 2011

Summer Dessert Recipes

This afternoon I went to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients for desserts for a 4th of July cook out. I had a box of graham cracker crumbs in my basket and midway down the dairy aisle a lady stopped me because she had a recipe that used graham crackers, and was what I had the same thing as what she needed? I was a little surprised when she started digging into her wallet and pulled out a folded up recipe - for Chocolate Eclair Cake. Oh! My enthusiasm for it must have been evident, as soon we were walking the aisles together to find what she would need to make it.

This seems like one of those recipes that belongs so firmly back home, but here it was, and I guess that in the age of the Internet, there is no recipe that will not travel.

Do I dare say I enjoy talking with other people at the grocery store? Please don't take me for a loon, but the one place in this world where I can shoot the breeze is waiting in the checkout line. Don't ask me why; I am at ease there in a way I will never be at a party. Maybe because we all know we'll be out of there in five or ten minutes. Maybe because food is interesting and that's the topic at hand at the grocery store.

So, what am I up cooking tonight? A Junior Mints Cheesecake. They had the recipe on the box years ago, and it is a winner. You will like it for sure. Here's the recipe.

Junior Mints Cheesecake

6 oz. Junior Mints (4 - 1.6 oz. boxes)
3 pkgs (8 oz. ea.) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
Graham cracker or chocolate crumb crust for a 9" springform pan*

1. Place Junior Mints in freezer
2. Preheat oven to 350F. With electric mixer or in food processor, combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour into crust.
3. Chop cold Junior Mints and sprinkle onto cheesecake.
4. Bake 40 to 45 min. or until just set. Cool on wire rack, then chill several hours or overnight. Makes about 8 servings.

*NOTE: for crust, combine 2 cups crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and six tablespoons melted butter or margarine. Press into bottom and - if there is enough - up sides of pan.

Delicious. Tonight, just for fun, I also scooped out the guts of a vanilla bean and threw them in with the vanilla extract. Somehow I don't think I did wrong. It smells pretty good in the oven. Of course, I'm baking this at 1:30 a.m. because even with an air conditioner, who wants to bake during the day in the summer?

Well. I should run - I've got dishes to do and a lesson to finish prepping for church tomorrow. Would you like a song? The National has fallen off the front page again, so here is something from them.

The National - The Geese of Beverly Road

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