Serving up some more s’mores

On the online version of this forum, I recently printed a recipe for Frozen S’mores, the first of many I found after being inspired by a photo a friend “pinned” on Pinterest. (I signed up for Pinterest — a social photo sharing website that allows users to create collections such as events, interests and hobbies —months ago and have only actually visited it once.)

I was intrigued by the concept, and because I found so many variations of the recipe, I intended to share them all over the course of a few days. But other work-related projects took priority, and I did not get the job done. I won’t repeat the one version I have already shared (you can go to http://lagniappe.areavoices.com to view it), but I will include two other variations here. One utilizes chocolate pudding, the other ice cream, so they really are very different things. I would think these would make a fun summer project with youngsters.

Frozen S’Mores No. 2

In a mixing bowl, combine 1½ cups cold milk with one 4-serving size package chocolate flavor instant pudding, beating with an electric mixer or wire whisk for about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup thawed frozen whipped topping and ¾ cup miniature marshmallows.

Using 7 whole graham crackers, broken in half, spoon about ¼ cup of the mixture on top of each cracker half. Place them on a freezer-safe tray. Freeze about 2 hours or until firm. Serve straight from the freezer.

Frozen S’Mores No. 3

In a medium bowl, combine 1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened, with 1 cup miniature marshmallows and three (1.55-ounce) chocolate bars, broken into pieces. (While the chocolate bars are more true to the original concept, I would think that chocolate chips could also be substituted.) Cover and freeze until firm.

Split 12 whole graham crackers in half and place on a flat surface. Using an ice cream scoop, place 1 scoop of the ice cream mixture on each of the 12 graham cracker squares. Top each with a second square and press together firmly to form sandwiches. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze until firm.

So much for kid-friendly desserts. Here’s one that’s probably more well-suited for adult tastes, making use of the season’s fresh strawberries and maybe the tail end of the rhubarb crop

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cheesecake Squares

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Combine ¾ cup softened butter or margarine, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1 ½ cups flour and ½ cup chopped pecans. Press mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned.

Combine two 8-ounce packages Neufchatel (reduced fat) cream cheese, 2 eggs, ¾ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until smooth and pour over crust. Bake until cheesecake is set, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine 3 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, coarsely chopped, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries. Dissolve 4 teaspoons cornstarch in ¼ cup water and stir into fruit mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until rhubarb is tender and mixture is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly.

Spread fruit mixture over top of cheesecake. Sprinkle top with finely chopped pecans, if desired. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Cut into squares. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

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