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The Readers Digest Association, Inc.

Pleasantville, New York/Montreal


Copyright 2006 by The Readers Digest Association, Inc.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction, in any manner, is
prohibited. Readers Digest is a registered trademark of
The Readers Digest Association, Inc.
ISBN: 0-7621-0744-8
Printed in the United States

e ven
Heavenly
des rt desserts
Our 25 Favorite (and Easiest!) Cakes, Pies,
Cookies, and Treats

The Recipes
Lemon Angel Food Cake
with Strawberries 6
Chocolate Snacking Cake 7
Ginger and Pear Upside-Down Cake 8
Black Forest Mousse Cake 10
Carrot-Pineapple Cake 12
Pumpkin-Maple Cheesecake 14
Banana Cream Pie
with Honey-Wafer Crust 16
Chocolate Mousse Tart 18
Checkerboard Cherry Pie 20
Fresh Plum Tartlets 22
Peach and Blackberry
Phyllo Pizzas 25
Peach-Berry Cobbler 26
Mocha Ricotta Tiramisu 28
Lemon Mousse with Strawberries 30
Ambrosia 32
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies 34
Orange and Pecan Cookies 37
Walnut Shortbread 38
Citrus Souffls 40
Blueberry Muffins
with Lemon Glaze 41
Ginger Pancake with
Banana-Walnut Topping 42
Black-Currant Tea Bread 45
Carrot-Zucchini Sweet Bread
with Orange Glaze 46
Frozen Pineapple and Berry Slush 47
Mango, Peach, and Apricot Fizz 48

P
e
r
f
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t
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The Search for Perfection
What is a perfect dessert? We frequently debate such things here at
Readers Digest Books. A good answer is hard to put into words, but
here is what we concluded.
First, you want the first bite to surprise and wow you. It should
make you want to close your eyes, slow down your chewing, make
a soft, contented sound, and then smile uncontrollably. Oh, that
first bite!
Then we want the second bite to be as good as the first bite. It
should have a little sweetness, a little tanginess, and somebut not
too much!richness. We want visual surprise, and a surprise flavor
or two, as well. And we want the pleasure of texturea mix of soft
and smooth and crumbly and crunchy.
Dessert. There is no greater reward for a day well managed (other
than a big hug, kiss, and thank you from the people you love). The
25 recipes youll find inside wont give you hugs, but they do deliver
all the taste pleasure you so desire in a dessert. Filled with fruit,
freshness, and personality, these recipes are sure to please you and your
whole family. Even better, they are easy to makeand healthier than
you might expect. We skipped the recipes that rely on sugar, butter,
and cream for their oomph and instead chose those that emphasize
interesting, fresh ingredients like berries, nuts, or maple syrup.
For those weekends or occasions when that special treat is needed
to finish a wonderful meal, pull out the recipes in this booklet. With
these desserts on the table, we guarantee you lots of oohs, aahs, and
maybe a few extra hugs as well.
3


emon Angel
Food Cake with
Strawberries
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
SERVES 12
FULL RECIPE ON PAGE 6.

6
Lemon Angel Food Cake
with Strawberries
Light as air, healthy as can be, and made delicious with the flavors of lemon,
vanilla, and strawberries, this cake truly is heavenly.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes SERVES 12
FRUIT:
1 bag (20 ounces) frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup orange juice
CAKE:
12 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 Combine strawberries and orange juice in large bowl. Refrigerate.
2 Preheat oven to 325F. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt
in large bowl with electric mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in
sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until thick, soft peaks form. Beat in
lemon zest and vanilla.
3 Fold flour gently into egg-white mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, until
incorporated. Spoon into ungreased, 10-inch angel food, or tube, pan.
Bake until top springs back when lightly pressed (about 50 minutes).
4 Invert cake pan to cool. If pan does not have legs, invert pan with
small end of tube over neck of a bottle. Cool cake completely. Run
metal spatula around edges and tube of pan; invert onto cake platter.
Serve with strawberry sauce.

7
Chocolate Snacking Cake
For chocolate lovers, we skip the icing and give you warm, dense, super-
chocolatey squares. Serve with fresh berries or a tropical sorbet for a
sublime dessert.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes plus cooling SERVES 36
1 1/3 cups sifted,
self-rising flour
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons
unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 tablespoon instant
espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed, light
brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened
applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1 Preheat oven to 325F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil,
leaving 1-inch overhang. Sift flour and 1 cup cocoa together into
small bowl. Heat buttermilk and espresso in small saucepan over low
heat until espresso is dissolved.
2 Mix granulated and brown sugars, applesauce, buttermilk mix-
ture, vanilla in medium bowl. Stir in flour mixture just until
blended. Beat egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer at high
speed until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Stir in
chocolate chips.
3 Scrape batter into pan. Bake just until set (about 35 minutes).
Do not overbake. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Lift
cake out and set on rack to cool completely. Sift confectioners
sugar and remaining cocoa over cake. Cut into 36 servings, each
1 1/2 inches square.

8
Ginger and Pear
Upside-Down Cake
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes SERVES 10
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 firm ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored,
sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons extra-light olive oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Spray bottom of 9-inch round nonstick
cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle brown sugar over
bottom, shaking pan to coat evenly.
2 Spread pears evenly in pan, making sure bottom of pan is covered.
3 Mix together flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt on a
sheet of wax paper. Beat together oil, granulated sugar, lime zest,
coconut extract with electric mixer in large bowl. Beat in whole egg
and egg white until thick.
4 Alternately fold flour mixture and buttermilk into egg mixture
with spatula, beginning and ending with flour mixture; fold until
just blended.
5 Pour batter over pears, smoothing top to cover completely. Bake
until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 35 min-
utes). Transfer to wire rack. Let cake cool in pan on rack for
10 minutes, then invert onto platter. Let cool slightly before slicing.

A little ginger, a little lime, and some coconut extract turn a
classic upside-down cake into a surprising treat. Youll want it
for breakfast and dessert.
9

Here is a warm, dense chocolate cake that is lovely without
adornment, but made irresistible with a cherry cream on top.
10

Black Forest Mousse Cake
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes SERVES 6
CAKE:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound fresh Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half (1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
CREAM (OPTIONAL):
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons cherry preserves
1 tablespoon kirsch (cherry brandy) or rum (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 350F; line a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches
deep) with parchment paper. Sift flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar,
cocoa, and salt onto piece of wax paper.
2 Beat egg whites in clean, grease-free, large bowl using an electric
mixer set to high until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup
granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and vanilla extract. Con-
tinue beating until egg whites are glossy and smooth, and stand up
in stiff peaks.
3 Sift flour-cocoa mixture over egg whites and fold in gently with
wire whisk, just until flour disappears. Do not overmix. Lift batter
into pan, using a rubber spatula. Smooth surface, mounding it
slightly in center. Sprinkle cherries evenly over top of batter.
4 Bake cake until it has risen and is just firm to touch, yet still moist
on top (about 25 minutes). A toothpick inserted into center should
come out with moist crumbs. Transfer cake to wire rack to cool slightly.
5 Sprinkle cake with confectioners sugar before serving. If you wish
to serve with cherry cream, blend ingredients and serve each slice
with a generous spoonful.
11

Carrot-Pineapple Cake
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes SERVES 16
CAKE:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 pound carrots, peeled and grated (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 can (8 1/2 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 cup dark, seedless raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
ICING:
2 packages (8 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with
nonstick cooking spray. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking
powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
2 Beat sugar, oil, eggs, and applesauce in large bowl until blended.
Beat in flour mixture until evenly moistened. Stir in carrots,
pineapple with juice, raisins, and walnuts. Divide batter evenly
between pans.
3 Bake until toothpick inserted in centers of layers comes out clean
(about 45 minutes). Transfer pans to wire rack. Let cool 30 minutes.
Turn layers out onto racks. Cool completely.
4 Prepare icing: Beat cream cheese on low speed 1 minute in mixer
bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Spread about 3/4 cup of icing on top of first layer. Place second layer
over iced layer. Spread remaining icing over side and top of cake.
12

Carrot cake is delicious; add pineapple and its sublime!
This version is made even more tempting with walnuts
and raisins.
13

Cheesecake is a rich and delicious dessert classic.
This version is made unique by adding pumpkin puree,
maple syrup, and vanilla.
14

Pumpkin-Maple Cheesecake
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 60 minutes SERVES 16
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 packages (8 ounces each) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat 9-inch springform cake pan
with nonstick cooking spray.
2 Stir together cracker crumbs and oil in small bowl. Press mixture
over bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan. Bake until crust just begins
to color (about 10 minutes).
3 Beat together cream cheese and brown sugar in large bowl until
well blended. Beat in pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, cornstarch, pie
spice, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Pour filling into crust.
4 Bake until center is just set (about 55 minutes). Transfer pan to
wire rack. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours
before serving.
15

16
Banana Cream Pie with
Honey-Wafer Crust
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 15 minutes SERVES 8
48 reduced-fat vanilla wafers (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
3 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 large bananas
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons apricot preserves, melted
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat 9-inch pie plate with nonstick
cooking spray. Pulse vanilla wafers, honey, and 2 tablespoons water
in food processor until fine crumbs form. Press into pie plate to
shape crust. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
2 Whisk sugar, flour, and salt in medium saucepan until blended.
Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Measure egg substitute in 2-cup measure and whisk in about 1 cup
hot-milk mixture, then return mixture to pan (this tempering avoids
curdling). Cook, whisking, until mixture comes to a full boil and
thickens. Remove from heat. Whisk in margarine and vanilla. Let
cool 15 minutes.
3 Slice bananas; toss with orange juice. Line crust with one-third
of bananas and top with one-half of filling. Repeat, then arrange
remaining bananas on top in spiral design, with slices overlapping.
Brush apricot preserves over bananas. Cool 30 minutes at room tem-
perature. Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight, before serving.

This is a healthier, lighter, fruitier version of a cream pie.
The flavor is special thanks to a little vanilla, some apricot
preserves, and orange juice.
17

Chocolate shavings on top, chocolate crust below, and
chocolate mousse in betweenhow rich is that? But by
using gelatin rather than eggs to set the mousse, this
dessert is lighter and more refreshing than youd expect.
18

Chocolate Mousse Tart
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes plus chilling SERVES 8
1 3/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
(about 9 large crackers)
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons honey
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup reduced-fat milk (2%), warmed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 container (12 ounces) fat-free frozen nondairy
whipped topping, thawed
1 bar (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate,
made into curls (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 10-inch nonstick tart pan
with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. Toss cracker
crumbs, egg white, and honey with fork in medium bowl until evenly
moistened. Pat crumb mixture onto bottom and up side of tart pan.
Bake 10 minutes. Cool.
2 Put 3 tablespoons water in small saucepan and sprinkle with gel-
atin. Let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin completely
dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
3 Mix sugar and cocoa in large bowl. Stir in milk and vanilla until
cocoa dissolves. Blend in gelatin. Cool.
4 Whip cream in medium bowl until stiff. Fold whipped cream and
half of whipped topping into cooled cocoa mixture until blended.
Pour into crust. Swirl remaining whipped topping in center. Refrig-
erate until filling sets, at least 2 hours or overnight. Dust with cocoa
powder. Decorate with chocolate curls if desired.
19

20
Checkerboard Cherry Pie
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes SERVES 8
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons cold margarine, cut up
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 tablespoons ice water
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) sour cherries
packed in water, drained
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1 Pulse flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in food
processor to mix. Add margarine; pulse until coarse crumbs form.
Add sour cream, then water, 1 tablespoon at a time, with motor
running; process until pastry holds together. Shape into two 8-inch
disks, remove; wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes. Combine
cherries, 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, and remaining
salt in large bowl. Set aside.
2 Coat 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Lightly flour work sur-
face and roll one pastry disk into 15-inch round. Roll pastry onto
rolling pin and ease into pie plate. Trim, leaving 1-inch overhang.
Brush with 2 teaspoons egg-white mixture. Spoon in filling.
3 Preheat oven to 425F and arrange oven rack in center. Roll
remaining disk of pastry into 12-inch round. Cut pastry into
3/4-inch-wide strips with fluted pastry or pizza wheel. Weave strips
on top of pie filling to make lattice pattern. Trim strips, leaving
1-inch overhang. Make 1-inch stand-up edge, folding in ends of lat-
tice. Flute edge.
4 Brush top of pie with remaining egg-white mixture, and sprinkle
with remaining sugar. Place pie on foil-lined baking sheet to catch
overflow. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F and bake
until crust is lightly browned and juices are bubbling in center
(about 35 minutes).

Who can resist this American classic? A small splash of almond
extract adds a little surprise to the great cherry taste.
21


resh Plum
Tartlets
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
SERVES 6
FULL RECIPE ON PAGE 24.

24
Fresh Plum Tartlets
No tedious pastry-making here you mix the crust in the food processor.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes SERVES 6
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest,
plus extra for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup prune butter
1 pound fresh plums, halved, pitted,
and sliced into thin wedges
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Combine oats and walnuts in baking pan
and bake until oats are toasted, about 7 minutes.
2 Transfer oats and walnuts to food processor along with corn flakes
and sugar and process into fine crumbs. Add egg whites and 1 table-
spoon of lime juice and pulse until evenly moistened.
3 Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into
6 pieces. Pat each piece out to a 4-inch round with moistened hands.
Use tips of fingers to give each round a raised edge. Bake until crisp,
about 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to
wire rack to cool completely.
4 Combine remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, lime zest, and prune
butter in small bowl. Spread mixture inside each cooled round.
Arrange plums over prune-butter mixture. Garnish with lime zest,
if desired. (Recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated. Cover tarts
loosely to keep plums from drying out.)

25
Peach and Blackberry
Phyllo Pizzas
Almonds, blackberries, and peaches are layered on phyllo dough and dusted
with sugar that caramelizes in the oven. Exquisite!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes MAKES 6 INDIVIDUAL PIZZAS
5 sheets phyllo pastry
(14 x 18 inches)
Butter-flavored cooking spray
2 tablespoons ground almonds
3 large ripe peaches
1 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
(optional)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
(optional)
1 Preheat oven to 400F and coat
baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay out sheets of phyllo and imme-
diately cover with plastic wrap, then a damp towel (phyllo dries out
rapidly if uncovered).
2 Place a sheet of phyllo on work surface and spray with cooking
spray. Layer 4 more phyllo sheets, spraying each with cooking spray;
spray top sheet with cooking spray. Cut out 6 circles from layered
phyllo, using a 5-inch saucer as a guide. Transfer each layered circle
to baking sheet and sprinkle with ground almonds.
3 To decorate, cut peaches in half (do not peel), twist apart, and
remove pits. Slice peaches very thin. Place peach slices on phyllo
pastry circles in a pinwheel design. Distribute blackberries among
pizzas. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar on top of each pizza.
4 Bake pizzas until pastry is golden brown and peaches are very
tender and light brown (about 15 minutes). These pizzas are best
served within 15 minutes of baking, because pastry can lose crisp-
ness quickly if fruit is juicy. If desired, serve with sour cream
sweetened with brown sugar.

We love cobblersall the flavors and texture of a fresh-fruit pie,
but much less fuss! This one has a wonderful mix of fruit and nuts.
26

Peach-Berry Cobbler
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes SERVES 12
3 pounds peaches (about 8), peeled and sliced
2 pints blackberries
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups self-rising flour
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons cold margarine, cut into pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-fat milk (2%)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Preheat oven to 375F. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Toss peaches, blackberries, 1/2 cup brown
sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in large bowl. Turn into baking
dish and bake 30 minutes.
2 Combine flour, pecans, remaining brown sugar, and nutmeg in
large bowl. Cut in margarine with pastry blender, or two knives,
until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 3/4 cup milk and stir
with fork until thick batter forms, adding water if necessary.
3 Drop batter on top of fruit, spacing evenly, to make
12 dumplings. Lightly brush dumplings with remaining milk
and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
4 Bake until toothpick inserted in center of dumpling comes out
with moist crumbs clinging (about 25 minutes). Serve warm or at
room temperature.
27

Mocha Ricotta Tiramisu
Preparation time: 20 minutes,
plus 30 minutes chilling SERVES 4
8 ladyfingers, broken into thirds
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or brandy
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 square (1 ounce) semi-sweet dark chocolate, grated
1 Put six pieces of ladyfingers into each of four 8-ounce glass tum-
blers or dessert glasses.
2 Place coffee in a glass measuring cup and add 1/2 cup boiling
water. Add liqueur or brandy and 1 teaspoon sugar; stir to dissolve.
Pour evenly over ladyfingers. Leave to soak while preparing topping.
3 Beat ricotta with yogurt, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract
until smooth and creamy. Pile on top of soaked ladyfingers.
4 Sprinkle each dessert with grated chocolate. Cover and chill for at
least 30 minutes (no more than 4 hours) before serving.
28

This delectable version of the popular Italian dessert features
ladyfingers soaked in coffee and liqueur. Ricotta cheese, vanilla,
and dark chocolate add to the flavors.
29

Eating a spoonful of this simple, elegant mousse with its gentle
lemon flavor is like having a taste of sunshine. And its made in
just 15 minutes!
30

Lemon Mousse
with Strawberries
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes SERVES 8
1 pint strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-light olive oil
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups plain fat-free yogurt
1 Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in small bowl. Let stand
5 minutes to soften.
2 Whisk together an additional 1/4 cup water, sugar, lemon zest,
lemon juice, oil, and egg in medium saucepan until well combined.
Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is hot (about
5 minutes). Whisk in softened gelatin and cook, whisking con-
stantly, until gelatin has dissolved (about 1 minute).
3 Remove from heat, transfer to medium bowl, and cool to room
temperature, whisking occasionally. Whisk in yogurt. Alternately
layer strawberries and lemon mousse in 8 dessert bowls and chill
until set (about 3 hours).
31

32
Ambrosia
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus chilling SERVES 6
3 navel oranges
1 small pineapple
2 large bananas
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Fresh mint sprigs
1 Cut thin slice off top and bottom of each orange. Remove peel and
white pith with paring knife. Holding orange over large bowl, cut
between membranes and lift out sections with knife, letting them fall
into bowl along with juice.
2 Cut top and bottom off pineapple using long serrated knife.
Stand up pineapple and cut off peel in sections, from top to bottom.
Halve pineapple lengthwise. Place one half, cut-side down, on cut-
ting board and slice lengthwise into 3 equal sections. Slice off hard
core, about 1 inch wide from each section, then cut sections cross-
wise into 1-inch-thick chunks. Add to oranges in bowl and toss.
Repeat with second half of pineapple.
3 Slice bananas 1/4 inch thick and add immediately to fruit and
juice in bowl; toss to coat. Gently fold in marshmallows and
coconut. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or
overnight to blend flavors. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

In Greek mythology, ambrosia is the food of the gods.
This simplified version of the classic dessert is fresh
and healthy, and made extra delicious with coconut.
33


hocolate Chip
Oatmeal Cookies
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minues
MAKES 36
FULL RECIPE ON PAGE 36.

Chocolate Chip
Oatmeal Cookies
Sometimes, a few cookies and a glass of milk is the perfect dessert for grown-
ups. These have crunch, sweetness, tartness, and loads of chocolate.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes MAKES 36 COOKIES
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Salt to taste
1 cup old-fashioned oats
4 tablespoons margarine
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Preheat oven to 375F. Line two large baking sheets with parch-
ment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
Stir in oats.
2 Cream margarine, brown sugar, granulated sugar in large bowl
with electric mixer at high speed until well blended. Add egg and
vanilla and beat until light yellow and creamy (about 3 minutes).
Blend in sour cream with wooden spoon; add flour mixture all at
once, stirring just until combined (dont overmix or cookies may
become tough). Stir in chocolate chips.
3 Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto baking
sheets. Bake cookies until golden (about 10 minutes). Cool on
baking sheets for 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks and cool com-
pletely. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up
to 3 months.
36

37
Orange and Pecan Cookies
Simple yet elegant, these cookies are perfect for nut lovers. Pecans are
chopped into the dough, and a half pecan also sits on top of each cookie.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling
Cooking time: 8 minutes MAKES 24 COOKIES
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour, plus
extra for kneading
1/2 cup self-rising white flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons pecans, chopped
Zest of 1 orange
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 egg whites
12 pecan halves, sliced in half
1 Place flours, sugar, chopped
pecans, and orange zest in a bowl;
stir until well combined.
2 Beat oil and egg whites together with a fork in a small bowl.
Add this mixture to dry ingredients and mix with a fork until a soft
dough forms.
3 Knead dough very lightly on a floured surface until smooth, then
roll into a log about 12 inches long. Wrap roll in plastic; refrigerate
2 hours. (Dough can be kept in refrigerator up to three days before
slicing and baking.)
4 Preheat oven to 350F. Unwrap roll of dough and slice across
into 24 slices, using a sharp knife. Arrange slices, 2 inches apart, on
2 large baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Top each with a
piece of pecan, pressing it in slightly.
5 Bake until firm to touch and lightly golden (about 8 minutes).
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. They can be
stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

For those times when dessert should be small but sweet,
shortbread is the perfect treat. This creative version swaps the
butter for walnuts, olive oil, and walnut oil.
38

Walnut Shortbread
Preparation time: 7 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes SERVES 8
2/3 cup walnuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Preheat oven to 325F. Toast walnuts until crisp and fragrant
(about 7 minutes). Leave oven turned on. Cool walnuts, then
transfer to food processor with all-purpose flour, and process until
nuts are finely ground.
2 Transfer flour-walnut mixture to a large bowl. Stir in whole-wheat
flour, confectioners sugar, and salt. Add walnut oil, olive oil, lemon
zest, and vanilla; stir until well combined.
3 Press dough onto bottom of 9-inch tart pan with a removable
bottom. Prick dough with tines of a fork. Score dough into 16 wedges
with sharp knife, cutting almost, but not quite through, dough.
4 Bake until crisp and light golden (about 30 minutes). Check
shortbread after 20 minutes; if browning too fast, decrease tempera-
ture to 300F. Remove shortbread from oven and, while still warm,
cut wedges through to bottom. Cool in pan set on a wire rack.
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Citrus Souffls
These light and airy souffls are made extra delicious when forkfuls are
dipped in a sauce made mostly from pureed fresh strawberries.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes SERVES 6
SOUFFLS:
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
5 egg whites
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces low-fat sour cream
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 small orange
STRAWBERRY COULIS:
1/2 pound ripe strawberries, halved
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons liqueur, such as
kirsch (optional)
Confectioners sugar for dusting
1 Preheat oven to 375F. Coat 6 individual 7-ounce souffl dishes
with cooking spray, then coat lightly with sugar, shaking off excess.
2 Place egg yolks, 2 tablespoons sugar, and flour in a bowl and
whisk together until light and creamy. Add sour cream, and lime
and orange zests; whisk until thoroughly combined.
3 Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form in clean mixing bowl.
Add remaining 4 tablespoons sugar to egg whites in a slow, steady
stream while whisking. Carefully fold whisked egg whites into sour
cream mixture. Spoon mixture into prepared souffl dishes; set
them on baking sheet. Bake until souffls rise and are golden
brown (about 15 minutes).
4 Make strawberry coulis: Puree strawberries in blender or food
processor until smooth. Sweeten sauce with 2 teaspoons sugar, then
stir in liqueur (if using).
5 Serve hot souffls straight from oven, dusted lightly with confec-
tioners sugar. Serve coulis on the side.
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41
Blueberry Muffins
with Lemon Glaze
Muffins for dessert? Sureespecially when they are rich with berries and
sweetness like these. A cup of coffee and a good conversation, and dinner is
finished perfectly.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes plus cooling SERVES 12
MUFFINS:
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk
1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
GLAZE:
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons reduced-fat (2%) milk
1 Preheat oven to 400F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Mix flour and sugar in large bowl. Whisk milk, egg substitute, mar-
garine, sour cream, and vanilla in medium bowl until blended.
2 Make well in center of flour mixture. Pour in milk mixture; stir
with fork just until blended. Fold in 1 cup blueberries.
3 Spoon batter into muffin cups and sprinkle evenly with remaining
blueberries. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
(about 20 minutes). Cool muffins on wire rack 10 minutes.
4 Mix confectioners sugar, lemon zest, and enough milk in small bowl
to make a glaze. Drizzle glaze over muffins after they have cooled.

Ginger Pancake with
Banana-Walnut Topping
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes SERVES 4
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (2 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3 bananas, thinly sliced
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Toast walnuts for 5 minutes, or until crisp
and fragrant. When walnuts are cool enough to handle, chop coarsely.
2 Increase oven temperature to 425F. Lightly oil a 10-inch non-
stick skillet and place in oven.
3 In a large bowl, stir together flour, milk, whole egg, egg white,
oil, butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
Stir in ginger.
4 Pour batter into hot pan, return pan to oven; bake until pancake
has puffed and is golden brown (about 12 minutes).
5 Combine lime juice and brown sugar in a large skillet; cook over
medium heat until sugar melts. Add sliced bananas; cook 3 minutes,
or until bananas soften. Stir in walnuts.
6 Cut pancake into wedges, top with banana-walnut mixture,
and serve.
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Serve for dessert or Sunday brunchthis oversized pancake
with vanilla, ginger, lime juice, and bananas is amazingly
refreshing and fun.
43

Tart currants are balanced by orange juice and fresh mint in this
simple yet delicious bread. Offer with jellies and melonand tea,
of course.
44

Black-Currant Tea Bread
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour MAKES 1 LARGE LOAF (12 SLICES)
3 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine spread
1/3 cup sugar
5 ounces fresh black currants
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
3/4 cup orange juice
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking
spray and set aside. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl,
then cut in margarine with two knives or a pastry blender until mix-
ture resembles coarse meal. Stir in sugar, and make a well in center
of dry ingredients.
2 Place black currants and mint in well and pour in orange juice.
Gradually stir dry ingredients into liquid until just combined.
3 Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until loaf is
firm to touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
(about 1 hour).
If loaf browns too much after baking it for about 45 minutes, place a
piece of foil loosely over top.
4 Allow tea bread to cool in pan for 5 minutes after baking, then
turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Allow bread to rest
overnight before serving; keep in airtight container for up to 3 days.
45

Carrot-Zucchini Sweet
Bread with Orange Glaze
This bread is the perfect dessert when you want to linger at the table, sipping
tea, having a long conversation. Every bite has oodles of flavor.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes MAKES 12 SLICES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grated carrots (about
1/2 pound carrots), blotted dry
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1/2 pound zucchini), blotted dry
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/4 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Coat 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking
spray; dust with flour. In medium bowl, stir together flours, baking
soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
2 In large bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla until blended. Stir in car-
rots and zucchini. Beat in flour mixture until evenly moistened. Stir in
walnuts, if using. Spread batter in pan. Bake until toothpick inserted
in top comes out clean (about 55 minutes). Transfer pan to wire rack;
let cool 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack; let cool completely.
3 In small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, orange juice, and
zest. Add another 1 to 2 teaspoons juice to thin, if needed. Spread
half the glaze over bread. Let set 5 minutes; pour on remaining glaze.
46

47
Frozen Pineapple
and Berry Slush
It looks like a frozen drink, it eats like a sorbet, and it tastes like tropical
paradise. Make sure everyone eats the mint leavestheyre a big part of
the flavor!
Preparation time: 15 minutes SERVES 4
8 ice cubes
1/2 pound hulled strawberries,
frozen
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks,
frozen
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons skim milk powder
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
Sprigs of fresh mint (garnish)
1 Put ice cubes into food processor
or heavy-duty blender and process
until finely crushed. Alternatively,
crush ice cubes in a freezer-proof
bag, using a rolling pin, and then put
them in processor or blender.
2 Add strawberries, pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, and milk
powder and process until blended but still with small pieces of fruit
and ice visible.
3 Taste and sweeten with sugar if necessary. (The amount of sugar
required will depend on sweetness of fruit.) Process briefly, using
pulse button.
4 Spoon into tall glasses, decorate each with a sprig of mint, and
serve with long spoons.

Mango, Peach,
and Apricot Fizz
Heres a surprisingand super easydessert for a hot summer night.
Fresh, ripe fruits are pureed with ginger ale for wonderful relief from the heat.
Preparation time: 10 minutes SERVES 4
1 ripe mango
1 ripe peach
2 large ripe apricots
2 cups ginger ale
Fresh mint leaves (garnish)
1 Peel mango and cut flesh away
from pit. Roughly chop flesh and
put into a blender or food processor.
2 Cover peach and apricots with
boiling water and leave for about 30
seconds; drain and cool under cold
running water. Slip off skins. Roughly chop flesh, discarding pits,
and add to mango in blender or food processor.
3 Pour just enough ginger ale to cover fruit, then process until com-
pletely smooth. Pour in remaining ginger ale and process again.
4 Quickly pour into tall glasses, preferably over crushed ice. Decorate
with fresh mint. Serve immediately with wide straws or swizzle sticks.
48