Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Holiday Food

Independence Day Desserts

Desserts to top off your celebration

After you’ve had the hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs, and anything else your family and friends crave, it’s time for dessert. There’s nothing like no-bake desserts to beat the heat. Here are two recipes to end your celebration on a sweet note.

Red, White, and Blue No-bake cheesecake and Black Bottom Chocolate Pie

No-bake red white and blue vanilla cheesecake Martha Stewart adapted by Chamein Canton

  • Easy
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Total 40 minutes
  • 10 servings

Ingredient Checklist

15 graham crackers (8 ounces) (Gluten-free graham crackers)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted (vegan butter, or margarine)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar pulsed fine)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature (1 ½ package full-fat cream cheese plus ½ package of light cream cheese, not Neufchatel cheese) (vegan cream cheese)

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute or organic confectioner’s sugar)

1 cup Greek yogurt (full-fat) (coconut yogurt, plain)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream, whipped (1 cup full-fat coconut milk or 2/3 cup almond milk with 1/3 cup melted unsalted vegan butter, cooled. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter into the almond milk, then add ½  teaspoon of agar-agar or cream of tartar to help the cream get whipped and stabilized.)

2 cups fresh berries

Directions

Instructions Checklist

Step 1

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground (you should have about 2 cups). Add butter, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse until combined. Press crumbs evenly onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Step 2

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on high, beat cream cheese until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and a pinch of salt; beat until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream. Pour cream cheese mixture into crust and smooth top. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 8 hours (or overnight).

Step 3

Combine berries and remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; let stand 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake; release sides to remove from pan. Top with berries and juices.

Cook’s Notes

When you’re pressing the crumbs into the pan for the crust, use a flat-bottomed measuring cup. It makes it easy to get an even thickness — and to get into the pan’s corners.

Chocolate Black Bottom Pie by Southern Living adapted by Chamein Canton

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1 (9-oz.) package chocolate wafers (gluten-free chocolate wafers)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (vegan unsalted butter)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed finely)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

4 egg yolks (1/4 cup soy lecithin or 1/3 cup Aquafaba)

2 cups milk (dairy: 2 cups whole milk, or 1 ½ cups 2% plus ½ cup half and half or light cream) (non-dairy: almond, soy, rice, or light coconut milk)

2 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped (vegan chocolate)

1 tablespoon dark rum

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups heavy whipping cream (2 cups full-fat coconut milk or 1 2/3 cup almond milk with 1/3 cup melted unsalted vegan butter, cooled. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter into the almond milk, then add 1 teaspoon of agar-agar or cream of tartar to help the cream get whipped and stabilized.)

1/4 cup sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed finely)

Garnish: bittersweet chocolate shavings

Directions

Instructions Checklist

Step 1

Pulse chocolate wafers in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely crushed. Stir together wafer crumbs and butter, and firmly press mixture on the bottom, up the side, and onto a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate. Freeze crust for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Whisk together 2/3 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp. cornstarch in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan.

Step 3

Whisk together egg yolks and milk in a small bowl; whisk yolk mixture into sugar mixture in pan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat.

Step 4

Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe glass bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk melted chocolate, rum, and vanilla into the thickened filling. Spoon filling into prepared crust. Place plastic wrap directly onto filling (to prevent a film from forming), and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

Step 5

Beat whipping cream and 1/4 cup sugar at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream, and garnish, if desired.

Notes: You can use a pre-made chocolate wafer pie crust to save time.

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Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Makeover Monday Meal- Dessert

Time

When the temps begin to rise, it’s time to move the cooking outside. There is something about a grill that turns people who don’t normally cook inside into grill masters. Steaks, burgers, chicken, fish, and pizza are made more delicious under the watchful eye of the king or queen of the barbecue. What about dessert? Well, you can grill stone fruit like nectarines and peaches with a little sugar, then serve it with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Smores are always a hit with the crowd and the kids love it.

As someone who loves to bake, even I won’t turn on the oven with the mercury rises. Okay, that’s not completely true, I get up super early to bake during the coolest part of the day. If you don’t want to lose any sleep and you don’t feel like heading out for ice cream after a long day at work, no-bake desserts are the way to go. Mix it, pour it, put it in the fridge to chill. That’s it.

This recipe comes to us from Martha Stewart. It takes about 25 minutes to make, and even less time if you decide to buy a ready-made graham cracker, Oreo, or a chocolate cookie crust.

This recipe include adaptations for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-sugar, and no sugar added diets.

No Bake Cheesecake- Martha Stewart adapted by Chamein Canton

2 packages (20 sheets) graham crackers (gluten-free graham crackers or chocolate wafers)

11 tablespoons (1 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (unsalted vegan butter)

2 tablespoons sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, Monk Fruit granulated sweetener, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed fine)

2 8-ounce packages full-fat cream cheese, room temperature (1 package light cream cheese ** plus 1 package regular cream cheese, vegan cream cheese)

1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk (Vegan condensed coconut milk)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

** It’s important to use light cream cheese and not Neufchatel. Although Neufchatel is slightly lower in calories, it’s a bit more watery than light cream cheese, which can affect how it sets once the cheesecake is chilled. If this recipe used agar-agar or gelatin, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Directions

Step 1

Put graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs form.

Step 2

Pour crumbs into a medium bowl; stir in sugar. Add butter, and stir until well combined.

Step 3

Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side; press flat. Chill crust in freezer at least 10 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, make the filling: Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Step 5

Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Step 6

Unclasp sides of pan, and remove cheesecake.

Variations

Skip the crust: use cheesecake filling in a parfait and invent a whole new “layer cake.” Mix the filling, then put some in a glass. Top with broken-up cookies (such as chocolate or vanilla wafers) or graham crackers, and add fresh fruit (such as raspberries or blueberries). Alternate layers. Refrigerate parfait for 30 minutes, and serve.

Don’t have time to make a crust? Use a ready-made graham cracker, Oreo, Nilla Wafer, or chocolate wafer pie crust. They also have gluten-free graham crackers and chocolate wafer crusts.

Variations

Chocolate cheesecake: make the crust with chocolate wafer cookies (10 ounces, or about 50 cookies) instead of graham crackers. Once you’ve mixed the filling, gently stir in 1 cup mini chocolate chips, and then fill the crust. Sprinkle more chips on top of the chilled cake.

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