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7 No-Bake Desserts to Make Your Summer a Little Sweeter

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Too hot to turn on the oven? While in the midst of a summer heat wave, the last thing most of us want to do is bake but, as we all know, sweet teeth know no season. If you’re looking for something that goes beyond a melty tub of Ben and Jerry’s, these easy no-bake desserts for summer are delicious, simple and sweat-free. So, keep cool this month, and reward yourself with one of these sharable no-bake sweet treats that are perfect for picnics, barbecues or just because you have a craving.

S’mores Icebox Cake: This no-bake, make-ahead, 9 x 13-inch cake easily serves 10 to 15 people and pleases both adults and kids alike. It comes together quickly, keeps for up to 48 hours, and is made with everyday ingredients easily found in your local grocery store.

Icebox cupcakes: With this recipe, I’ve taken the traditional method of making an icebox cake and turned it into a cupcake, which is ideal for small hands. Not only are these perfectly portioned for the kids, but they are so easy to put together, kids over the age of three are probably very capable of doing it themselves.

Cheesecake Mousse Shots: Using only five ingredients, these whip up easily and can be topped with any fresh fruit you have on hand. The shot glasses provide a perfectly sized portion, allowing you to taste other desserts that may be available without feeling as though you’ve completely indulged. However, if you wanted to offer only these to your friends, place the filling in small mason jars instead of one-ounce glasses for a more generous serving.

8-Layer Ice Cream Cake: I can’t remember where I first saw the idea for this, but five minutes of online research tells me there are many, many ways to put together a dessert like this. All you need is a pound cake (store-bought or homemade) and some ice cream. You can use just one variety and layer it accordingly, or three different kinds like I’ve done. You can add candy or crushed cookies to the layers if you like, or buy gourmet ice cream flavours that have add-ins tucked within already.

Chocolate Banana “Popsicles”: Completely kid-friendly and reasonably healthy, cool everyone down with these fruity chocolate banana treats. (Nuts are optional).

Ice Cream Sandwich Pops: Purchase a pack of store-bought ice cream sandwiches, unearth a few wooden Popsicle sticks from the craft bin, and break out a few bottles of sprinkles before creating the most popular frozen treat I’ve passed around in ages.

Gingersnap Peach Parfaits: The light and slightly sweetened mousse pairs perfectly with the spiced peaches and crunchy cookies to make the easiest dessert you’re sure to put together this summer. Feel free to replace the peaches with plums, if desired.

Gingersnap Peach Parfaits

Makes 4

For the mousse:

½ teaspoon unflavoured granulated gelatin

1 ½ tablespoons hot water

1 cup whipping cream

1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ¼ cups Greek yogurt

 

For the macerated peaches:

2 cups sliced fresh (peeled) or frozen (thawed) peaches

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

 

For  assembly:

2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies

 

1. To make the mousse, dissolve the gelatin in hot water. Let bloom 5 minutes.

2. Beat the whipping cream and sugar with a hand or electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the gelatin mixture with the Greek yogurt. Fold in the whipped cream gently but thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes to set.

4. While the mousse is chilling, make the macerated peaches by combining the peach slices, brown sugar, and ginger in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

5. To assemble the parfaits, scatter some of the cookies crumbs on the bottom of bowls, glasses, or jam jars. Top with a few dollops of the mousse, a spoonful of the peaches, and more cookie crumbs. Repeat the layers one more time, ending with the cookies. Serve at once.

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