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Desserts and delectables

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

By popular request, July will be “desserts & delectables” month! Everything in proportion, right?

You’ve just finished a hearty meal and yet instead of feeling satisfied, you crave something more—something sweet. Some nutritionists claim people likely formed habits in childhood to expect a sugary treat or dessert after eating a good meal. Okay, perhaps I myself have occasionally bribed my children to finish their vegetables in order to have a piece of cake.

Other scientists claim human brain chemistry is to blame for an after-dinner sweet tooth. Some evidence suggests consuming sugar, or other simple carbohydrates, can enhance the absorption of the amino acid tryptophan found in some foods. The tryptophan then enables an increase in the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being.

Simply search the internet for “reasons to eat dessert” and you’ll have endless excuses to cut into that chocolate cake!


Chocolate Cherry Cake

Source: Betty Mead, Paradise, Kansas.

Ingredients:

1/2 c. margarine
1 large egg
1 1/2 c. cake flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. maraschino cherries, chopped
1 c. granulated sugar
2 (1 oz.) sq. chocolate, melted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. milk
2 Tbsp. cherry juice (from maraschino cherries)
1/2 c. nuts, chopped

Soften margarine. Add sugar; cream well. Add egg; beat well. Stir in chocolate. Sift flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed ingredients with milk alternatively. Beat smooth. Add cherries, juice and nuts. Bake in a 8- by 8- by 2-inch pan at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.


Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Source: Stacy Menges, Watsontown, Pennsylvania.

If you like cheesecake, you’ll love this one.

1 3/4 c. graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. sour cream
1 c. granulated sugar
1 bag mini chocolate chips

Prepare graham cracker crust in 9-inch springform pan. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press onto bottom and part way up sides of pan. Cake: Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Beat in 1 egg at a time. Blend in sour cream. Pour in mini chocolate chips; mix. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 to 70 minutes until center is set and firm. Turn off oven, leaving door slightly ajar. Leave in oven 1 hour. Remove, cool in pan, then chill. Keep refrigerated. Before removing springform pan after cool, use butter knife to go around inside of pan to help remove.


Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Source: Marilyn Scott, Van Buren, Arkansas.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 regular box instant chocolate pudding
1 oz. sour cream
1/4 c. water
1 c. canola oil
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased and floured Bundt cake pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees F.


Chocolate Chip Sensation

Source: Julie Klein, St. Peters, Missouri.

1 (18 oz.) pkg. refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 pt. half and half
1 (3.4 oz) box chocolate pudding mix
1/4 c. nuts, chopped

Shape cookie dough into a 12-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick, on a pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely. Mix cream cheese and sugar and spread over cooled cookie. Mix half and half with pudding for two minutes. Let stand for five minutes until thickened. Spread pudding over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


Chocolate Macaroon Bars

Source: Jenny Pachta, Belleville, Kansas.

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 large egg
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. coconut
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. margarine

Combine cake mix with melted margarine. Mix with fork until crumbly. Pat into a greased 9- by 13-inch cake pan. Mix sweetened condensed milk, egg and 3/4 cup coconut with chocolate chips. Pour on top of crust. Sprinkle reserved coconut on top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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