A Perfect, Summer, Kid-friendly Dessert

I have a debt of gratitude I owe Anissa Degrasse.  She submitted a recipe to Taste of Home magazine that the boys and I love.  It’s a great recipe to make with the kids.  I let the boys pour and mix.  And it’s a wonderful treat to eat.   It’s my cheating ice cream.

Now I’ve made a few changes to the recipe, but I’ll publish Anissa’s original.  I have yet to use vanilla pudding because I buy mainly chocolate or pistachio (which I use only for a special cake).  Since I was using chocolate pudding any ways, I dropped the chocolate chips.  I know.  Me the chocoholic. 

Now I have an idea.  I think this would be a great recipe with other flavors, so if you try it with another flavor or a different type of pudding (because I’m thinking of a certain blogger who has pudding day and who is organic and vegetarian), please come back and share.  We could make our own book!

Pudding Grahamwiches*

1 ½ cups cold fat-free milk

1 package (1 oz) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix

1 carton (8 oz) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed

1 cup of miniature marshmallows **

24 whole graham crackers, halved***

5 Tsp miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 mins.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.  Place chocolate chips in a shallow bowl.  Fold whipped topping and marshmallows into the pudding.  (I folded in whip topping first, then marshmallows.)  Spread over half of the graham crackers.  Top with the remaining crackers.  Press edges of each sandwich into the chocolate chips.  Wrap individually in plastic wrap; place in an airtight container and freeze.  (I strongly recommend wrapping them in foil.  I haven’t yet placed them in an airtight container.)  Remove from freezer about five minutes before serving.  (Who can wait five minutes?)

Yields: 2 dozen ***

*Anissa, sweetheart, we need to come up with a better name.  Anyone have suggestions?

**Last time I made these I decided to wing it and put in half a bag miniature marshmallows before I thought something wasn’t right.  But they turned out good.

*** I have yet to make just two dozen.  So keep a few extra graham crackers on hand.

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Pink Cocoa Cuplets

Brought you by Mmm, Mmm, Memory by Country-Fried Mama.  Check her out!

I’m not big on fall.  In fact as a child, I kind of dreaded it.  School got harder in the fall.  I anticipated winter mornings in plaid skirt and knee-highs, standing in assembly in frozen grass, wondering why God was punishing me.  But worst of all was the yearly trip to cut firewood.

Starting as an infant, I was dragged out of my bed, dressed, and pushed into a truck long before sunrise, which is fairly inhuman when you’re not a morning person.  We would drive out an hour outside of town to meet my grandparents at the exit, just a little after dawn.  Then we would drive and drive until we were into the foothills of the Santa Ritas.  We would find a place to park, and then my dad and grandpa would start cutting marked scrawny oak trees.  If luck was with us, they would find good trees uphill.  Usually luck wasn’t with us.

As a baby, they had me in a playpen.  They joked every year that I cried whenever the sound of the chainsaws stopped.  She was meant to do this, they said.  I called it slave labor.  They forced me to go all the way until I was in college.  Then my grandpa would joke about flying me home just to help.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.

Some years it was hot, but you couldn’t remove your jeans or flannel shirt to get cool.  Some years it was freezing, and you kept moving to get warm.  Thankfully, I have repressed the memory of the year it snowed.  There was the year of the baby mice, curled up tight in a nest.  The year of the horny toads, spitting blood when you pressed on them.  The year of the chiggers.  God, that was a bad year. 

There was only one good thing about cutting wood.  It was lunch.  The adults believed in getting done before lunch.  If it was a bad season of only scrawny oak trees marked, then lunch was an hour rest or so.

My grandma made the most perfect submarine sandwiches.  Each one specific to the person it was intended for.  She made deviled eggs that were heavenly.  She brought enough snacks and lemonade for an army.  But the best part was Pink-Cocoa Cuplets for desert.

These are an excellent travel desert because there is no frosting and they are not messy.  They get there name for the pink center from the Cocoa.  Trust me, men and boys love them too, even if they’re pink.  It’s been a couple of years since I had one.  So I might have to make these soon.

Pink- Cocoa Cuplets

2 c flour
1 T cocoa
1 t salt
1 ¼ c sugar
¾ c shortening
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 c cold water

Topping
1cup semi-chocolate chips
½ c chopped nuts

Preheat oven 375.
Sift together the flower, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Add other dry ingredients slowly. Blend res of ingredients well. Line muffin tin with baking cups. Fill muffin cups. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes.

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