Ask Cooking Channel: Summer Desserts

By: Lindsay Damast

Did you tune in to our first ever Ask Cooking Channel chat on Facebook last Thursday? We were thrilled by how many great questions on summer desserts came pouring in -- so many, in fact, that we didn't have time to answer them all. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and even answers to a few of the questions we missed.

Straight off the heels of the heat wave, everyone was hungry for cool, frosty treats and no-bake dessert ideas.

Kate Farber Gold asked, "What's a simple summer dessert that doesn't require baking?," so we offered up a Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae that's a breeze to prepare. Ben Smereczniak wanted to know how to make a Semifreddo, and we directed Britney Bailey to a whole gallery of frozen sweets to suit her hunger for ice cream recipes. Teresita Sablan was looking for a new kind of cheesecake recipe, and we one-upped her request with one that's no-bake. (Follow this helpful how-to if you need extra guidance.) Miriam Kuperman's request for a pie recipe that doesn't require an oven ended with our delicious S'mores Pie.

In addition to staying cool, many people were looking for ways to cook their desserts outside on the grill.

We showed Melania Brown that Grilled Peaches and Plums with Honey and Ricotta is a sweet, filling and low-carb dessert or snack and proved to Roberto Ferdman that grilling pineapple is in fact easy. We told Alison Sickelka that you can use your grill to prepare a fruit cobbler.

Everyone was also eager to find new, interesting ways to enjoy all that delicious peak season fruit.

To jazz up his same-old fruit salad, we told Kevin Bender to throw some fruit onto a sugar cookie crust. Yvarie Cole-Palmer was looking for watermelon recipes, so we suggested a traditional melon salad and a zesty granita to make use of the juicy fruit. Frank Samperi found out that salsa is sweet when made with stone fruits and topping cinnamon chips, and Eddy M. Vargas learned that adding balsamic vinegar can give his berries just the right twist.

Crystal Ann Tracy had berries on the brain, too, and wanted to find ways to combine blueberries and raspberries in one delicious dessert. The super sweet Zabaglione with Mixed Fresh Berries shown above from David Rocco came immediately to mind -- and it's insanely easy to make in just 15 minutes. Chuck's Berry Pudding is another simple yet delicious treat, and Dave's Pudding and Berry Tart with Graham Cracker Crust is as beautiful as it is tasty. One of our favorite ways for pairing berries is a Berry Trifle with layers upon layers of berries, cream and pound cake.

Does your apple crumble need dressing up like Sue Lobeck-Lopez's? Try adding a surprising sweet, savory and salty topping like candied bacon. Nadia G's McIntosh Maple Crumble recipe hits all the right flavor notes and is sure to impress guests.

Ashley Rayas asked for a recipe that combines cooling mint and lime. We have several icy treats that fit the bill, including a Mango and Rose Water Sorbet, Watermelon Lime Freeze Pops and a Lime Ice with Cucumber and Mint. Roger's Yogurt with Mint Gremolata is another simple dessert which can be prepared in 5 minutes.

And Paulina Macias wanted a popsicle recipe that calls for fresh fruit and yogurt. This authenic Mexican recipe for Paletas de Yogurt con Moras -- or Yogurt Ice Pops with Berries -- is a healthier summer sweet. Try it with different types of fruit, too!

Hungry for more answers? Stay tuned for our next Ask Cooking Channel chat, today at 4:00pm ET. Today's topic: summer produce. Looking for ways to use all those fresh summer veggies? Not sure what to do with an abundance of ripe stone fruits? Head to our Facebook page this afternoon!

What next topics would you like us to cover in our weekly chats? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page and maybe we'll pick your topic for next week!

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