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Published: Friday, 7/15/2011

The Sweetest Season: Delicious And Easy Summer Desserts

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(ARA) - Summer is a time of traditions.  People travel to the same resorts year after year, host annual barbeques, and go back time and time again to enjoy their favorite summer treats. It's hard to think of summer without thinking of favorite food traditions such as grandma's strawberry pie or s'mores around a campfire.
   
Every now and again, it's good to shake up food traditions a little bit. Updating some old-fashioned summer favorites takes a little creativity and ingenuity, but it doesn't have to cost a lot in terms of money or time spent in the kitchen.
   
Whether it's for a picnic, a block party or a grilling get-together, your family and guests will love to try something that pays homage to classic desserts, but with a new spin. Here are some ideas for new ways to think about sweet summer treats. Who knows? They might just become your new traditions.

The Classic: Berry Pie With A Pastry Crust
The new spin: We all know that the ability to get pie dough just right is a skill that takes years to master. Most of us try for years to achieve the results that grandma got unfailingly. For a quick, simple and tasty alternative, try opening up a package of cookies, putting them into your food processor and blending them into a fine grind that you can press into your pie pan as part of your dry ingredients for a flavorful crust. Or if you are using a pre-made pie crust, sprinkle the cookie dust on top for some added flavor. Lemon cookies can add a zingy taste that brings out the sweetness of summer's best berries.

The Classic: S'mores   
The new spin: Take the s'more to the next level, whether it's at the cabin or around the backyard fire pit. Set out a buffet of ingredients that plays on the original s'more combination of graham crackers, milk chocolate bars and marshmallows. Instead of plain chocolate, try a chocolate-hazelnut spread, chocolate frosting or dark chocolate squares. Rather than graham crackers, try classic cookies (crunchy or soft) such as gingersnap, molasses or oatmeal.

The Classic: Ice Cream Sandwiches
The new spin: Instead of out-of-the-box varieties, customize your own ice cream sandwiches for unique flavor combinations. Try mint chocolate chip ice cream between cocoa cookies, or for a fruitier flavor, put sweet strawberry ice cream between sugar cookies. Vanilla ice cream between chocolate chip cookies can be a classic spin on cookies and milk.
   
There is no limit to the combinations that will please the particular crowd you're serving.



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