Keep cool with no-bake desserts

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Just a Pinch, Janet Tharpe

 Just because it’s warm outside doesn’t mean the kitchen has to be. There are so many tasty dessert recipes that don’t require the stove to be touched, much less turn on the oven.

Ever tried dessert from a Crock Pot? 

JustAPinch.com home cook Cindy Dominguez had always wanted to and finally found a signature recipe to call her own – Crock Pot Cake.

“I always wanted to make a cake in a Crock Pot, so now I do.” she laughs.  “The smell of this cake will drive you crazy.”

Super chocolaty, moist and easy? Yes, please. 

We couldn’t wait to try this recipe when Dominguez first shared it on Just A Pinch, and we were thrilled with both the unique cooking technique and the finished product.

Start with a boxed cake mix, add pudding, sour cream, chocolate chips, water and egg, then let the Crock Pot do its thing. 

Four hours later the pot will contain a finished cake like no other. Top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a top-notch, no-bake wonder.

If pie is more your bag, you’ll want to do some sampling of Diane Schmidt’s recipe for Malted Milk Pie. 

Imagine malted milk ball ice cream layered onto a frozen graham cracker crust and topped with malted milk marshmallow cream.

“This recipe came from an old friend of mine Judy Visser Shindlbeck,” Schmidt said. “My mom is now in charge of making this dessert in our family. My kids beg their grandma to make ‘that ice cream thing’.”  

Malted milk balls are a family favorite in our house, too, and this lovely recipe brought back a bushel of memories. The more malt powder in this one, the better as far as we’re concerned.  

Home cook Sarah Paterson-Farrand of Saginaw, Mich., likes a bit of healthy served along with her summertime snacks. 

In fact, her favorite recipe for No Bake Energy Bites combines the best of nutrition and flavor.

“This ridiculously easy snack food is great for a quick boost of energy,” she said. “It is so versatile that you can make it with your own favorites.”

Paterson-Farrand’s oatmeal and honey balls feature a symphony of sweetness thanks to the addition of mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut and peanut butter. As she says, though, the sky is really the limit as far as the fun mix-ins you can add. She suggests tossing in some dried fruit or even trying a different type of nut butter. Whatever mix-in is chosen, this basic recipe is solid enough to handle it. 

The bites freeze well and taste pretty great straight from the freezer, too.

Be cool this summer and wow friends and family with these - or some original - no-bake treats. The time and energy you save can be spent in so many other ways. Who’s up for a swim?