Cooking with Kay: A cool, light summertime dessert

Kay Harrod, State Journal Food Editor Published:

Every meal deserves a good dessert, no matter how loudly your guests complain they can’t eat another bite. Since there’s always lots of time at a picnic, there’s always time for dessert.

Simple, healthy and delicious would be thick slices of watermelon chilled on ice. My dad would always plug watermelon before he bought it to make sure of its ripeness and taste. Unfortunately, many growers or groceries don’t offer that opportunity anymore and sometimes the flavor is disappointing.

But when Dad found the right one, into a cooler of ice it went, not to be cut until ready to serve at our picnic. Of course then again, he loved to churn a freezer of his favorite ice cream — banana. Not much of that happening today either.

So if you’re looking for a cool light dessert, this throwback recipe of the 70’s might be just what you are looking for.

Icebox cake

Refrigerate it the day before and put it in the cooler until you are ready to eat. I think this cake gets better when allowed to sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

1 box moist yellow cake mix

Follow the directions on the back of the box – eggs, water, oil – and under bake in a 9x12 by five minutes. Just make sure middle is set. I like a moist feel to the cake and under baking is the way to go.

Let cake cool.

One large box chocolate pudding mix. Recently I used the sugar free/fat free pudding. It was fine, but Jell-o has a chocolate fudge mix I’d use for a party. Make according to directions cutting the milk by ½-cup.

Before pouring the pudding over the cake, punch holes in it with a fork so thin pudding can seep in.

Place uncovered in the fridge to let it set up; a couple of hours.

8 ounce container of cool whip thawed. Again, recently I used the sugar free since I was experimenting. Go for the regular for a party.

After pudding is set, spread the top with cool whip. Cover and return to the fridge until ready to serve or take to the picnic.

Cuts nicely into squares.

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