Yummy novelty treats

We have just celebrated the start of summer with holidays in Canada and the U.S., and for many that means a summer feast. Often nostalgic favourites are served, meat gets cooked on the grill, and there are plenty of sides. Desserts range from simple classics like fruit pies to novelty treats like whoopie pies and deep-fried Mars bars.

Some of the best novelty classics are ones you can make at home. You might remember these names if you are of a certain age, like me.

Did you ever have any of these recipes?

  • Poke cake — Cake baked and then poked throughout to allow for pudding, sauce or even Jello to be distributed – no, really. It works great for picnics or backyard barbecues
  • Icebox cake — No-bake cakes that set in the fridge; perfect for hot days
  • Icebox cookies — Cookie dough that is kept in the freezer shaped in a tube for easy cutting and baking; they make wonderful ice cream sandwiches, too
  • Chocolate mayonnaise cake — The addition of mayonnaise makes the cake very moist and gives it a rich taste

Some of these old recipes are half magic trick, requiring assembly and possibly some mixing of prepared ingredients like cake mix or Jello. Shortcuts abound; spread softened store-bought ice cream between homemade cookies for a sandwich or use store-bought cookies with whipped cream for an icebox cake.

This kind of ingenuity is especially useful when it can be hot outside and you’re frazzled from balancing work and company. You can still end a meal with a flourish and a bit of fun, missing the mess and stress of a complicated dish. As a good cooking friend of mine is known to say, “Work smarter, not harder.”

What is your lasting favourite? Mine is Biscuit Shortcake. I love fruit with a bit of cream and a bit of crunch, so crumbles and crisps and cobblers are all up my alley. But the pièce de resistance is a shortcake, made with biscuits and fresh fruit in season.

I plan to make biscuits soon to make apricot shortcake. It always makes me feel like I am tasting sunshine. And leftovers can be reformatted for breakfast with yogurt instead of cream.

Living in the Okanagan it’s easy to enjoy fresh fruit off the trees as a summer treat. It is a healthy and natural treat that speaks of the season and this beautiful place we enjoy. But sometimes it’s nice to splurge and go for something with a bit more panache, don’t you think?

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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