Dash of Class: Slow cooker desserts

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Aren’t slow cookers wonderful? There is nothing better than a good roast with potatoes and carrots, or a pot of beans or a roasted chicken. Recently, I was perusing through an online newsletter, Cake and Cookie Clubs, then a website, www.justapinch.com, and found some real treasures. I opened my March issue of Family Circle and there was an article on making desserts in a slow cooker. Both places were talking about the same. The website calls for them to be made in a Crock Pot, which is just a brand (Rival) of slow cooker. For these recipes, you really need a slow cooker with a removable crock. I hope you will give them a try, I certainly intend to. I have my eyes on Butterscotch Pudding Cake.

Let me know if you try any of them and what you think.

Carrot Cake in a Crock Pot

1 c. all purpose flour
½ c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
¾ c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. canola oil
¼ c. water
¾ c. fat-free egg substitute
1 t. vanilla
3 c. coarsely shredded carrots
1 c. raisins, red or golden
1 T. confectioner’s sugar

Preheat heating base of crock pot to high. Spray stoneware insert with nonstick spray. Line bottom with waxed paper and lightly spray the waxed paper with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat sugar, oil, water, egg substitute and vanilla for about two minutes on medium-high speed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat just until blended. Stir in carrots and raisins. Pour batter into stoneware insert, and place it in pre-heated base. Cover top of slow cooker with two double thickness paper towels, then place crock pot lid on top of paper towels. Cook until toothpick comes out clean once inserted in center of cake, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. This recipe is for a 3 ½-4 quart crock pot.

Source: www.justapinch.com

Butterscotch Pudding Cake

1 c. all-purpose flour
3 ounce package cook and serve butterscotch pudding (not instant)
¼ c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
¾ c. milk
2 T. canola oil
1 T. vanilla
½ c. butterscotch chips

3 T. butterscotch sauce
½ c. sugar
1 1/3 c. boiling water
Whipped cream (optional)

Coat slow cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray. In medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add milk, canola oil and vanilla. Gently stir until batter is smooth. Stir in butterscotch chips. Pour evenly into slow cooker crock.

In a small bowl, stir the butterscotch sauce and the sugar together; pour in boiling water and stir until smooth. Pour over batter in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for about 2 ½ hours or until cake is puffed and top layer is set. Let stand, covered, thirty minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Per serving: 319 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated), 3 g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 277 mg sodium, 2 mg cholesterol

Source:  www.familycircle.com  “Family Circle,” March 2011, p. 158

Steamed Lemon Cake

1 package pound cake mix
¾ c. buttermilk
3 T. butter, softened
2 eggs
¼ c. lemon juice
½ t. lemon zest
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
½ stick butter
2 T. milk
½ t. lemon extract
Drop of yellow food coloring (optional) for a light yellow color

Coat an 8 c. soufflé dish with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom with wax paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat together the pound cake mix, buttermilk, butter, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest on low speed for thirty seconds; increase speed to medium and beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until well blended and smooth. Spread batter into prepared dish. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in a 5 quart slow cooker bowl. Add 4 c. boiling water around soufflé dish. Cover and cook on high for four hours. Cake is done when toothpick is inserted in center and comes out clean and cake springs back when touched. Remove dish to a rack and cool uncovered for ten minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of cake and invert onto wire rack; turn right side up to cool completely.

Frosting:  In medium size bowl, beat confectioner’s sugar, butter, milk, and lemon extract until smooth. Color frosting with yellow food coloring, if desired. Spread over cake.

Per serving:  491 calories, 20 g fat (9 g saturated) 4 g protein,74 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 347 mg sodium; 81 mg cholesterol

Source:  www.familycircle.com  “Family Circle,” March2011, p. 160

Fruit Crumble

3 pears (about 1½ pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced
2 Granny Smith apples (about ¾ pound), peeled, cored, and sliced
1 c. frozen cherries
1 c. dried cranberries
½ c. granulated sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 t. vanilla
½ t. cinnamon

1 c. all purpose flour
½ c. quick cooking rolled oats
¾ c. brown sugar
½ t. cinnamon
½ c. cold butter, cut into pieces
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Coat slow cooker bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Place pears, apples, cherries, and cranberries in slow cooker and mix together with sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and cinnamon until well blended. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Lift lid and spread topping evenly over fruit. Replace cover and cook for high for three hours more or until fruit is very tender. Let cool for ten minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

Per serving:  441 calories; 12 g fat (7 g saturated), 3 g protein, 83 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 12 mg sodium, 30 mg cholesterol

Source:  www.familycircle.com  “Family Circle,” March, 2011, p. 158

Nora Sweat is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.comor by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.