Desserts · Recipes

Dessert, Dogs, and Despicable Me

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

If you haven’t already voted, please do so today (click here for the voting poll)! Tomorrow is the wedding.

Navy or Gold?
Navy or Gold?

Had to share a couple random pics:

Kyle’s family’s new puppy, Gus. Taken after our run yesterday.

Gus Gus
Eating his morning leaves

Despicable Me 2 came out earlier this week. My sister and her friends went on Wednesday…like this.

Why my sister (and her friends) are cooler than yours
Why my sister (and her friends) are cooler than yours

No, they didn’t make these costumes just for this event. Halloween a couple years ago.

Annie and friends dressing up for Halloween at school
Annie and friends dressing up for Halloween at school


Anyways, on to desserts! Yesterday I brought 2 desserts to our family friends’ house in Moraga. This has been our 4th of July tradition (the going to Moraga part) since I can remember. My parents claim we all (including the Moraga family) used to go up to Lake Tahoe for the 4th when all the kids were really young, but these are the same people who use to tell me everything was chicken just so I would eat it…for all I know they put me in a kiddy pool named Lake Tahoe πŸ˜‰

The first dessert I brought was, what I call, Low-fat Lemon Cheesecake Bars

These were a big hit. I think they taste like cheesecake (so did other people). These are really easy to make and NO BAKING REQUIRED! Great for hot summer days!

The crust
The crust
The filling
The filling
The final product
The final product

This is NOT my creation. I made minute changes from this recipe.

Low-fat Lemon Cheesecake Bars

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 14 whole-grain low calorie and/or low fat graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray

  • 1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup pasteurized egg product (such as egg beaters)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water

Strawberry Sauce

  • 2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen-thawed)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


Make Crust: Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs are formed. Add butter, brown sugar and salt and pulse to incorporate, until crumbs resemble wet sand. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and pack crumbs firmly into the bottom of it. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk and pasteurized egg product and beat on high with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and beat until fully incorporated, another 30 seconds. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and boiling water and whisk until gelatin is entirely dissolved; let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the gelatin into the cream cheese-lemon mixture until well incorporated. Pour the filling over the crust. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, until filling is firm.
Take 2 cups of strawberries and puree in a blender until smooth. Heat on low in a small saucepan until just warm. Add lemon juice and maple syrup and heat until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to serve.Once firm, slice bars into 2-inch squares. Drizzle strawberry sauce. Enjoy πŸ™‚

I also made these Strawberry Lemonade Bars. This was a creation by my friend, Alyssa.
Strawberry Lemonade Bars
Strawberry Lemonade Bars

I’m not going to post the recipe because honestly, they did not come out well. I feel like a total jerk giving these a mediocre review, but I also hate when people give a recipe a great review and when you go to make it, it’s not “great.” I LOVE the idea for these though.

I had issues with the filling. It would not set in the oven and I eventually had to turn the oven down to 315F to prevent the crust from burning. When they finally finished baking (hours later), the texture just wasn’t pleasant, kind of gummy. I will definitely play around with this recipe in the future because like I said, it is a brilliant idea.

My baking helper for that day, my dog Sienna.


I like to think she was there to keep me company, but we all know she was waiting for food to drop to the floor.


4 thoughts on “Dessert, Dogs, and Despicable Me

  1. The flavor of the strawberry lemonade bars was excellent. I understand your texture comment- maybe a bit gummy (but I ate one! )

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