June 16, 2016

It's summer, and it's hot. And as it continues to heat up outside, my desire to turn on the oven or cook over a hot stove proportionally dwindles. While it's close to impossible to avoid these cranking up the heat when cooking dinner, doesn't have to be so for the sweet stuff. Step away from the stove, and embrace these 15 summer-centric treats that will keep you cool all season long.

#1.

Ice cream sandwiches, heavy cream, confectioner's sugar, and chopped candy bars are the only ingredients necessary to creating an impressive, stacked frozen dessert in no time flat.

#2.

Trifle bowls are a popular wedding gift--alas, most of them rarely see the light of day. Whip yours out this week and fill it--as intended--with store-bought pound cake, macerated berries, and whipped cream. Couldn't be easier.

#3.

These so simple gooey chocolate bars are as nutritious as they are decadent. Dates, walnuts, cocoa powder, and maple syrup are the key ingredients for these 200-calorie goodies.

#4.

This 5-star dessert is basically a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup bar in pie form. The recipe makes two peanut butter pies, so you can share one with a friend and keep the other for yourself (if you're feeling so generous.

#5.

I am a huge cookie dough fan--and I mean huge. But half the time I eat so much batter that I don't even feel like baking the cookies. This eggless-cookie-dough-in-a-mug solves that problem. And while it does require the microwave to melt the butter, the rest of the recipe comes together without any fuss. We're still calling this a "no-cook."

#6.

Instead of biscuits or shortbread, this sweet concoction uses packaged ladyfingers, which give it a light and luscious texture that's perfect for blazing hot days. These individual desserts are easy on the eyes and exceptionally easy on the palate. Oh, and they're just plain easy to make.

#7.

This brilliant, 3-ingredient cheesecake looks super impressive. Guests will never guess that you just layered chocolate cookies with a quick mix of cream cheese and chocolate syrup (+ a little water, but we don't call that an ingredient). The cookies soften as the cake chills overnight for a perfectly moist, chocolaty "cheater's" cheesecake.

#8.

We knew we loved plain Greek yogurt for it's versatility and health benefits, but this 4-ingredient fro-yo gives us another genius way to use it. All you'll need is yogurt, honey, vanilla (or a vanilla bean), and half-and-half for this 130-calorie treat that's packed with protein.

#9.

Instant chocolate pudding mix and frozen whipped topping are the secrets to this luscious chocolate pudding parfait that you'll want to make again and again. We tried using both sugar-free instant and regular pudding mixes, and oddly enough, we actually preferred the flavor of the sugar-free. Go with whatever suits you best.

#10.

Glorious spring berries are the focus here—tons of them, piled atop a layer of creamy filling. You can leave small berries whole for a stunning presentation. You'll also need the microwave for this one, but just look at that slice of heaven. It's worth it.

#11.

Frozen fruit and yogurt get whirred together to make a tangy sherbet that's the texture of soft-serve. You can make it ahead, but don't freeze overnight; the mixture will become unpleasantly icy.

#12. 

Reap the benefits of both dairy and blueberries with these 3-ingredient, low-calorie frozen pops. Yogurt and milk offer calcium and vitamin D while blueberries are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients.

#12.

Ice cream + your favorite mix-ins is an obvious no-cook treat, but you may have never considered drenching it with espresso. You can substitute strong brewed coffee for the espresso, or use instant coffee granules to make the coffee. A vegetable peeler is a great tool to make chocolate curls from a bar of chocolate for this easy, yet impressive-looking, treat.

#13.

This no-cook dessert recipe earned our Test Kitchens' highest rating. Limoncello (lee-mon-CHAY-low) is a lemon-flavored liqueur from Italy that's often savored after a meal. Store it in the freezer, and serve over ice. If you have trouble finding it, substitute an orange-flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier.

#15.

Although this angel food cake confection looks devilishly rich, it's actually much lighter in calories than other cakes. Pile it high with strawberries and almonds for a dessert that is guaranteed to have your guests begging for the recipe.

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