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When my friend Kim Green, producer of My Carolina Today, asked me to share with viewers my favorite no-bake desserts I immediately thought of three recipes – macerated berries with freshly whipped cream, crunchy cinnamon snack mix and my new favorite, slow cooker mocha fudge brownies.

Yes, they are as good as they sound — I promise.

I sometimes question my own sanity when I turn on my oven to bake pies, cakes and cookies during the hot summer months. When the temperatures reach record-breaking highs, as we happen to be experiencing here in North Carolina, even I come to my senses. That certainly doesn’t mean that I give up on cooking from scratch, especially when it comes to sweets — life is too short to skip dessert.

During this mornings two TV segments sponsored by BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, my favorite one-stop destination, I shared my recipe for:

Macerated Berries with Freshly Whipped Cream

Here the citric acid from the lemon, the vanilla extract and the granulated sugar help break down the berries and extract the juices. This takes only about 30 minutes.

 

Macerated Berries

Lemon juice, vanilla extract and granulated sugar break down the berries while extracting flavorful fruit juice.

 

Another no bake favorite of ours is this crunchy cinnamon snack mix.

I warn you. It is addicting!

2014-02-11 04.15.27

Chex cereal coated in melted white chocolate and tossed in powder sugar and cinnamon makes the perfect no bake sweet treat.

 

Lastly, but certainly not least, are my slow cooker mocha fudge brownies. The look on host Valonda’s face was priceless. I felt the love, Ms. V.  The addition of espresso powder took these already-wonderfully fudgy brownies to another level.

Slow cookers aren’t just for dinner recipes.

So, the next time you are tempted to use your oven on a hot summer day, think again and use your handy dandy slow cooker. (I purchased mine at BJ’s, too — one-stop shopping!)

TIP: Bring in those manufacturer’s coupons. BJ’s Wholesale Clubs allow their valued customers to use both manufacturers coupons along with their store coupons.

How’s that for savings?

 

slow cooked for 3 1/2 hours

slow cooked for 3 1/2 hours — resist opening the lid

 

the perfect Brownie -- chewy on the outside and fudgy on the inside

The perfect Brownie — chewy on the outside and fudgy on the inside

 

Slow Cooker Mocha Fudge Brownies

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Slow Cooker Mocha Fudge Brownies

slow cooker mocha fudge brownies
Prep Time:
10 min
Cook Time:
3 1/2 hours
Total Time:
3 hr 40 min

I sometimes question my own sanity when I turn on my oven to bake pies, cakes and cookies during the hot summer months. When the temperatures reach record-breaking highs, as we happen to be experiencing here in North Carolina, even I come to my senses. That certainly doesn’t mean I give up on cooking from scratch, especially when it comes to sweets — life is too short to skip dessert.

Makes 8 large or 16 small brownies

Ingredients

2 sticks salted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter.
  1. In a large mixing bowl beat together sugar, eggs and extracts. Slowly temper eggs by pouring a little melted butter at a time stirring constantly.
  1. Add flour, cocoa, espresso and baking powders and salt. Beat just until smooth.
  1. Coat your slow cooker with a non-stick cooking spray or softened butter. Add a piece of parchment paper and spray or coat again.
  1. Pour your brownie mixer into your slow cooker, tighten securely and bake for 3 ½ hours.

 

Note: the center will appear somewhat uncooked but it will continue cooking as it cools.

  1. Once completely cooled, transfer to a serving tray and cut.

Enjoy!