Janet's Notebook
Janet's Notebook: A Sweet End to Summer With Easy Labor Day Desserts

Deep Summer Fruit Cobbler

This weekend, we unofficially say goodbye to summer. As usual, a cookout is on my agenda. I've planned what we'll be grilling and the side dishes. This year, I thought I would amp up my dessert menu. While I don't know exactly what I'll be preparing yet, these are a few easy desserts recipes that would be a sweet end to summer.

If the peaches and nectarines look good, I may make MiMi Marshall's (Richardson, TX) Deep Summer Fruit Cobbler. MiMi had extra fruit she needed to use and came up with this divine cobbler recipe.

Besides peaches and nectarines, she includes diced apples and sweet cherries. I'm not sure I've ever had so many layers of fruit in a cobbler. Cranberries add a pop of tartness that cuts through the sweet fruit. I loved the hint of cinnamon in every bite. It's simple and delicious.

Ann McCue's (Side Lake, MN) Melt in Your Mouth Lemon Bars always get two thumbs up from my friends. Perfectly sweet and tart, these creamy bars are popular on Just a Pinch too ... they've been Pinched over 34,000 times!

"Lemon lover or not, these bars are SO melt in your mouth you'll want to eat the whole pan," says Ann. When making these lemon squares, it's best not to make them too long before the party. Not because they won't hold up but because you may find yourself saying I'll just have one. That turns into just one more and next thing you know there's only one left and the pan has disappeared like Ann predicted (not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything). These are good.

Cynthia Martinez's (Dolan, AL) Dang Good Pie recipe is quick to prepare, and like the recipe name says, it's so dang good. This creamy pineapple coconut pie reminds me of a creamy pina colada. In each bite, you taste little bits of coconut and pineapple. Yum!

Another extremely easy recipe is Sherry Symmonds' (Hamilton, MS) Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cookies. They're deliciously sweet and buttery.

"Oh my gosh, these are good and so easy," shares Sherry. "I'm a chocolate chip fiend, so I used a Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix and a small package of chocolate chips." Initially, we used a butter cake mix and added chocolate chips when testing the recipe. Everyone fell in love with them.

What I love most about this recipe, is that can you make the cookies based on your taste preferences. In fact, we turned this recipe into a how-to video that you can watch here. If you want some flavor combination ideas, we made the cake mix cookies four ways - chocolate chip, lemon white chocolate chip, German chocolate, and red velvet. Get creative!

"This is an easy way to dress up a box brownies," explains Krystal Jordan (Walla Walla, WA) of her Candied "Lava" Brownies recipe. "They come out ooey and gooey in the middle and candy/crunchy on the bottom."

Oh gosh, these brownies are good. The middle does stay nice and gooey. Krystal adds a little bit of hot chocolate to the mix which gives the outside of the brownies a slight crunch. These brownies will be a hit with everyone.

I still have a few days to figure out exactly what recipe I'll make. Honestly, they're so good I'm probably going to make more than one. Whatever I decide to whip-up, though, I do know one thing. It will be a sweet unofficial end to summer. Happy Pinching!

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