Wednesday was the great annual Pieathalon, and I was not the only one whose pie did not work out. At all.
The failure that intrigued me the most (besides my own, of course!) was a Weight Watchers recipe. If you haven't read it yet, go ahead and check out the link to the Chocolate "Pie" in the preceding sentence.
That purplish goo full of toast and artificial sweetener made me decide to dedicate this post to a few other Weight Watchers desserts, so here from Weight Watchers International Cookbook (Weight Watchers International, 1977) are a few non-pie desserts. (Or should I say "desserts" with scare quotes?)
Odd flavored gelatin was a Weight Watchers staple, as you might have guessed from the "pie." Similar in spirit is this recipe in the chapter on China:
I love the way the note at the beginning acknowledges this recipe is only "in the Chinese mood, if not in the absolute tradition." You mean Chinese people don't usually end a meal with gelatin mixed with nonfat dry milk, artificial sweetener, and a full tablespoon of almond extract? (Besides being just plain weird, this has to be unpleasantly almondy! I adore almond extract, but a few drops in my morning oatmeal is plenty to flavor a whole bowl. A tablespoon diluted by essentially two cups of skim milk would be overpowering.) The one advantage this has over the pie recipe is that it doesn't have bits of dry bread crumbs floating around in it.
If your dessert simply must have dry bread crumbs in it, there are plenty of options, though. Here's one to represent Mexico (or at least it's "in the Mexican mood"?):
Mexican Carrot Cake delivers carrots, as promised: four full cups, finely grated.In fact, it consists almost entirely of carrots bound with eggs. There's a bit of lemon and vanilla for flavor, margarine so it at least feels kinda decadent, the ubiquitous artificial sweetener, and two slices' worth of bread crumbs so the dieter can try to imagine the scrambled-egg-and-carrot mess has some passing resemblance to a real cake.
The saddest dessert on this roster just might be the one meant to represent the good old U.S.A.:
Banana Nut Brownies clearly came from the same minds that brought us Almond Jelly and Mexican Carrot Cake: eggs, nonfat dry milk, excessive amounts of almond extract, artificial sweetener, and more bread crumbs. I will give the brownies credit for having real banana, but the only nut is the almond extract. Worst of all, the brownie part doesn't get its flavor from chocolate or at least real cocoa powder. Nope. The chocolate comes from chocolate extract! In other words, I can't imagine these brownies tasted like chocolate at all-- just banana scrambled eggs with toast and way too much artificial flavoring....
Happy Saturday! I'm going to celebrate by eating a dessert with actual chocolate (and no toast!) in it, and I suggest you do the same.