Side Dish: Small, tasty desserts high in intensity

“GUILT-FREE GIRL DESSERTS: DELICIOUS FIGURE-FRIENDLY RECIPES FOR ANY OCCASION”

Bonnie Marcus.

Parragon Books Ltd., $9.99.

128-page hardcover.

Want to eat a sweet treat without feeling regret? Think you have to give up desserts to look good in that bathing suit?

A little cookbook from Bonnie Marcus, a former wedding planner who now owns a stationery company, might have the answer for you. “Guilt-Free Girl Desserts: Delicious Figure-Friendly Recipes for Any Occasion” offers a terrific collection of flavorful sweet treats — all with less than 250 calories per serving.

Its 50 tasty recipes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth while practicing moderation by offering small-bite desserts with intense flavors.

The recipes are divided into five chapters, from “The perfect Little Bite” to “Dinner Party Showstoppers.” Among its recipes are Chai Tea Cookies, Mochaccino Pops, Sorbet Sandwiches, Apple-Berry Crisp, Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes and Summer Fruit Upside-Down Cake.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is csonnier@theadvocate.com.

Fig & Watermelon Salad

Serves 4. Recipe is from Bonnie Marcus’ “Guilt-Free Girl Desserts: Delicious Figure-Friendly Recipes for Any Occasion.

1⁄3 watermelon (about 31/4 lbs.)

3/4 cup seedless black grapes

4 figs

Syrup Dressing

1 lime

Grated rind and juice of 1 orange

1 tbl. maple syrup

2 tbls. honey

1. Cut the watermelon into wedges, and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the flesh away from the rind, then chop the flesh into 1-inch cubes. Put the watermelon cubes in a bowl with the grapes. Cut each fig lengthwise into eight wedges and add to the bowl.

2. Grate the lime and mix the rind with the orange rind and juice, maple syrup and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat. Pour the mixture over the fruit and stir. Let cool. Stir again, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Divide the fruit salad equally among four bowls and serve.