Thursday, March 27, 2008

And they said....let there be dessert!

I just realized I forgot to blog about Easter dessert.

You know those little recipe booklets that you find at the supermarket near the register? Well a couple of months ago I fell victim to the impulse buy and bought a Pilsbury one all on pies. I had made all of one recipe out of it so far. I picked it up a couple of weeks ago to look for something good for Easter dessert. I found what I remember being called a Strawberry Cream Tart and figured I could modify it to be something that my father-in-law, who is diabetic, could eat. It was very few ingredients, it called basically for a pre-made pie shell, cream cheese, some sugar, strawberries, and fresh whipped cream. I had decided using Cool Whip would just be a lot easier. So when I went shopping I didn't reference the recipe at all. But when I went to make the recipe on Saturday night I realized I couldn't find my little Pilsbury recipe booklet at all. I searched high and low, and in any room I could have brought it into. Nothing. I decide to search on the website. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

At that point I was pretty much forced to make it up myself from memory and it came out quite good I think! Below is my best re-creation of what I did - which was, in the end, super simple! I had leftovers of this and thought enough to take a picture of it last night before it disappeared. And that's dots of cool whip on those strawberries. I always seem to pick the worst piece of something when I photograph it. *sigh*

The second dessert I made was an easy one - I was all about easy dessert so I had more time to focus on brunch. It's a cookie dough cheesecake from I failed to take a picture (I know, you're totally surprised...not!) so I'm borrowing one from Kraft. This was easy, rich, and tasty. Can't get much better than that.

Last, is the dessert my mom made. She wanted to bring dessert but couldn't make up her mind so I sent her this Shortcut Carrot Cake recipe. Wow, was it good! Super moist and yummy. Thanks, Mom!!!

I'm also borrowing pictures from the Kraft website for the 2nd and 3rd recipes. I am sick of not having pictures and they are a lot easier on the eyes than my own pictures would have been anyway!
Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart
(Inspired by a Pilsbury recipe)

1 Pilsbury pre-made pie crust, softened according to package directions
1 8 oz block of low fat cream cheese, softened
1 small tub light Cool Whip
1/2 cup Splenda
About a 1/2 pint strawberries with stems removed and cut in half lengthwise

Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake about 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool.

In a medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 of the container of cool whip, and Splenda. Beat on medium/low until combined and creamy. Spread into cooled crust and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Using the rest of the Cool Whip, spread across the top of the tart (I did this more for looks than anything else). Then lay strawberries on top of tart in a concentric circle formation until tart is "full" with strawberries.
PHILADELPHIA® 3-STEP® Cookie Dough Cheesecake*

2 pkg (8oz each) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup prepared or refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, divided
1 Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix just until blended. Remove 1/2 cup of the dough; drop by teaspoonfuls into batter. Stir gently until well blended.
Pour into crust. Top with level teaspoonfuls of the remaining 1/4 cup cookie dough.
Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
*Picture from Kraft Foods

Shortcut Carrot Cake*

1 pkg. (2-layer size) spice cake mix
2 cups shredded carrots (about 1/2 lb.)
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix batter as directed on package, stirring in carrots, pineapple and 3/4 cup of the pecans until well blended. Pour into 2 (9-inch) square baking pans. Bake 25 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool. My mother used 2 - 8 inch round cake pans. She noted that she had to increase the bake time by about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer or wire whisk until well blended. Stir in whipped topping until well blended.

Place 1 cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1-1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture. Carefully place second cake layer on top of first cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining cream cheese mixture. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Picture from Kraft Foods


MrOrph said...

Wow! I think I gained 20 pounds just from looking at your pix! Yum.

Kate said...

Confession - I don't love cookie dough or cheesecake - but that picture had me drooling!

Jerri said...

the cookie dough cheesecake looks awesome!