Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cream Cheese? Yes, Please!

I don't know about you, but I pretty much devour any dessert with cream cheese in it - it's like my stomach cannot get full no matter how much of it I eat. When I was growing up, my birthday cake of choice was always a cheesecake, which my mom so lovingly made each year despite how much time it took and how busy she was (I'm the second oldest of 6 kids). I guess it's no big secret where my love of baking comes from! Anyway, as is my wont, I volunteered to bring dessert for Easter this year, and both of the things I brought were cream cheese-based: Strawberry Cheesecake Bars, and Key Lime Cream Cheese Dip. I've made both of these desserts before, and they always get rave reviews . . . and they're simple!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars - Betty Crocker Recipe

1 pouch (1 lb.) sugar cookie mix
1/3 c. melted butter
2 Tbls. flour
1 egg
2 - 8 oz. pkgs. softened cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c. strawberry spreadable fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar cookie mix, butter, flour and 1 egg until thoroughly combined and press into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake 15-18 minutes until light golden brown. Cool while preparing cream cheese filling. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and eggs until thoroughly combined. Pour filling over crust. Pour strawberry fruit in three lines lengthwise (1/4 c. for each line) and draw a knife back and forth at 1 inch intervals to create a marbled effect. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool, cover, and store in refrigerator.
*Note - I use Dusty's grandma's homemade strawberry jam in place of the spreadable fruit and it's fantastic. I'm sure any strawberry jam would work, or raspberry would probably be delicious, too. Also, I haven't tried it, but to make this recipe even easier I bet it would work to just use a package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough and press that into the pan for the crust. Yum!

Key Lime Cream Cheese Dip

1 8 oz. pkg. softened 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 c. key lime or lime juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz. carton light cool whip

Beat the first three ingredients until smooth and creamy. Fold in the cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I serve it with vanilla wafers and graham crackers. Light (comparably), refreshing, and delicious.

On a side note, while I love anything cream cheese, I also love anything chocolate/peanut butter . . . and so does Dusty. So, with that in mind, I think the next recipe I'm going to try to develop is going to be brownies with a peanut butter cream cheese swirl.

P.S. The 7-Layer Cookies were a hit with my fam!

1 comment:

  1. My mouth is watering! Cream cheese desserts are such a guilty pleasure!