Raspberry Cream Dessert

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This is another take on one of my favorite chilled desserts which combines yogurt, frozen topping and cream cheese.  This makes a delicious chilled dessert base which is creamy and smooth but not too sweet.  The addition of raspberries makes it special.

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RASPBERRY CREAM DESSERT

1 cup yogurt
1-½ cups frozen topping, thawed (Cool Whip)
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed (about 1-½ cups with juice)

Mix together the yogurt, whipped topping and cream cheese until smooth.

Stir in the raspberries.

Spoon mixture into 4-6 pretty dessert dishes.

Cover and chill for at least two hours.

Makes 4-6 servings

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Strawberry and Amaretto Tiramisu

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I’ve seen a few recipes for Strawberry Tiramisu online but went back to my original recipe which my family loves, substituting Amaretto for the Kahlua I normally use and adding fresh strawberries.  This might be our new favorite, certainly during the strawberry season.  It’s very easy to put together, not too sweet and a good make-ahead dessert.

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STRAWBERRY AND AMARETTO TIRAMISU

One package Italian lady fingers (about 12 lady fingers – I use Alessi Biscotti Savoiardi)
¼ to 1/2 cup Amaretto (to pour over lady fingers – they should be evenly moist)
One cup of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
15 oz. light ricotta cheese
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed (Cool Whip)
9 fresh strawberry-halves for garnish

Place the lady fingers in a layer in bottom of 9-inch pan.  Pour Amaretto over the lady fingers.  Arrange sliced strawberries over lady fingers.  Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until smooth.  Fold in whipped topping.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top of the lady fingers and strawberries.  Place the strawberry halves over the top of the dessert, creating 9 servings.  Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

To serve, cut dessert into 9 servings, including a fresh strawberry half.  Refrigerate leftovers.

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Clementine Cheesecake Pudding

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We love Clementines but always seem to lose our enthusiasm before finishing the last few.  This is one way to enjoy the Clementine flavor in an easy pudding, using three Clementines.

CLEMENTINE CHEESECAKE PUDDING

3 Clementine oranges, processed (see below)

1 egg
¼ cup granulated sugar
Dash of salt
2 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 cup milk
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup frozen dairy topping (Cool Whip), thawed

Wash and dry Clementines, remove stems and place in a microwave-safe dish.  Cover Clementines with cold water, put a lid on the dish and microwave on high for approximately 10 minutes.  Clementines should be quite soft and look something like fresh, ripe apricots.  Let cool in microwave – be careful, they get very hot.

Cut the Clementines in half and process as finely as possible in a food processor or blender (remove seeds if necessary but, yes, process both rind and flesh).

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Makes about ½ cup.  Set aside.

Note:  Clementines can also be covered with water and boiled on the stove top for two hours.  Clementine puree can be frozen.

In a medium saucepan, place egg, sugar, salt and cornstarch.  Whisk until blended, add milk and whisk until smooth.  Place on medium-high heat and whisk constantly until mixture begins to bubble.  Lower heat and continue whisking for one minute.

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Remove from heat and stir in processed Clementines.

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Whisk in softened cream cheese until smooth.

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Set aside to cool to room temperature, then whisk in thawed dairy topping.

ClemenPudd (4)Divide between 4 dessert dishes, cover and chill for at least one hour.
Makes 4 servings. 

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Grape and Almond Bites

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I adapted this recipe from one on writes4food and changed a few things to make it a dessert rather than an appetizer.  The combination of flavors is wonderful.  I used these as a light dessert, but I can also see two or three of them on a plate with some fancy sandwiches for a tea.  They are neither difficult nor time-consuming to make, but a little messy.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

GRAPE AND ALMOND BITES

  • 5.3 oz. pkg. goat cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 2 tsp. apple juice
  • 20 seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp. toasted sliced almonds, finely chopped.

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Use goat cheese and cream cheese directly from the refrigerator so it will be easier to handle.  In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese and apple juice.  Take out a scoop of the cream mixture that is just slightly bigger than the grape.  In the palm of your hand, form the cheese into a ball and then press the grape into the cheese, pressing it into place to cover the grape completely.  Roll in chopped almonds.

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Place completed grape on a paper plate or waxed-paper-lined plate.

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Repeat with the remaining grapes and cheese mixture. Roll each cheese-covered grape in the toasted almonds to coat lightly. Place on plate, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set the cheese.
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Yield: 20 Grape and Almond bites (depending on size of grapes)

I used 5 of the bites as a light dessert at lunch – 4 servings 

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1950s Style Brown Bread

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In the 1950s, the dainty card party sandwich of choice was brown bread spread with cream cheese and cut into small sandwiches.  I loved the bread because of the walnuts and raisins – it took me awhile to learn to like cream cheese.

Whenever our PTA had a bake sale, one lady baked several loaves of brown bread but they were always snatched up immediately so I never got to buy a loaf and taste it.

Fast forward to 1985 when I was always looking for something different to enter in our Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Fair.  I found a recipe for brown bread that sounded good – it had walnuts and raisins – and made it in a pressure cooker.  It won a blue ribbon at the fair.

Since my big country garden days, I no longer have a pressure cooker and had to experiment a little to make this prize winner in the oven.  The second try came out just as I wanted it to be – with good memories of the 1950s and the 1980s.

1950s STYLE BROWN BREAD

  • 1-¼ cups raisins
  • 1-½ tsp soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tblsp. butter
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

You will need three 14.5 oz. cans (a common size for fruit and vegetables).  Thoroughly wash, rinse and dry the cans, then grease them.  You will also need a baking pan with sides high enough to come 3/4 of the way up the cans.  I use a small roaster which has a rack, but you can also use small tins like tuna fish cans or trivets – something to keep the cans off of the bottom of the pan.

Start water boiling – you will need about 8 cups of water to fill the pan, depending on size.

To make the bread:
Combine raisins, soda, salt and butter.  Combine water and apple juice in small pan.  Bring to boil.  Pour over raisin mixture.
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Combine sugar, eggs and vanilla with raisin mixture.  Stir in flour and nuts.

Divide batter among the three greased cans.  Each can should be about half-full.   Wrap foil over the top of each can and press/pinch on sides of cans to secure.

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Place cans in deep pan with a rack in the bottom and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the cans.

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Bake @ 325 degrees F for approximately 2 hours.  Check water after an hour to be sure it is still close to the halfway level.  Bread is done when a  wooden skewer inserted into one of the cans all the way to the bottom comes out clean.  Place cans of bread to cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
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Run a knife around the edge of the bread all the way to the bottom and turn out the bread onto the rack to continue cooling.
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For a 1950s treat, slice bread in thin slices …..
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…and spread with cream cheese to make a dainty sandwich.

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Actually, my daughters and I like this so much that we use a sandwich as a dessert.  Delicious.

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Yield:  Three loaves

Pear Cheese Cups

On September 14, 1995, my oldest daughter and I were planning to leave the next morning to take the youngest daughter on a surprise pre-wedding bachelorette trip to Cleveland to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which had just opened on September 2.  For supper, I made a 9-inch Pear Cheese pie from a recipe in a 1965 Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, using a vanilla wafer crust.  We all enjoyed it very much (and also the bachelorette trip).

Today, I wanted to make a dessert for lunch that would be lower in fat/calories and would make just 4 servings.  I cut the original recipe in half, used vanilla wafers in place of the crust, and made these very good individual Pear Cheese Cups.  Use a deep custard cup – my granddaughter in St. Louis gave me some nice Pampered Chef deep cups which also have lids.  They are especially good for transporting desserts to my daughter’s house for lunch each Friday.

PEAR CHEESE CUPS

  • 4 vanilla wafers
  • 2 cups fresh ripe Bartlett pear slices  (about 3 medium pears)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 oz softened light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • ¼ tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Have four deep custard cups at hand

Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each of 4 deep custard cups.

Place ½ cup of pear slices in each of the cups.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk and cream cheese, beat smooth.  Whisk in sour cream, lemon peel, lemon juice, sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg.  Pour over pears in each cup (about ¼ cup each) and spread to cover pears.

Bake @ 375 degrees F about 25 minutes until brown around the edges and just set.  Let cool on a wire rack.

4 servings.  Good room temperature or chilled.  This is a light, delicious dessert. 

Summer Strawberry Dessert

I had a small amount of strawberries to use and wanted something for a lunch dessert that wasn’t too heavy or rich.  This recipe, adapted from one on Allrecipes worked out quite well.

SUMMER STRAWBERRY DESSERT

  • 1-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 (1 oz.) package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups (1 pt.) of fresh strawberries, halved (divided)

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk and pudding mix.  Beat on low speed for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

In another large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add whipped topping on low speed until blended.  Add the pudding mix and mix on low speed until smooth.

Fold in 1-3/4 cups of halved fresh strawberries.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl or individual dishes.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, top pudding with reserved strawberries.

Makes 5 servings.