Posts Tagged ‘cream cheese’


Jolly Jello With Pretzel Crust

July 3, 2011

The combination of the crunchy, salty sweetness of the crust , a cream cheesey filling and a fruity “jiggly” topping is a perfect side or cold dessert for summer cook outs. Today in honor of the 4th this is made with red jello, fresh red stawberries and bright blueberries. I remember the first time I tasted this recipe.Normally anything made with jello (other than a shot!) has me turning up my nose.Maybe it was the lime green, lemon yellow and orange cubes in school that first turned me off. I would never try any jello salads,they just were not my taste, let alone take one as a dish for a party.My friend Nancy insisted I try it,and from then on each time I made this, it was the first thing gone.I’m always asked to bring it,and never leave without giving the recipe. So if you are looking for something impressive,yet quick and simple as well as over the top tasty- here it is. Happy 4th of July from my kitchen to yours!

The Crust

  • 2 c. crushed, thin pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 C. melted butter
  • 3 T. sugar

Crush the pretzels but do NOT pulverize them.You want some 1/4 inch pieces of pretzel to really enjoy the contrast.This is not about pretzel crumbs! Mix the sugar well with the pretzels. Pour the butter over all.Combine making sure every pretzel is coated.

Pour into a 13×9 pan.Press down firmly and evenly in pan.Bake in a pre heated 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Because of the sugar,this will burn quickly so keep an eye on it. (for you notorious burners that walk away from the stove and oven like me!) Allow to cool.I usually put it in the refrigerator until I am ready to assemble the layers.

The Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese , room temperature
  • 1 container cold Cool Whip,defrosted in refrigerator
  • 3/4 C. powdered sugar

Since I’m feeling a little tired and lazy, (one of the reasons I am making this super easy dessert) I whipped the cream cheese with a large fork instead of dragging out the blender. Beat it till velvety smooth and then add powdered sugar. Cream them thoroughly together.Fold in half of the container of Cool Whip. Fold in the other half,and put in the fridge for just a few minutes. Meanwhile boil water for jello.

Take filling out and plop a few mounds all over the top.DO NOT LUMP IT ALL IN THE MIDDLE!!!! Doing it like this makes it much easier to spread to the corners,without disturbing any of the crust. If you don’t freak like I do if there are crumbs in the filling- then fine.

Make sure you go right to the edges ,”sealing” the crust.Put back in the refrigerator until you are done making topping.

The Topping

  • 2 small boxes (3oz.) red Jello
  • 2 scant C. boiling water
  • approximetely 16 oz. frozen fruit,partially defrosted (strawberries and fruit medley is what I use)
  • 1/2 C. cliced fresh strawberries -or more if you like a lot of fruit
  • 1/2 C. fresh blueberries

To boiling water add one envelope of Jello at a time,stirring constantly with a whisk.AS always make sure ALL of Jello is dissolved. Pour in frozen fruit and stir untill fruit is completely defrosted.

 Get pan from fridge,letting Jello sit only about 3-4 minutes or it will be too jelled to pour.GENTLY pour over the Cool Whip and spread to sides.

 Decorate with fresh fruit.(You can also  put the fresh fruit in the Jello before pouring,but I like some of the fruit sticking out over the top.

Refrigerate a few hours but do not make the night before as  the crust loses some if it’s pizazz the longer it sits.It’s still good the next day(if there is any left!) but best made the morning of the day you want to serve it!



Gooey Butter Cookies

December 13, 2010

I call these cheats because it uses a  cake mix as a base. This is a Paula Deen recipe,and though I didn’t play with the ingredients I did play with the shaping. The original recipe is called Chocolate  Gooey Butter Cookies.  Thinking they would turn out like her butter cake,they did not.Very good nonetheless and certainly a tasty and easy sweet to add to your holiday gift tray. Also a nice one to involve the kids as they can roll the dough into balls and dip in sugar. (with clean hands!!) .I made them with another mix as well called Funfetti.It’s a white mix with confetti candies mixed in it. Any cake mix will do, and combinations are endless (which I like!).If you are going to add anthing like chips or nuts,add them to the dry mix and then combine with wet ingredients. The dough is too stiff at the end to be adding anything at that time. These were better the next day,stored in a wax paper lined airtight tin.

  • 1 14 oz. moist chocolate cake mix
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • confectioner’s sugar to coat

Beat butter and cream cheese until evenly combined.Don’t over beat.

Add one egg, vanilla, and beat until smooth.

Begin adding cake mix, a half cup at a time. This became too stiff to do with my handmixer so I used a fork to incorporate the rest of the mix evenly.

Cover tightly and refigerate at least two hours.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Form one tablespoon of batter into a smooth ball, continuing until mix is gone- about 48 one inch balls. Roll in confectioner’s sugar to coat.

 Place in mini muffin pans, or on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I dipped a glass in the powdered sugar and flattened the ones on the cookie sheet slightly. (My thoughts being one would be rounded – the other flat- thereby looking like I made two different cookies 😉 )

Bake 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven. If you bake any longer, the cookies become more cake like rather than gooey. It  was suggested to dust with more powdered sugar when cooled. I chose not to as they were sweet enough as is. If using a  plain white cake mix, dusting with high quality cocoa powder would be a nice finishing touch.

A simple and versatile cookie to add to your holiday – or anyday reportoire.


Kugel (Noodle Pudding)

November 20, 2010

Every Jewish family has their version of  kugel. Made with potatoes (usually savory) or noodles (on the sweet side) eggs, and seasonings and  baked. I hesitate to call it a pudding but by definition it is.Not quite custardly either. My recipe is a combination (I think!) of how my Mom and my Aunt Lena made it. Not many of the family recipes are written down.  It doesn’t last very long when I make it,the kids love it and so do I.It makes a nice and different side and is filling enough to eat alone for lunch.Or as a snack..or dessert after you’ve had it as a side for dinner! You get the idea-it’s that good.

  • 16 oz. bag medium wide noodles (sometimes called ribbons)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C. cottage cheese (I use small curd -no fat)
  • 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese(no fat or fat)
  • 1 C. sour cream (no fat is fine)
  • 1 C.crushed pineapple
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1/2 C. apricot preserves ( or blackberry- whatever you prefer)
  • 2 T. cinnamon
  • 2 T honey

Boil noodles just to al dente. Do not overcook them.Transfer them to a lightly buttered 13 x 9 deep pan. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.


Add to egg and cream cheese mixture in no particular order: pineapple, cottage cheese,  sour cream,  vanilla and one tablespoon of cinnamon.Stir til well combined.

Pour mixture over noodles and stir to coat. By spoonfuls drop the preserves  in rows about an inch apart.

Push the preserves down a bit so that they are covered by noodles.(hide them so to speak ) Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of cinnamon. (We also like extra cinnamon as you can see- you decide amounts for what your family likes!) Drizzle the honey over the top.

Cover with foil and bake one hour at 350 degrees. We like the top a little crunchy so I uncover and bake about 20-25 minutes longer. Otherwise keep it covered and bake same additional time.

Remove from oven and cut into squares.