Warm weather parties call for desserts that temper their richness with light and delicate flavors.
The recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Squares With Gingersnap Crust fills the bill, and has added advantages: This is a no-bake, easy-to-make dessert that can be prepared ahead of time; and it is cut into individual portions, convenient for setting out on a buffet table.
Strawberry Cheesecake Squares With Gingersnap Crust
Preparation: 35 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours
For the crust:
2 cups gingersnap crumbs, about 36 gingersnap cookies
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter, melted
For the filling:
4 cups stemmed strawberries, about 1 1/4 pounds
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened (see note)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed (see note)
1/4-ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
For optional garnish:
Additional frozen whipped topping, thawed
To make crust: In medium bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs and butter, mixing until blended. Press onto bottom of 13- by 9-inch baking pan; cover and refrigerate.
To make filling: In blender or food processor container, process strawberries into a smooth sauce; set aside. In mixer bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until blended. Stir in whipped topping. In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand 1 minute. Heat over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/4 cups of the strawberry sauce, stirring to blend.
Using a rubber spatula, fold strawberry-gelatin mixture into cream cheese mixture. Pour onto prepared crust. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours or overnight. To serve, cut into 20 squares. Garnish tops with additional whipped topping and strawberries if desired. Serve with remaining strawberry sauce; sweeten sauce with sugar if necessary.
Makes 20 servings.
Note: For a lower-fat version, substitute reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat whipped topping for regular cream cheese and whipped topping. Proceed as recipe directs.
Nutrition information per serving, using regular cream cheese and topping: 265 cal., 18 g fat, 42 mg chol., 227 mg sodium, 22 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 4 g pro.
Nutrition information per serving, using reduced-fat cream cheese and whipped topping: 217 cal., 13 g fat, 32 mg chol., 260 mg sodium, 20 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 5 g pro.
Recipe from California Strawberry Commission.
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