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Hop into Spring with Easter Desserts

Mar 23, 2015 04:32AM ● Published by Family Features

(Family Features) From full-course brunches to simple sit-down dinners, Easter celebrations are a time to enjoy family, friends and the delicious tastes of spring.

However elaborate the festivities, a rich and creamy dessert is the perfect finale to any Easter gathering. Made from fresh milk and real cream, PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese is the high-quality ingredient that makes sweets stand out.

These fresh dessert ideas all feature everyone’s favorite indulgence — cheesecake — along with other lively flavors, such as coconut, lemon and blueberry. Desserts this delicious will have your guests hopping up for seconds. For these and other recipe ideas, visit www.creamcheese.com.

Double Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

  • 52 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line 13-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper, with ends of paper extending over sides.
  3. Mix wafer crumbs and butter until blended; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.
  4. Separate 1 egg; refrigerate yolk until ready to use. Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add egg white and remaining 3 whole eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each until just blended. Pour over crust.
  5. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours.
  6. Mix cornstarch and remaining sugar in medium saucepan; gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice until blended. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until clear and thickened. Lightly beat reserved egg yolk in small bowl with fork until blended; stir in 2 tablespoons of hot cornstarch mixture.
  7. Return to remaining cornstarch mixture in saucepan; stir until blended. Cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
  8. Spoon lemon glaze over cheesecake. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Use parchment handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
  9. Note: This lemon glaze can be prepared ahead of time. Cool, then refrigerate up to 8 hours before spooning over individual slices of cheesecake. Garnish with 1/2 cup blueberries, lemon peel and fresh mint leaves.

Blueberry Streusel Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut up
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup; press remaining onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Beat cream cheese, remaining flour, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust. Top with berries and reserved crumb mixture.
  4. Bake 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.
  5. Note: You can substitute cream cheese with Neufchatel cheese, or fresh blueberries with 1 (16-ounce) package frozen blueberries. Garnish with additional berries or cinnamon just before serving.

Easter Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons BAKER’S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted
  • 54 speckled malted milk eggs (about 9 ounces)

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix graham crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and butter; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
  3. Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
  4. Bake 25–30 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
  5. Top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon coconut; shape to resemble bird’s nest. Fill with malted milk eggs.
  6. Note: To soften cream cheese, place completely unwrapped package of cream cheese in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 10 seconds or just until softened. Add 15 seconds for each additional package of cream cheese.

Sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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