Exceptional Easter Desserts
February 25th, 2016

Brighten your feast with desserts so delicious your guests will hop up for more

Celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring with a decadent cheesecake.

Celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring with a decadent cheesecake.

Blueberry Streusel Cheesecake

  • 1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 32 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Heat oven to 325 F.

Mix 1½ cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve ½ cup of the mixture and press the remaining on the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Beat the cream cheese, remaining flour, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add the sour cream and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each until blended. Pour over the crust. Top with the berries and the reserved crumb mixture.

Bake 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until the center is almost set. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool before removing the rim. Refrigerate for at least four hours. Garnish with additional berries or cinnamon just before serving.

Serves 16
Courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

 

Mini Cheesecakes

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flaked coconut, toasted
  • 54 speckled malted milk eggs

Heat oven to 325 F.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs,
2 tablespoons sugar and butter. Press the mixture on the bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups to make a crust.

Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with a mixer until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until blended. Spoon the mixture over the crusts.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for two hours.

Top each cheesecake with 1 table-spoon coconut; shape to resemble a bird’s nest. Fill the nest with malted milk eggs.

Serves 18
Courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

 

Lemon Daisy Cupcakes

  • 1 box (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract, divided
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 16 ounces confectioners’ sugar
  • 10 drops yellow food color
  • 18 large marshmallows
  • Decorating sugar
  • Jelly beans
  • Green sprinkles

Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package, adding 1 tablespoon of lemon extract. Spoon the batter into 18 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake as directed for cupcakes. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and remaining lemon extract in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Stir in the food color until evenly tinted. Frost cooled cupcakes.

To decorate the cupcakes, cut each marshmallow crosswise into five slices. Sprinkle one side of each marshmallow slice with decorating sugar. Arrange five marshmallow petals on top of each cupcake to resemble a daisy, pressing the marshmallows into the frosting. Place the jelly beans in the center of the petals and garnish with sprinkles.

Serves 18
Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Pineapple Coconut Cake

  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, divided
  • 1 box (2-layer) yellow cake mix
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1 package (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • Additional pineapple for garnish

Heat oven to 350 F.

Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Drain the pineapple and reserve the juice. Divide the pineapple in half and set aside.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, replacing water with the reserved juice and coconut extract. Beat for two minutes. Fold half of the pineapple into the cake batter.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool completely.

Stir together the pudding and milk until smooth, about two minutes. Fold in the whipped topping. Combine the remaining pineapple with the pudding mixture.

Place one cake layer on a plate and spread some of the pineapple-pudding frosting over the top. Place the second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides with the remaining pineapple-pudding frosting. Garnish with the coconut. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Serves 12 to 16
Courtesy of Dole

 

Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests

  • Wax paper
  • 1 2/3 to 2 cups butterscotch or semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 10 ounces chow mein noodles
  • 30 to 60 candy eggs

Line trays with wax paper.

Microwave the morsels in a large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave for additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring until the morsels are melted. Stir in the peanut butter until well blended.

Add the chow mein noodles to the morsel mixture and toss until coated. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop about 2 rounded tablespoon-size piles onto the prepared trays. Immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Before serving, place one or two candy eggs in each nest. Store the prepared nests in a covered container for up to one day.

Serves 30
Courtesy of Nestle