Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's So Fluffy! And Pink!

I've been a little bit preoccupied this past week. I've been busy rekindling a passion for knitting that I didn't realize was very strong. I worked my way through a scarf for me, and now I'm clicking my little needles quick like a bunny in an earnest attempt at a scarf for Sam. That's kind of all I can do at the moment, knit scarves. If you have tips on knitting anything more advanced, let me know! I'm all about furthering my knitting knowledge.

I wanted to finish off those lemons I inherited from my in-laws (yeah, they're still not gone yet), so I turned to Betty Crocker for some new ideas. I found something I'm sure you'll love as much as I did: Fluffy Pink Lemonade Bars. Mmmm... They look so tasty! Here is the recipe I'm following, with a few of my own adaptations.

Fluffy Pink Lemonade Bars

For the Crust:
2 cups broken pretzels (about 4 oz)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

For the Fluffy Topping:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
2 boxes (4-serving size each) white chocolate instant pudding (I could not find white chocolate, so I just used vanilla)
1 can (12 oz) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 or 3 drops red food color (I added more since the vanilla turned a bright yellow color, and I didn't want the thing to be orange...)
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Optional Garnish:
Lemon slices, cut into fourths

Heat oven to 350°F. 

Place the pretzels and sugar in a food processor bowl. 

I ended up just using a blender, and that was not the best idea... I also goofed up and added the butter right away. Don't do that. It just makes mixing a lot harder. You can also just stuff a ziplock bag with the pretzels and sugar and crush it with a rolling pin. Cover; process for 15 to 20 seconds or until the pretzels are finely crushed. With the food processor running, drizzle melted butter through feed tube, pulsing to mix well.

Press crust mixture in bottom of ungreased 11x7-inch pan or glass baking dish. 

Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until set and golden brown. Let it cool completely, about 45 minutes. While that's cooling off, start working on the filling.

Remove foil wrapper from cream cheese package, and place it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave uncovered on Medium  45 seconds to 1 minute or until well softened. Your finger should sink into the cream cheese with the slightest touch, like this:

Stir it until it's very smooth. Now add the dry pudding mix.

Mix it together very well, so that all of the pudding is incorporated into the cream cheese.

See what I mean about bright yellow? I'm sure this isn't a problem if you use white chocolate, but that's okay. It sure tastes great!

Add the lemonade concentrate and food color. 

Mix the ingredients together on low speed until they're well combined. Now, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes until fluffy. Mine wasn't exactly fluffy, but I continued anyways.

Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping until it's all smooth. 

I had problems with the pudding-cream cheese mix staying in chunks, so I whipped out my trusty whip!

Spread this yummy pink cloud concoction over your pretzel crust. 

Spread remaining whipped topping over lemonade mixture. I had trouble with this part, since my whipped topping was clumping up and sticking to the lemonade bars. I skipped it. I'll try after the bars have set a little while longer to try spreading the topping again. Refrigerate this baby for at least 2 hours or until it's firm(ish).

Cut your supremely yummy dessert into squares. Garnish each serving with lemon, if you want.

It wasn't as pretty (or as firm) as Betty Crocker's, but it tastes just fine! It was more of a pink lemonade blob, rather than a bar. Nice and tart though! Yum yum yum! If you try this and you get it to stand up on its own, please please PLEASE tell me how you did it!

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