Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mandarin Cream Delight

Usually on Sundays, I bake some sort of cookie, sweet bread, or muffin for us to snack on and eat for lunches during the week. But today I decided to make a real dessert - not just a cookie or a pastry. This recipe involves a cookie base topped with a mandarin orange-vanilla pudding and Cool Whip. We used sugar-free cool whip, sugar-free pudding mix, and all light sour cream. I made it in the morning and it sat in the refrigerator until after dinner. Although the cookie base was hard to break through to cut squares, it turned out to be quite delicious. We really liked it, and it was a nice change from our usual sweets. The mandarin oranges are not overpowering and add just a little extra flavor. We would make this again, especially as a make-ahead dessert for a party or event.

mandarin

Mandarin Cream Delight
Cooking Light, 2000

Crust:
9 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Filling:
2 (11-ounce) cans mandarin oranges in light syrup, undrained
1/4 cup sugar
1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free sour cream
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
2 (3.4-ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding mix or 2 (1.4-ounce) packages sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (8-ounce) container frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
Mint sprigs (optional)

To prepare crust, combine the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour and salt to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well-blended.
Preheat oven to 400°.

Pat dough into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, and pierce bottom of dough with a fork. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool crust on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, drain mandarin oranges over a large bowl, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine juice, 1/4 cup sugar, sour creams, and pudding mix in a large bowl. Stir in the orange segments. Spoon orange mixture over crust, spreading evenly. Top with whipped topping. Chill 1 hour. Garnish with mint, if desired.

Yield: 16 servings

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