Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Holiday Desserts to Try Out!

I made these for our church's Harvest Dinner last weekend, and they were both a success!

First, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, a Paula Deen recipe. However, I've also seen it in "The Pink Lady's Requested Recipes," a cookbook by a Calera lady who ran a teahouse with awesome salads, veggie dishes, and desserts. So what I'm trying to say is that I think this recipe has been around the block in the South a few times. The buttery-pretzel crust gives the super-sweet cream cheese filling a nice salty contrast, and the top layer is loaded with frozen strawberries (buy the plain strawberries and cut them in half; don't do the syrupy ones).

It took me a few times to get this just right; the trick is that you have to let the pretzel crust cool really well before putting on the cream cheese-Cool Whip-sugar mixture, and then let that set up pretty good in the fridge before putting on the strawberry Jell-O topping. Otherwise, the crust is all crumbly and/or the white part stays goopy.

I also made a Caramel Pecan Pie for the dinner, and it was AMAZING! Seriously, I'm a fan of pecan pie, but this was even better. As Paula Deen would say, it took pecan pie over the top. The recipe calls for 36 caramels, but I just used a bag of caramel bits from the chocolate chip section, and it worked fine.

I bought one of those refrigerated pie crusts that comes with two, and I used the other one to make empanadas from leftover chili and pieces of cheese! That's a way to make leftover chili fun to eat!

Oh man, going on the Food Network site got me excited for some holiday cooking! Sweet potato casserole, cranberry-pear pie, caramel apple pie--yum yum!! Maybe I'll actually start posting on here sometimes.