Pina Colada Squares

Pina Colada Squares - A Pinch of Joy
Pina Colada Squares - A Pinch of Joy

OMGG.  Oh my, great goodness!  This refrigerated Pina Colada dessert is sooo good.  It’s made with cream of coconut for extra richness and flavor – just like the pina colada.  You’ll find cream of coconut with the drink mixes.  It’s an investment ingredient because it is enough to make another batch later.  One can cream of coconut will make one dessert and 2 pina coladas to drink (the recipe is on the back).  Or two desserts.   Since I was serving luncheon for a group I made two desserts. :-)

Assembly is quick and easy.  Drain the maraschino cherries first and let them dry, then pat them with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.  This keeps the juice from turning the dessert pink.  Of course, if you want it pink in a tie dye sort of way. . . . .  don’t worry about this step.  The cookie crumbs won’t stick together with the butter, but make an even layer across the bottom.  They will absorb moisture from the filling and make a light, firm crust for the dessert.  A 9×13 inch pan will yield 12 to 15 servings depending on size.    Super smooth, super good! 

Pina Colada Squares

Yield: 12 servings

Pina Colada Squares

All the tropical goodness of pineapple and coconut in a super smooth no-bake dessert!

Ingredients

  • 60 Vanilla wafers, crushed (about 2 1/3 cups whole cookies)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup cream of coconut
  • 8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
  • 15 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and diced
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Drain juice from cherries and spread out on paper towel to dry until needed later.
  2. Place wafers in sturdy gallon zipper bag and smash to crumbs. Pour into medium mixing bowl.
  3. Melt butter and add to wafer crumbs. Mix well and then pat into bottom of 9x13 pan
  4. Beat together cream cheese and cream of coconut until smooth.
  5. Fold in whipped topping.
  6. Dice cherries, pat with paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
  7. Add pineapple and cherries and fold into mixture.
  8. Spoon evenly over cookie crust and spread carefully.
  9. Top with coconut and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/07/pina-colada-squares/

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Mini Fruit Pizza

Mini Fruit Pizza - A Pinch of Joy
Mini Fruit Pizza - A Pinch of Joy

Mini Fruit Pizza.   Or Fruit Pizzettes.  I thought I was inventing a new word to describe individual pizzas.  Then I googled to be sure it wasn’t something obscene in some language I don’t speak.  Guess what?  The Italians, who created pizza, also created pizettes.  And that is exactly what it means.  Individual or small pizzas.  Perfect description for these little fruit tarts. 

You can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and bake 4 inch round cookies.  Or you can shortcut and use a sugar cookie mix.  Or do what I did and use the refrigerated roll of sugar cookie dough.  I cut the slices of dough just a smidge thicker than the directions specified and slightly smushed them with the palm of my hand to make them larger.   You can freeze the cookies after  baking and pull out a few at a time to make Fruit Pizzettes as needed.   The fruit topping tips it toward the healthy side.  (Right?)  The individual servings. are perfect for picnic gatherings.  You can transport the individual parts and assemble on site  which is great if traveling an hour or two to the family reunion.    Or make at home and carry in.  Makes a spectacular addition to the dessert table on a big tray!  

When cooled, spread with the cream cheese filling.  Use any fruit juice with a flavor that will complement the fruit you plan to use to help thin the cream cheese.  I used orange juice because I like the flavor.  The recipe makes enough filling to cover a dozen four inch cookies.  Two dozen cookies would require the entire 8 ounce bar of cream cheese, ½ cup sugar and two tablespoons of juice.  Cutting the fruit into small pieces makes the finished fruit pizza easier to handle and eat.  It’s a good way to use up small amounts of different fruits.  I used strawberries, green grapes and blueberries mixed together.  You can easily customize toppings on a few or all to accommodate different tastes or needs like allergies.   The combination of flavors is limited only by your imagination! 

Mini Fruit Pizza

Yield: 12

Mini Fruit Pizza

A pretty summer dessert made in individual servings

Ingredients

    Base
  • A dozen 4” plain sugar cookies, homemade, mix or bakery
  • Filling
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice (or other juice to your taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Topping
  • Fruits of your choice to make two cups total. Some possibilities:
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 1 small can pineapple tidbits, well drained
  • Fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
  • Green or purple seedless grapes, cut in quarters
  • Blueberries
  • Fresh peaches, cut into small pieces
  • Raspberries or blackberries

Instructions

  1. Make cookies ahead of time and cool
  2. Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and juice until smooth. Add nutmeg, if desired, and set aside.
  3. Prepare topping fruits, chopping, seeding or peeling as needed.
  4. Gently mix topping fruit together in small bowl.
  5. Spread filling on each cookie.
  6. Top with generous spoon full of fruit.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/05/mini-fruit-pizza/

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Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

Citrus and Cream Salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Citrus and Cream Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Many families expect a certain dish to be on the table at every gathering.  Citrus and Cream Salad  started as a favorite of a particular relative who could be counted on to show up to the family potluck with a big dish of it in hand.  Fruit, cottage cheese,  and your favorite Jell0 all wrapped in whipped topping – everyone loved it!    When the original contributor moved on to new and different foods, others began filling the gap by making the dish THEIR signature.  It is simple, foolproof even!  Easy to transport already made or quick to make on the spot.   Looks good and tastes even better. 

If you live in the middle  USA, this dish is known as “Fluff” something.  At our table it is  “that Fluff Stuff”.  Fluff  refers to the bowl of whipped topping on the ingredient list and referenced by “cream” in the real name.  All the other ingredients could vary, but fluff is the mainstay.  The dish can be eaten as dessert or salad –or  a main dish.  Or as a meal in itself.   Started by grandmas long ago and contributed forever after to family gatherings by beginning and uncertain cooks and those of considerable skill who know what counts as a no-fail potluck dish.   Citrus and Cream Salad is a classic.

Precise measurements don’t matter for this recipe.  Use what you have.  Cottage cheese carton missing a spoonful or two – doesn’t matter. Neither does large curd or small curd (I prefer the large curd for cottage cheese any time.  That’s just me).   Whipped topping on hand is a full carton plus a half cup in another container – use it all.  Pineapple doesn’t match the size can given – use two smaller ones or even just one if that is all that is on the shelf.   My favorite flavor of gelatin with this dish is orange, but lemon or lime works just as well.  The color will be orange, light yellow or green – your choice.  I like the crunchy walnuts and usually put in a  handful more than the recipe says.  This is also a perfect dish for kids to make (or younger kids to help make).  Just be sure the mixing bowl is large enough to handle the ingredients and stirring needed.  Curb enthusiastic stirring as whipped topping needs “folding” motion or a gentle stir to mix ingredients not a “whupping” that removes the air. 

Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

A family potluck classic -- the secret is out!

Ingredients

  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2/3 cup English walnut pieces
  • 24 ounce container cottage cheese
  • 8 ounce container whipped topping
  • 1.5 ounce package of sugar free gelatin (orange, lemon or lime)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in large bowl in order given, sprinkling gelatin over the top.
  2. Fold together gently until well mixed.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Can be made the night before.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/04/citrus-and-cream-salad-aka-fluff/

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!



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