The Washington Times-Herald

December 27, 2011

Try this pink dessert

By Joyce Bullington
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — This is more about how-not-to than how-to prepare the recipe below.

I discovered this in a Betty Crocker cookbook. I thought it would be a delightful addition to the pies I knew were already on the menu for Christmas dinner.

Now I don’t always follow a recipe exactly as it is written. The reasons for this vary. I may not have a certain ingredient, so I substitute. Or I may leave it out all together. I may not like a particular flavor and alter the recipe to suit my taste. Or I may decide a different garnish would be more appealing.

Sometimes I just forget to add a certain ingredient. Generally not a big deal, but I have been known to forget a very important component of the recipe. Not a big deal if I’m preparing a stew or a casserole, but a really big deal when baking cookies or cakes.

A trip to the store was necessary for some of the ingredients needed for this recipe. To begin with I had the layout of the store I was in confused with another local store and could not find the pudding. My repeated trips through the same aisles finally caught the attention of a clerk who steered me in the right direction. The sight of me pushing an empty cart through the store, plus the big coat I was wearing, probably raised some suspicion.

Saturday afternoon I began the assembly. I had half a bag of pretzels already. But they were the big ones. And I didn’t want to mess with the food processor, so I dumped some into a plastic bag to crush with a rolling pin. Two bad ideas. They were difficult to crush and the resulting product looked like nuts. I had not measured them so I had to add more melted butter. The result was a bottom crust that was too thick and too crunchy.

The remaining mixture went together smoothly, although if I had used a larger bowl I wouldn’t have had pink splatters all over the counter. To finish if off I decided to make it festive and top it with red and green sugar sprinkles instead of lemon slices. By the time it was served Sunday, the sprinkles had absorbed enough of the liquid in the topping that they looked more like red and green splotches.

It was edible, although crunchy, and I will try it again using smaller pretzels and leaving the garnish off completely. Or maybe I’ll try a graham cracker crust and ...

Crust

2 cups broken pretzels (about 4 ozs.)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Filling and topping

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

2 boxes (4-serving size each) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix

1 can (12 oz.) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed

2 or 3 drops red food color

1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In food processor bowl with metal blade, place pretzels and sugar. Cover; process 15 to 20 seconds or until finely crushed. With food processor running, drizzle melted butter through feed tube, pulsing to mix well.

Press mixture in bottom of ungreased 11x7-inch pan or glass baking dish. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until set and golden brown. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese and dry pudding mix with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add lemonade concentrate and food color. Beat on low speed until mixed. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Fold in 2 cups of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Spread remaining whipped topping over filling. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.

Cut dessert into squares. Garnish each serving with lemon.