I am all about summer desserts, which is why I featured a variety last week in this section.
Seems a lot of readers not only liked the recipes, but wanted more. So, I’m offering more: a trio of simple Pillsbury desserts that start with a store-bought crust — pie crust, crescent rolls or sugar cookie dough — and make good use of cream cheese in the recipes.
These are easy, fun recipes to make, so you can put the kids or grandkids to work in the kitchen when it’s too hot to play outside.
The Oreo Slab Pie is rich and gooey with hot fudge topping.
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Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars were inspired by the popular Mexican pastry, with a sweet cream cheese filling, crunchy-sweet topping and flaky crescent crust. They are dangerously good.
And finally, Easy Strawberry Cream Dessert Squares are light and fluffy with a sugar-cookie crust. I think you could easily swap out the strawberry topping/preserves with another fruit.
A special thank-you
I wanted to say how touched I was by all the readers who called, emailed and sent condolence cards and letters after my sister Stacy Dixon passed away May 21. If I have been able to reach out to you over the decades with my work, then you have done the same for me with your care and concern.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, 618-239-2664 and follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.
Oreo Slab Pie
1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 jar (16 ounces) hot fudge topping (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
16 Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed
8 Oreo cookies, halved
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove pie crusts from pouches. Unroll and stack crusts on lightly floured surface. Roll to 17-by-12-inch rectangle.
Fit crust into ungreased 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan, pressing into corners. Fold crust even with edges of pan. Flute or crimp edges. Prick crust several times with fork.
2. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Carefully spread hot fudge evenly on crust. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
4. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
5. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Fold in crushed cookies.
6. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over hot fudge. Refrigerate 1 hour. Garnish with halved cookies. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
Yield: 16 servings.
Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
2 cans (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1tablespoon ground cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Unroll 1 can dough. Place in bottom of ungreased 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Stretch to cover bottom of dish, firmly pressing perforations to seal.
3. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Spread over dough in baking dish.
4. Unroll second can of dough. Pinch seams together. Carefully place on top of cream cheese layer.
5. Pour melted butter evenly over top. Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter.
6. Bake about 30 minutes, or until center is set. Cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate for easy cutting. Cover and refrigerate any remaining bars. Serves 12.
Notes: For a more authentic sopapilla flavor, top with honey.
Storage: These need to be stored in the refrigerator, but are best served warm. Heat bars in microwave uncovered 5 to 10 seconds to reheat.
Easy Strawberry Cream Dessert Squares
1 roll (16.5 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookies
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup strawberry ice cream topping or strawberry preserves
1 container (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 to 6 drops red food color, if desired
Fresh berries, if desired
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Press cookie dough evenly into bottom only of ungreased 13-by-9-inch pan. (If dough is sticky, use floured fingers.)
2. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and 3/4 cup of the strawberry topping/preserves with electric mixer on medium-high speed about 1 minute or until well blended. Add eggs; beat about 2 minutes or until well blended and creamy. Spread evenly over crust in pan.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until center is set. Cool 1 hour. Center will sink slightly as it cools.
4. In medium bowl, mix whipped topping, food color and remaining 1/4 cup strawberry topping/preserves. Spread topping mixture over cooled cream cheese layer. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until set. To serve, cut into 6 rows by 3 rows. Garnish each serving with fresh berries. Cover and refrigerate any remaining dessert.