This post is for my sister-in-law Beth. Beth is soon to be a first time Mom, and last I heard, citrus had been among her cravings.
This week at work my office moved, and to "celebrate" there was a company bbq. Dan did a great job grilling, and everyone else brought something for a potluck. I volunteered a "summery lemon dessert", but needed a recipe. I wanted something super super easy, a little creamy, and with good lemon flavor. www.allrecipes.com ended up having just tons of different versions of lemon desserts. The ones that sounded best were all layered with cream cheese and lemon pudding. Most of the recipes called for a homemade crust using a food processor. Normally I'm all for being very homemade, but I just wanted something I could throw together without turning the oven on, and that would taste great. Instead of cutting flour with butter, pressing and baking, I bought ginger snap cookies, broke them into pieces, and made a "crust". A "first layer" may be more appropriate since they didn't end up covering the whole bottom, and got slightly incorporated into the second layer. The coolness of the rest of the dessert really cuts the heat of the ginger (good for those who don't like ginger that well), but the ginger and lemon make a wonderful flavor combination. I also wanted to really taste the lemon flavor, so I added the juice and zest of a lemon to "zest" things up a bit. I think it worked really well, and Greg agrees. There is so much sugar in here that the extra lemon doesn't make the dessert tart at all, but just really "bright".
Greg got to have a serving or two when I got home from work. This is one of those desserts that you can easily just take a forkful of, walk away, and come back again in 30 minutes. It seems pretty light, which is great, and it is cool, which is wonderful. We'll be making this again because it is so delicious, very easy, and can serve at least 20 people.
2 1/2 C. of crushed/broken ginger snap cookies
1 package of lemon pudding
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 tub of cool whip
1 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. milk
-Spread ginger snap pieces on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan
-In a mixer, mix the cream cheese, 1 C. of cool whip, powdered sugar, and juice from the lemon until smooth.
-Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the ginger snaps, gently spreading across the pan.
-Mix the milk and pudding, pour over the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
-Spread the remaining cool whip on top of the set pudding.
-Cover the top of the cool whip with the lemon zest.
-Cover and serve cold.