Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Show Your Valentine a Little Love With a Cherry Cheesecake Parfait

Fresh Bing Cherry Cheesecake Parfait

  • 4 oz Neufchatel cheese, softened*
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-6 gingersnaps, crushed
  • 1-1/2 cups of pitted Bing cherries

  1. Combine cheese and sour cream in bowl. Beat with mixer on high until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well blended. Set aside four teaspoons in a small bowl for topping.
  2. Fill four small parfait glasses (or wine glasses) with layers of ingredients. Start with 2 Tblsp on cheese mixture. Next, add cookie crumbs, then fruit. Finish with 1 tsp of reserved cheese mixture on top. Garnish with ginger snap crumbs and a Bing Cherry on top.
  3. Chill for half hour before serving.

*French Neufchatel Cheese

This is a soft, slightly crumbly cheese often sold in heart shapes or logs which can be substituted with American Neufchatel. 

According to legend, a New York dairyman created cream cheese in a botched attempt to make Neufchatel. If the French or American Neufchatel can't be located, use low-fat cream cheese instead for a perfectly creamy parfait.

While this parfait recipe sounds rich and over-the-top, it holds its own at 200 calories per person. Substitutions for ingredients include non-fat cream cheese instead of low-fat, Oreo cookies or other chocolate cookies instead of the ginger snaps, and any other fruit in season instead of cherries. 

The really fun part of making this dish is the variety of fruits and cookies that can be used to make it original each and every time.

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