I mentioned last week that I’d found a fun, festive dessert to make for the teachers’ conference dinner, which was last night. Here’s the picture and the recipe that accompanied it.
There were several things about the recipe that I wasn’t thrilled about, the biggest of which was the candy corn flavored Hershey’s Kisses that were supposed to be melted and added to the orange layer. Everything I found on the Internet about these seasonal candies is that they taste totally nasty. I LOVE candy corn, but I know not everyone does, so I certainly didn’t want to make a candy corn flavored dessert. Secondly, I did a trial run of a candy corn flavored Hershey’s Kisses-less version and it was pretty blah. I mean, how much vanilla pudding does a person want to eat at one sitting, no matter how cute it might be?
I spent approximately one week waking in the middle of the night with ideas of things that could be added to the pudding to make it taste good and look right. Because really, it was the look of this dessert I liked best, but I knew I couldn’t make the dang thing out of Play-Doh. The last dinner in which I served Play-Doh did NOT go well. I haven’t seen those guests in years.
I’m not sure if it occurred to me in the middle of the night or during a more sane hour, but finally I decided to make the dessert as a cheesecake. I have a good recipe for an easy, yummy key lime pie that I figured I would modify a bit. Here’s what I ended up making:
Jen’s Halloween Cheesecake Treats
- 8 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
- icing color paste (yellow and orange)
- Cool Whip
- Hershey’s Kisses Candy Corn
- Dessert cups, 4-8 ounces
- Mix cream cheese, milk, and orange juice concentrate in a blender. Add small amounts of yellow icing color and continue to blend until mixture is desired color and smooth.
- Pour a small amount of yellow cheesecake mixture into each dessert cup. Let chill.
- Add orange icing color into the remainder of the cheesecake mixture and blend until desired shade of orange.
- Pour a larger layer of orange cheesecake mixture over the yellow in each dessert cup. Let chill.
- Before serving, top with Cool Whip and a Hershey’s Kisses candy corn.
Makes 4-6 servings, depending on the size of dessert cups.
Misc. comments and what I would do differently next time:
- I prefer real whipped cream over Cool Whip. It was impractical for this event, but I would definitely use real cream if I was making this to be served at home.
- The Hershey’s candy corns were cute, but ridiculously expensive and really no better than regular candy corn for this dessert.
- I used 9-oz. punch cups. They were way too big. This is a dense and VERY sweet dessert; I think servings anywhere from 4-oz. to 6-oz. or so would be a much better size.
- I look forward to experimenting with different flavors. In the past, I’ve always used this recipe with key lime juice instead of orange juice concentrate; I think it’d be fun to try lemon. Not sure if peppermint would taste very good, but I think it’d be cute and Christmas-y if it were red and green—what flavor would work with that?
- Another option would be to make the different colored layers different flavors. Maybe lemon for the yellow, and orange for the orange? Or you could really freak people out and do lemon for the orange and orange for the yellow. Did I just blow your mind?
Easy and fun. I liked.