No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits

Love cheesecake, but hate to wait for it to bake?  Make these no-bake parfaits instead!

So it was my turn to host the board meeting of the local Hadassah chapter and had to provide sustenance in the way of meeting snacks and dessert for afterwards.  I won't bore you with the snack recipes now (that's for another day), and instead will go straight to my favorite part of the meal ... dessert!  I made two:  Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies, which have become a favorite at my house.

I also made a real show-stopper: No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits.   No one will believe how easy it is to make 'em.   No cooking, heating (unless you count nuking the butter), nor baking.  Not even for the strawberries.

I used regular cream cheese and regular sweetened condensed milk, and served the parfaits in fancy-schmancy champagne flute glasses, well, because ... COMPANY!   If you want to cut back on the fat and calories, substitute low-fat cream cheese and/or low-fat sweetened condensed milk, and/or serve in smaller glasses.

TIP ALERT!   To properly fill the glasses, spoon cheesebake batter into a large freezer bag.  Snip off a corner, and pipe in the batter.  This avoids shmearing batter all over the sides of the glasses.  Doesn't affect flavor, but really looks spectacular.

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
Adapted from: Annie's Eats and
Yield: 6-8 company servings

1 (8 oz.) package regular cream cheese
1  cup chopped strawberries
2 Tbl.  granulated sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (7-8 crackers, crushed or whizzed 30 seconds or so in a food processor)
1 Tbl.  granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
1 (10 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside for 30-45 minutes to bring to room temperature.

Stir together the strawberries and sugar in a 1-quart bowl.   Let stand at 1 hour, stirring occasionally . Using a fork, gently mash the berries. Cover and refrigerate.

In another 1-quart bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until evenly mixed. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the crumb mixture into the bottom of 6-8 flute glasses.  Set aside.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.  Pour in sweetened condensed milk; continue to beat another minute or until thoroughly combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down sides of bowl with spatula as necessary. Add lemon juice and vanilla; beat at low until incorporated.

Spoon or pipe the cheesecake evenly into the glasses.  Cover and refrigerate up to two days.

No more than a couple hours before serving, drain strawberries, then spoon strawberries evenly over the cheesecake batter.

Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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