‘Everything Spice’ Rolls

Everything’ bagels have been around at least since the 1980’s, but more recently we are seeing the everything spice blend itself, showing up on grocery store shelves.

Everything spice has similar flavor notes to a number of Middle Eastern spices and dishes that have moved into the mainstream over the past few years. The mix of poppy and sesame seeds, garlic, dried onion and salt has always been a popular variation for people who want some tang at breakfast or brunch.

It automatically gives almost any food item that you dust it with a ‘trendy upgrade’. On one recipe website they list more than 101 ways to use the everything spice. Some of them included cheeseballs, savory french toast, meatloaf, cheesesteak and risotto.

To be sure, this spice isn’t for everyone. If you like blueberry bagels and red velvet doughnuts this garlicky blend won’t work for you.

In August of 2020, the Presidents Choice Brand made their ‘copy kat’ version available here in Canada. For that reason, I see no excuse not to buy some. You can stir it into plain cream cheese, sprinkle it on grilled meats, avocado toast, rice, scrambled eggs, salads, chicken, pancakes or use it on top of some ‘Everything Spice Rolls’. Yum!

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'Everything Spice' Rolls
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Course Brunch
Cuisine American
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Ingredients
Course Brunch
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup oats, honey, butter & salt with boiling water until combined. Cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the yeast with warm water. Let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy. Pour into the oat mixture followed by flaxseed meal, whole wheat flour & 1 cup all-purpose flour. Use a wooden spoon to stir into a shaggy dough.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface & knead until the dough is smooth & elastic, about 8-10 minutes. If the dough feels too sticky, add a little more all-purpose flour (up to 1/2-3/4 cup). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover & let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Punch down the dough & let it rest for 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half; cut each half into 12 portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent from drying), shape each portion into an 8-inch rope. Tie each rope into a single knot; tuck top end of rope under bottom edge of roll. Place each roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap coated with baking spray; let rise in a draft-free place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Combine egg & water in a small dish; brush egg mixture over rolls. Sprinkle with everything seasoning mix. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
Recipe Notes
  • If you wish, shape your dough into more than one style of bun.

Bailey’s Strawberries & Cream Fudge Pudding Parfaits

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

One thing for sure, Valentine desserts most often center around chocolate and strawberries. To celebrate the occasion, Brion came home with a bottle of Bailey’s Strawberries & Cream liqueur. This is the companies second seasonal flavor following their Pumpkin Spice liqueur. To put it in their words, ‘ the drink combines Bailey’s Original Irish Cream with delightful ripe strawberry flavor and delicious vanilla’.

After we had enjoyed it as a drink it got me thinking about how I could incorporate it into a ‘special’ dessert as well. Do you recall those classic Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes from the 60’s? They were the ultimate comfort food, fancy enough for a parfait and homey enough to be a spur of the moment indulgence. I could see nothing wrong in swapping out the milk in the original recipe for some strawberries & cream liqueur!

Speaking of pudding cake, its really kind of a culinary miracle, how pouring hot water over a thick batter can create this warm, fudgy concoction that lies precisely at the intersection of cake and pudding.

OK, on with my dessert … I had some strawberries in the freezer so they became a nice strawberry sauce to compliment the liqueur in the pudding. Serving this dessert parfait style with some ice cream or whipped topping adds a bit of elegance and I’m sure you will love the taste.

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Bailey's Strawberries & Cream Fudge Pudding Parfaits
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Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In an 8 X 8-inch baking dish, combine first 5 ingredients. Add liqueur, margarine & walnuts, combine well. Batter will be very stiff (if you find it easier to mix the cake in a small bowl instead, do so). Spread batter evenly in the baking dish.
  2. In a small dish, combine brown sugar & 1/4 cup cocoa powder & sprinkle over batter. Pour boiling water over all & bake for about 40 minutes or until batter rises to the top & is baked through.
Strawberry Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar & salt. Mix well. Add water & sliced strawberries. Cook until sauce is clear & bubbly. Remove from heat & cool.
Assembly
  1. Place some strawberry sauce in the bottom of each parfait glass. Spoon fudge pudding over sauce & top with ice cream or whipped topping. Serve with a glass of liqueur!

Baked Barley Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Barley was traditionally used to add bulk and a comforting flavor to stews and broths. The gentle flavor of this grain makes it endlessly adaptable. I have often substituted it for rice in main course dishes but it is definitely dessert worthy too.

Like rice pudding, its a comforting (old fashioned) dish. Barley stays chewy compared to how soft rice becomes even after a few days in the fridge. Now, don’t get me wrong … I love rice pudding and of course its one of those desserts that holds nostalgic memories for me.

Barley was a grain crop my father grew on our family farm. As Canadians, we are blessed with some of the most fertile farmland in the world. Our province of Alberta, along with the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, are the major growing areas for barley in Canada.

Having such great nutritional value and versatility, barley deserves much more culinary acclaim than it receives, I think. This barley pudding is best served warm. I chose to make a simple caramel sauce to drizzle over it. In the whipped topping MIX, I used 1% milk and added a tiny bit of anise flavor for interest. Yum!

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Baked Barley Pudding with Caramel Sauce
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Course dessert
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
Barley Pudding
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil; add barley & 1 tsp salt. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 45 minutes or until barley is tender. Cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, butter & vanilla; beat well. Add cooked barley, raisins, lemon zest & juice.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 F. Turn pudding into a well buttered, 6-cup baking dish. Set pan into a larger baking pan in oven. Pour hot water into the larger pan to within an inch of the top of the pudding. Bake for an hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm as is or with caramel sauce & anise topping.
Caramel Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, add sugar & cornstarch. Pour in a little of the hot water & whisk quickly to blend. Over a low heat, add the rest of the water, butter, salt & rum extract. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Prepare dry whipped topping mix if using.

Seven Grain Date Roll Cake with Apple Cream Cheese

Sometimes a favorite recipe just begs for an update. Many of us will remember the ‘vintage’ jelly roll cake. A nice tender, golden cake with strawberry jam rolled up inside and sometimes sprinkled with powdered sugar. Probably considered unique for its time. Food, like fashion, music, design and architecture are reflections of our culture. I’ve always found it interesting to rethink previous recipe ideas, use spices and seasonings from other cultures or try contrasting ingredients that don’t typically go together. The most important thing is not to veer so far from the original that the end result is unrecognizable.

This recipe is one that has been in my muffin recipe collection for over twenty years. A multi-grain batter with dates and nuts. I was trying to think how I could do an update on it to transform it into a unique cake roll. With a few adjustments to the original batter as well as adding apple cream cheese filling, it turned a grainy breakfast cereal into a very tasty dessert.


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Seven Grain Date Roll Cake with Apple Cream Cheese

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Course Brunch, dessert

Servings


Ingredients
Cake Roll

Apple Cream Cheese Filling

Course Brunch, dessert

Servings


Ingredients
Cake Roll

Apple Cream Cheese Filling

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Instructions
Apple Cream Cheese Filling
  1. In a saucepan, combine apples, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon & water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft & caramelized & most of the water has evaporated but it's still syrupy. Pour into a bowl, cover & refrigerate until completely cooled. In the meantime, begin preparing cake roll. When ready to use filling, whip the cream cheese in a bowl with sour cream, yogurt, extract & powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in cooled apple mixture & spread on cake roll.

Cake Roll
  1. In a small bowl, combine 7-grain cereal, boiling water, instant coffee granules & chopped dates. Allow to cool.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 15 X 10-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, oil, extract & above prepared 7-grain mixture.

  3. In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & nuts. Fold dry mixture carefully into wet mixture, mixing only until just combined. Bake about 12-15 minutes or until cake tests done.

  4. Turn out onto a tea towel sprinkled with a little powdered sugar. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake & towel together. Cool. Unroll & spread with apple cream cheese filling. Re-roll & chill. If you prefer, you can sprinkle with powdered sugar before slicing & serving.

Bacon-Wrapped Burgers

HAPPY CANADA DAY !

We are celebrating our country’s 150th ‘birthday’ this year. July 1st marks the historical event in which Canada gained its independence from Great Britain in 1867. This important holiday celebrates the birth of Canada as an independent nation.

Our July 1st holiday is comparable to the July 4th, ‘Independence Day’ holiday celebrated by the United States. Along with numerous parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals and firework displays, Parks Canada entrance fees are being waived in 2017 to mark this occasion.

Food and drink are almost as synonymous with Canada Day as the colors of red and white. Barbecues are definitely the preferred choice of food event for the day.

For ‘our’ barbecue, I am going with some BACON-WRAPPED BURGERS, POTATO SALAD  with BLUEBERRY-LEMON CHEESECAKE CUPS. Yum!

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Bacon Wrapped Burgers/ Potato Salad/ Blueberry Cheesecake Cups
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Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups
Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups
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Instructions
Bacon-Wrapped Burgers
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients & 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce. Crumble beef over mixture & mix well. Form into 12 thick patties. Wrap a bacon slice around the sides of each patty & secure with a toothpick.
  2. Barbecue at 350 F. until meat is no longer pink. Baste frequently with remaining barbecue sauce during latter part of cooking.
Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups
  1. Add boiling water to jelly powder; stir 2 minutes until dissolved. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix graham crumbs & butter; press about 3 Tbsp onto bottom of each of 8 -125 ml, pyrex custard cups. Place on rimmed baking sheet; bake 6 minutes. Cool.
  3. Beat cream cheese & sugar with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in half & half; Stir in jell-o. Spoon into cups; top with fresh blueberries.
Recipe Notes
  • You can find the potato salad recipe in the June 2016 blogs.

Brownie Fudge Pudding

If you grew up in the 60’s, you probably remember ‘brownie fudge pudding’. Those wonderful pudding cakes every homemaker was making. The ultimate time saver because it could be mixed and baked all in the same dish.

Pudding cakes offer two treats in one. While baking, the cake portion rises to the top and a creamy pudding-like sauce forms on the bottom. They can also come in a variety of flavors and can even be made with fresh fruit. Adding fruit, such as blueberries or cherries, makes a pudding cake even better than a regular fruit cobbler in that it develops a thicker, richer sauce around the fruit than most cobblers would.

This dessert is relatively low in fat and it really isn’t necessary to add an extra topping, although ice cream or whipped cream are good. At the time my mother was making this dessert, it was only the chocolate version. It’s definitely one of those classic recipes that has never been forgotten.

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Brownie Fudge Pudding
Serving it parfait style adds a bit of elegance to this ordinary little pudding.
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Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In an 8 x 8 inch baking dish, combine first 5 ingredients. Add milk, margarine & walnuts; combine. Spread batter evenly in dish (batter will be stiff). Sprinkle brown sugar & 1/2 cup cocoa over batter.
  2. Pour boiling water over all & bake for about 40 minutes or until batter rises to the top & is baked through.

Tourtiere – Cooking with a French Accent

New Years Eve and Christmas are the traditional occasions to serve tourtiere. This classic French Canadian meat pie originated in the province of Quebec, Canada as early as 1600. While it may seem foreign to some, tourtiere is as Canadian as maple syrup or hockey. It is one of Canada’s better contributions to the culinary world being enjoyed throughout Canada as well as  the upper mid west and eastern United States.

Fundamentally, tourtiere is a pie that contains meat and spices baked in a flaky crust. The meat is generally diced or ground, including any or all of pork, veal, beef or wild game. Other less common varieties include salmon or poultry. No matter what the meats used, or the presence or absence of potato, bold seasoning is the rule for all varieties. The four original spices used in the classic tourtiere are cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Like so many of these recipes that have been ‘handed down’ over generations, each family alters it to suit their taste. 

Something sweet and sour or something with a ‘kick’ pairs well with the spiced meat and flaky crust of tourtiere. Some choices might be cranberry sauce, pickled beets, chili sauce, green tomato relish, olives, spicy fruit chutney or salsa.

Even in today’s increasingly fast-paced world, these time consuming dishes are still being prepared. Just to clarify – Brion and I are not French Canadian but like many Canadians , we enjoy our seasonal ‘fix’ of this classic.

Apart from making tourtiere in the traditional form, try it as tourtiere meatballs, phyllo rolls, burgers, turnovers or chicken tourtiere tartlets. The recipe I’m posting today comes from a tiny little pamphlet I probably have had for 30 years from a meat packing company. It has been one that I have worked with the spices to suit our taste. Spices listed as ‘optional’, lets you do the same. 

                   HAPPY NEW YEARS TO EVERYONE READING MY BLOGS

                                           BEST WISHES FOR 2017 !!

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Tourtiere - Cooking with a French Accent
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Course Brunch, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings
servings
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Instructions
  1. Cut bacon into small pieces & fry over moderate heat until cooked but not crisp. Add pork, veal & onion; cook until meat is lightly browned. Add water & spices; reduce heat to simmer; cover pan & cook 45 minutes more. Combine meat with mashed potatoes; cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F. Meanwhile, line a 9" pie pan with pastry; fill with meat mixture. Place top crust in position; seal & flute edges, slash several times for air vents. If preferred, cut 'leaves' from pastry & place on top of pie. An egg wash can be brushed over pastry before placing in oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes; reduce heat to 350 F. & continue to bake 30 minutes longer.
Recipe Notes
  • I have a great pastry recipe on my Thanksgiving blog in October 2016 if you choose to make your own.

No Bake Kiwi-Lime Mini Cheesecakes

With summer heat upon us, the idea of ‘no baking required’ seems just right. Over the years I have never really made use of limes to any extent. Kiwi, on the other hand, seems to always add so much eye appeal it finds it’s way into many recipes. The thought that comes to mind when you pair them up is a refreshing, sweet-sour flavor.

This brings me to my little mini cheesecakes. I thought I would do my favorite thing, which is to give preparation options. The fact that they freeze so well makes them great for those times when you need a little dessert but have no time to make it. Enjoy!

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No-Bake Kiwi Lime Cheesecake Minis
Cheesecake with options!
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Course dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
Course dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
Votes: 1
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Instructions
Crust
  1. In a small bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar & margarine. Divide evenly into mini cheesecake pan & press down firmly. At this point you can either bake them for 5-7 minutes at 325 F. or leave as is. Either way works.
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
  1. In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. In large bowl, with electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, lime juice & zest; mix to combine. Sprinkle jell-o powder onto cream cheese mixture & mix until thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream until well blended & no streaks remain. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
  1. In a medium bowl, combine boiling water, lime jell-o powder & lime juice; mix & let partially set. In a large bowl, cream cheese & sugar together; set aside. Using package directions, make Dream Whip (place in fridge until ready to use). Once jell-o is partially set, pour into cream cheese/sugar mixture (if using 1/2 & 1/2 cream add at this point) & beat to combine. If using Dream Whip, with a rubber spatula, fold into jell-o, cream cheese/sugar mixture. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve lime jell-o powder with boiling water; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lime juice & zest until smooth. Add cooled, partially set jell-o & mix well. With a rubber spatula, fold in Cool Whip. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Kiwi Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, cook sugar & chopped kiwi for a couple of minutes. Using a blender, blend to a smooth consistency; allow to cool slightly. Add 1 1/2 tsp RESERVED lime jell-o powder & mixing until glaze thickens. Cool slightly then using a spoon, divide evenly among the mini cheesecakes. Chill until set.
Recipe Notes
  • If you prefer, you can double your crumb & glaze ingredients & make one large cheesecake in a 9-inch spring form pan. 
  • If you don't have a mini cheesecake pan just use a mini muffin pan with paper liners. It will work just as well.
  • After I made these, I froze them completely. When I wanted to serve them, I set however many I needed out about 30 minutes ahead. There was never any difference in the quality of these cheesecakes in doing that.

Rhubarb Desserts

I can not remember ever being able to pick fresh rhubarb in the middle of May here in northern Alberta, Canada. We are definitely seeing some serious changes in the weather.

I love everything about the plant — how good it tastes, the beautiful huge foliage in the garden and how it can keep on producing all season long. The uses of rhubarb are endless. For most part, I think it is usually thought of as a dessert ingredient. I tried making it into a spicy chutney with pork tenderloin for supper one night and it was real nice.

Bordering one side of my mother’s large country garden grew six or eight rhubarb plants. I can’t even imagine how much they would produce. I recall that special taste of her Saskatoon-Rhubarb PieSaskatoon berries grew wild in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This was a good reason for our family to pack a picnic lunch and make the drive on a Sunday afternoon to pick saskatoon berries. Not only did it make for quality family time but those fresh berries were soooo– good!.

Here are a couple of dessert recipes I made with some of my first rhubarb stalks of this season. One is Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler, an old fashioned baked dessert with a tender biscuit crust sprinkled with sugar. The other one is Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfait.   If a rhubarb plant isn’t growing somewhere in your back yard you can usually locate some at a neighborhood Farmer’s Market throughout the summer.

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Rhubarb Desserts
Enjoy a little rhubarb nostalgia in two different presentations.
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Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler
Servings
Ingredients
Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler
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Instructions
Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix chopped rhubarb & blueberries together in a large saucepan. Blend sugar & cornstarch together & stir into the fruit mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup cold water.
  3. Place on medium heat & bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & cook until juices flow & fruit is soft. Pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 1 Tbsp sugar & salt. Blend well. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter until mixture is a coarse texture. In another bowl blend milk & egg.
  5. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add milk/egg mixture & stir until flour is moistened. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the fruit mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar evenly. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Serve plain or with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream.
Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfaits
  1. In a plastic bag, coarsely crush gingersnap cookies; set aside.
  2. Chop rhubarb stalks & place in saucepan with water. Cook over low heat until soft. Remove rhubarb from heat. Add sugar, Cointreau & cornstarch; mix well. Return to heat & stir until thickened; cool completely.
  3. In a large glass bowl, dissolve jelly powder & boiling water, making sure it is completely dissolved before adding to cream cheese. Blend in cream cheese with a hand mixer on low speed. Whisk in juice & zest of orange as well as the Cool Whip.
  4. In parfait glasses, spoon a layer of cream cheese mixture; sprinkle lightly with gingersnap crumbs then add a layer of rhubarb sauce. Repeat layers one more time making sure to divide cheesecake, rhubarb sauce & crumbs evenly between parfaits ending with cheesecake mixture.
  5. Refrigerate about 4 hours; garnish a bit more orange zest & a fresh mint leaf if desired.

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

I would like to thank all of you who downloaded my Ebook in the last week’s promo on Amazon.

Special appreciation to those of you who choose to take the time to write a review on Amazon as well as subscribing to my website. Although this was the third book I have written, it was my first Ebook to be published and good reviews definitely help me achieve better ratings in the ‘big picture’. To a ‘new’ author, this show of support is priceless and I    Thank you Sincerely.

Although I can’t make today’s blog recipe for you and share it over a coffee, I think you will enjoy making it.

This was likely one of the first ‘cheesecake’ recipes. It dates back to the sixties, and probably preceded most of the baked versions. Affordable, easy to make, showy and simply delicious.

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No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake
A light textured dessert with a hint of lemon.
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Course dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Course dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Dissolve jello powder in boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine wafer crumbs & sugar; add margarine & mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping. Press remainder into an 8-inch spring form pan.
  3. Combine cream cheese, sugar & lemon extract in a mixer bowl; beat until combined. Stir in lemon jello mixture then fold in thawed whipped topping until well blended.
  4. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumbs & refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.