Saturday, August 6, 2011

Banana Split Squares

This recipe is adapted from one I found in A Taste of Heaven cookbook from Kraft.  It's a quick & easy to make treat; a great blend of flavors and very attractive.  These squares are perfectly suited for serving to guests or just for your next family dessert!

Banana Split Squares
Filling adapted from Kraft

Crust -
9 graham crackers, crushed to fine crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp butter, melted

Filling -
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup cold milk
1 4-serving box of instant vanilla pudding
1 1/4 cups Cool Whip, thawed
1 large or 2 small bananas
About 3/4 cups hot fudge sauce, cold
About 1/2 cup Kraft caramel bits OR chopped pecans
Maraschino Cherries for garnish

1.  Line an 8" X 8" square baking dish with parchment paper.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 325°.

2.  For the Crust: mix the grahams, 2 tbsp sugar, and butter together in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Pour into the baking dish.  Press the crust firmly into the bottom of the dish.  Bake for 15 -18 minutes or until the crust is light golden.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

3.  For the Filling: place the cream cheese and 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar in a medium bowl.  Beat until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish and spread in an even layer over the crust.

4.  Sprinkle the pineapple evenly over the cream cheese layer.

5.  In a medium bowl, whisk the milk together with the instant pudding mix.  Whisk for about two minutes or until the mixture is smooth and thick.  Fold 1/2 cup of the Cool Whip into the pudding.

6.  Slice the banana(s).  Tile the slices evenly over the pineapple layer.

7.  Spread the pudding mixture in an even layer over the banana slices.

8.  Spread the remaining 3/4 cups of Cool Whip evenly over the top of the pudding mixture.

9.  Cover and chill for 5 hours.

10.  Cut into squares, but don't separate the squares.

11.  Place the fudge sauce in a piping bag or a Ziplock bag with the corner cut off.  Pipe the fudge over the top of the Cool Whip layer.  Sprinkle the caramel bits or pecans over the top.

12.  Place a cherry in the center of each square.  Serve!

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