* Photo credit goes to my friend Michelle who was teaching me about lighting. *
This dessert was a hit last August before our whole world changed, and I’ve been meaning to share it with you guys ever since. Now that it’s warming up….not that we had a very cold winter down here in South Florida, but it’s time to shift gears to the things of spring and summer. You know….the beach, pool, longer days, grilling, and of course, refreshing desserts.
Last summer my mind would periodically flashback to my childhood. My mom used to make this cold, frozen berry-licious pie. Maybe you’ve had one similar….it involved a graham cracker crust, cool whip and containers of strawberry yogurt. Very simple and easy….maybe there were fresh strawberries involved at times. It was such a treat, and I had been craving it.
I set about trying to make something similar, and of course I used homemade whipped cream instead of cool whip. This one doesn’t have yogurt, but instead I used frozen organic berries and cream cheese. Instead of a graham cracker crust, I used my favorite EASY nut and oat based crust. And I threw in some semi sweet chocolate for good measure. Can’t go wrong with chocolate, right? Now that I’m finally typing this up….my tastebuds are remembering that creamy, cold goodness and crunch of the crust. I have to make it this week…..really, I do!! You should too!
Any special treats that remind you of your childhood summers? What are they?
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- ¾ cup oats
- ¾ cup sugar, organic
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup flour (I used freshly ground whole wheat)
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 8 oz softened cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar, organic
- ½ tsp pure vanilla
- 1½ cups frozen berries, organic and slightly defrosted
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips, semisweet
- 3 cups whipped cream, homemade
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place nuts in food processor and pulse until chopped well, then add in oats and pulse again. Continue adding the rest of the ingredients and pulse as needed while combining. Grease a 9 x 13 pyrex pan and press crust into pan. Bake crust by itself for about 20-25 minutes. Place on cooling rack to cool.
- In mixer, blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla till creamy.
- Add in slightly thawed berries, and mix well. Mix in half of your chocolate chips till well combined. If you don't have mini chocolate chips, you can use regular. I put them in the coffee grinder to make into smaller chocolate bits.
- Fold in homemade whipped cream, and then spread onto cooled crust. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top.
- Place in freezer till frozen, but can be eaten at any time.