Old Glory CheesecakeEstimated Cost:  $14.00

Cake Prep Time:  45 minutes

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Refrigeration Time:  4 hours

Serves:  20

2013 will be the third 4th of July I prepared this wonderful dessert.  I originally found this recipe on the Kraft website.  I found no need to tweak the ingredients, but the instructions were terrible.  I did my best to make them a little easier to follow.  Don’t let the combined preparation times scare you away from this recipe.   Expect to spend about 30 minutes in the kitchen, the rest is baking and refrigeration times.

1 pkg. pound cake mix, baked, cooled, and cut into 10 slices
4 cups fresh strawberries, divided
1-1/2 cups boiling water
2 pkg. (3 oz. ea.) strawberry flavored gelatin (Jello)
Ice cubes
1 cup cold water
1-1/3 cups blueberries, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. Prepare the pound cake mix as directed on package. Be sure to follow the directions for baking the pound cake in a loaf pan. Once baked and cooled, slice pound cake into 10 even slices; set aside. **Note: the ingredients for preparing the pound cake mix were not included in the recipe above as they will differ from mix to mix.

2. Slice 1 cup of the strawberries, trying for 3 or 4 slices per berry. Slice the remaining strawberries in half. Keeping the two types of sliced strawberries seperated; set aside.

3. In a large-bowl combine both gelatin mixes and the boiling water; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved.

4. Add enough ice to the cold water to measure 2 cups. Add the ice and cold water to the hot gelatin mixture; stir until ice is completely melted. Refrigerate 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

5. Line the bottom of a 13×9-inch dish with the sliced pound cake.

6. Add sliced strawberries (NOT the halved ones) and 1 cup of the blueberries to the thickened gelatin; stir gently. Spoon over cake. Refrigerate 4 hours or until gelatin is firm.

7. In a large-bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar with a whisk until well blended. Stir in whipped topping; spread mixture over gelatin. **Note: I prefer using an electric mixer, in place of the whisk, for this step.

8. Arrange strawberry halves on cream cheese mixture to resemble stripes of flag. Add remaining blueberries for stars. If you are like me, just take a peek back at the photo at the top of the recipe for a visual guide.

Mike’s comments:

Happy Independence Day – thanks to all the men and women today, and yesterday, who’ve fought to ensure we can still celebrate it.