Try a patriotic dessert for the 4th

Several years ago, my talented friend Connie Lesko and I came up with these refreshing patriotic parfaits for a luncheon at her home. We served them in decorative, half-pint Mason jars, which lend themselves well to any summer picnic-like theme.

Sinfully delicious, it's such a festive dessert and I want to share the recipe again!

Happy Fourth of July!


Red layer
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (3-ounce) sugar free strawberry-banana gelatin
Ice cubes
1/2- cup cold water
1 cup pureed strawberries
In a medium bowl, pour boiling water into dry gelatin, stir at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add enough ice cubes to cold water to measure 1 1/4 cups. Add to gelatin and stir until slightly thickened. Remove any remaining ice. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Gently stir in strawberries. Pour evenly into parfait or half-pint mason jars. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

White layer
8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces white Ghiradelli chocolate, coarsely chopped
Fresh mint, optional
Sliced strawberry, optional
In a bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, briefly beat together the mascarpone and heavy cream until smooth, about 10 seconds. Place the white chocolate in a glass container and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted, stirring until smooth.

Add the still-hot melted white chocolate to the cream. Beat with the mixer on medium speed until well blended and slightly thickened, about 45 seconds. Pipe or spoon the mixture evenly into parfait glasses on top of the chilled strawberry mixture.

To serve, top each parfait with blueberries, a dollop of the remaining cheese mixture and a sprig of mint and slice of strawberry.

Makes 10 servings.

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