Ingredients:1 lb, 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature16 ounces cool whip1 cup powder sugar1 Tbsp orange juice1 & 1/2 tsp orange extract2 oz brandy or orange liquor (optional)1 Tbsp orange zest8 oz can mandarin oranges, drained1 & 1/2 oz (half a box) orange Jello1/2 envelope unflavored gelatin& just enough water to melt itFor Crust:2 cups graham cracker crumbs1/3 cup sugar1/4 cup melted butterDirections:Combine all 3 crust ingredients and mix together. Press into bottom of lightly sprayed 9"- 10" springform cheese cake pan or 13 x 9 cake pan. Reserve 1/4 cup for topping your cheese cake. Set pan aside.In mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, orange juice and orange extract until smooth. Add brandy or orange liquor (if desired). **If this is omitted more orange juice may need to be added to prevent cheese cake from being to stiff. Add orange jello and orange zest, mix in completely, scrape outside of bowl. Add in softened gelatin mixture until mixed in. Quickly fold in whipped cream or Cool Whip until completely mixed together. Place 1/2 of cheese cake mix in pan and level with a spatula or knife. Layer mandarin oranges in a single layer on top of cheese cake mix saving 8 or 10 for garnishing the top. Top with remaining cheese cake mix and level again with spatula or knife. Place dollops of whipped cream or cool whip on top based on how many mandarin oranges you have left. Place an orange on each dollop. Lightly sprinkle top of cheese cake with as much of remaining graham cracker mix as you like. Place in Refrigerator until set. Slice and serve.
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