Girl Scout Cookie sales have consumed every spare second of my life since Superbowl Sunday. My incredibly motivated daughter insists upon selling 800 boxes to get the American Girl doll of the year.
I am all about kids working hard for what they want. However, at her age, the hardest working person is Mom, who has to schlep around of hundreds of boxes of cookies, coax her friends, family and strangers into sales all while manuevering a giant wagon that barely fits in the back of an SUV. My daughter just stands there, sweetly smiles and enjoys getting all the goodies. Her toddler brother has even been caught up in the sales, feeling the need to personally open and taste each cookie if he thinks someone is waffeling on which box to buy.
Hindsight says I should have made this crust with the Girl Scout Trefoil cookie. Lord knows, we’ve got a few dozen boxes floating around the garage. I think it’d be fab. In fact, if you are willing to give it a go, call me- we still have about 80 boxes left to sell.
I first got passionfruit in my CSA basket in early February. To be honest, I thought it was a really bad-looking heirloom avocado, it was wrinkly and purple and unlike anything I’d ever seen, so I tossed it in the fridge without further thought. My only other encounter with passionfruit came in a small can from Australia when Hub’s brother was living there. In fact, I still have that can in the pantry. Passionfruit is exotic and not something you see often, even here in sunny San Diego.
When I cut open the fruit one night (half expecting a rancid version of guacamole to spring out) I was overjoyed when passionfruit came out instead. It’s kinda slimy and has these little green crunchy beads and it smells and tastes absolutely amazing. It smells like a tropical vacation.
So now I’ve been hoarding these things in the fridge, squirreling them away to come up with some sort of awesome dessert. There are seventy-eight cookbooks in my kitchen and only one of them has a recipe involving passionfruit and that recipe was a coconut cheesecake. I despise coconut (sorry GS Samoa fans) and after 6 weeks of eating way too many boxes of Girl Scout cookies, I needed to find a “healthier alternative”. So I hit the internet. I combed page after page, blog after blog and I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. So in the end, I made this one up on my own, which is tres’ risky when you have guests coming for dinner.
It’s definitely more chiffon-like than dense cheesecake and I think this recipe will be my new go-to when I’m hankering a Cheesecake Factory fix. If passionfruit evades you or is too pricey, you can just add the mango sauce. Our guests said it was like taking a bite out of Belize, which in February, even in sunny San Diego, sounds as amazing as it tastes. Oh and did I mention, it’s no-bake? Which in the middle of my hectic life and cookie sales, is all the vacation this Mama’s gonna get.
Greek Yogurt Chiffon Cheesecake with Mango-Passionfruit Sauce
For the cheesecake-
8 oz low-fat cream cheese
1 1/2 C. low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 C. non-fat greek yogurt
2/3 C. sugar
2 Tbl. pasteurized egg whites
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 vanilla bean
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
For the sauce-
1 bag frozen mango pieces (12 oz)
4 passionfruit (or 1 small can)
1/2 C. powdered sugar
For the sauce- You can make the sauce up several days in advance. Thaw the mango overnight and drain. In a blender or food processor blend the mangos with powdered sugar. Cut the passionfruit legthwise and scoop it out into a bowl. Hand mix the mango in with the passionfruit and set aside for up to 3 days in the fridge.
For the Chiffon Cheesecake-
Melt the butter or margarine and mix in with the graham cracker crumbs and press into the bottom of a springform pan. Set aside.
In a blender or food processor, blend the cottage cheese, sugar and cream cheese together until smooth. Split a vanilla bean legthwise and scrape the contents into the bowl and blend again.
Follow the direction on the gelatin box to make 1 envelope gelatin. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites. Gently fold egg whites into cheese mixture. When the gelatin has cooled a bit gently fold into the cheese and egg mixture. Pour into the springform pan. Cover with wrap and place in the fridge a minimum of 4 hours prior to serving.