- CREAM PUFF LAYER:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Food coloring
- Red, blue and yellow writing icing
- Assorted jumbo nonpareils
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 3-1/2 cups cold milk
- 2 packages (3.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Blue food coloring
- 3 Pirouette cookies
- Granulated sugar
- Spearmint leaf candies
- 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
- In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil over medium heat. Add flour all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Spread into a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 350°.
- Roll out cookie dough to 1/4-in. thickness. With floured 3-in. and 4-1/4-in. gingerbread boy cookie cutters, cut out 12 swimmers. Reroll scraps; cut out 1-1/2-in. circles for beach balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and corn syrup until smooth. Divide glaze among small bowls; tint with food coloring as desired. Using a small brush and stirring the glaze often, brush glaze over cookies. Allow glazed cookies to set for at least 1 hour. Add designs with writing icing and nonpareils as desired.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and pudding mixes until smooth. Spread over puff layer; refrigerate for 20 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons whipped topping for crests of waves; stir blue food coloring into remaining topping. Spread over filling; swirl, forming waves. Form crests with reserved topping. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Meanwhile, for palm trees, break or cut 1 in. from one Pirouette cookie and 1-1/2 in. from another Pirouette. Leave remaining Pirouette full length.
- Sprinkle sugar on a work surface. For each palm tree, place three spearmint leaves on sugared surface. With a rolling pin, roll out each into an oval; cut out into a palm leaf shape. Using spearmint leaf scraps, attach three palm leaves to each Pirouette cookie; place flat. Let stand, uncovered, until set.
- Just before serving, sprinkle corner of dessert with cracker crumbs for an island; position trees in sand. Add swimmers and a beach ball to the water. Serve with additional cookies. Yield: 1 centerpiece and 18 cookies.
Originally published as Island Swim Dessert in Fun Food 2008 2008, p16
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