Hop into spring with Easter desserts

From full - course brunches to simple sit-down dinners, Easter celebrations are a time to enjoy family, friends and the delicious tastes of spring.

However elaborate the festivities, a rich and creamy dessert is the perfect finale to any Easter gathering.

These fresh dessert ideas all feature everyone’s favorite indulgence - cheesecake - along with other lively flavors, such as coconut, lemon and blueberry. Desserts this delicious will have your guests hopping up for seconds.

Easter Mini Cheesecakes

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut, toasted
54 speckled malted milk eggs (about 9 ounces)

Heat oven to 325°. Mix graham crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and butter; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.

Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon coconut; shape to resemble bird’s nest. Fill with malted milk eggs.

Double Lemon Cheesecake Bars

52 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
4 eggs, divided
4 packages (8 ounces each) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons), divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Heat oven to 325°. Line 13-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper, with ends of paper extending over sides.

Mix wafer crumbs and butter until blended; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Separate 1 egg; refrigerate yolk until ready to use. Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add egg white and remaining 3 whole eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each until just blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Mix cornstarch and remaining sugar in medium saucepan; gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice until blended. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until clear and thickened.

Lightly beat reserved egg yolk in small bowl with fork until blended; stir in 2 tablespoons of hot cornstarch mixture.

Return to remaining cornstarch mixture in saucepan; stir until blended. Cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.

Spoon lemon glaze over cheesecake. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Use parchment handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.

Garnish with 1/2 cup blueberries, lemon peel and fresh mint leaves.

Article courtesy of familyfeatures.