This could almost be a dessert, but I used it as a side dish instead of a Jell-O dish at Thanksgiving.
1 ½ c. boiling water
1 pkg. (8 serving size) or 2 pkg. (4 serving size) cranberry flavored Jell-O
1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 ½ c. cold water
1 can (11 oz or 15.5 oz) mandarin orange segments, drained
1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs
½ c. sugar, divided
½ c. butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tubs (8 oz each) whipped topping, thawed, divided
1. Stir boiling water into gelatin in large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add cranberry sauce; stir until melted. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate about 1 ¼ hours or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Gently stir in mandarin oranges.
2. Meanwhile, stir crumbs, ¼ c. sugar and butter in 13X9 inch baking pan. Press firmly onto bottom. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Beat cream cheese and remaining ¼ c. sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Gently stir in 1 tub of the whipped topping. Spread evenly over crust; cover with gelatin mixture (If you pour the mixture from the bowl off the back of a spoon it will spread the gelatin without breaking up the cream cheese mixture so it won’t make a big mess). Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Garnish with remaining tub of whipped topping just before serving.
Yield: 16 servings