Banana Split Dessert

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Recipe by South Your Mouth

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Banana Split Dessert 

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 1/4 cup sugar, divided

Pinch of salt

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 16-ounce carton cool whip, divided

3 bananas, sliced

1 20-ounce can pineapple in heavy syrup, drained well

2 pints strawberries, sliced

Chopped nuts

Chocolate syrup

Maraschino cherries

Mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar and salt then press into the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Whip cream cheese, vanilla extract and remaining 1 cup of sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Fold in 1 cup of cool whip. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over graham cracker crust. Make sure your cream cheese is good and soft or you'll have a hard time spreading the mixture over the graham cracker crust.

Arrange banana slices in a single layer over cream cheese mixture. Top bananas evenly with crushed pineapple. Arrange strawberry slices in a single layer over pineapple. Spread remaining cool whip over dessert. Make sure to go all the way to the edges with the cool whip – this will seal things up so the bananas don’t brown*. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

To serve, sprinkle with nuts, drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with cherries.

*the acid from the pineapples helps prevent browning as well