Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why have dessert when you can have dirt?

We celebrated my father-in-law's birthday last weekend and I offered to make dessert.  I know cake is traditional on a birthday, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I wanted something comforting after the week we had, and what's more comforting than a family recipe?
This is my Grandma Taylor's recipe.  She always made it at Christmas and I could never get enough.  It feels like you're eating something light, but of course it's not.  Grandma Taylor never made anything low-fat. And frankly, I don't think low-fat and dessert belong in the same sentence.  If you're going to eat dessert, eat dessert. 

Dirt Dessert

1 large package Oreo chocolate cookies  
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
*1 cup sugar (Grandma usd powdered sugar)
2 (3.4-ounce) boxes vanilla instant pudding

4 cups milk
1 (8-ounce) carton whipped topping

Crush the cookies, I use my food processor.  Set aside.
Blend the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the vanilla pudding according to package directions. Fold the whipped topping into the pudding.
Fold the cream cheese mixture into the pudding mixture.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the cookies on the bottom of the bowl
Top with 1/2 of the pudding mixture
Another layer of cookies, then another layer of pudding.
Sprinkle remaining crushed cookies over the top.
Chill for several hours, preferably overnight.

I like to really drive home the dirt theme: add some gummy worms and maybe even stick a flower in the top.  You could even make individual cups, which would be great for a birthday party!

*I actually leave out this cup of sugar.  The combination of Oreos, pudding and whipped topping are sweet enough for my taste.

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