For the last three or four years, my mom had made a dessert to take out to her cousin’s house for the 4th of July. I think it’s one that has been passed around for years with a bunch of different names. She always used the recipe in a family cookbook where different members submitted different recipes. Over the years, I’ve made a couple changes to it to suit MY taste. Sadly, my mom couldn’t join us for the 4th because she is going out of town with different family members later in the week, but I’m still heading out and I decided to still make this dessert to take, along with my pasta salad I shared previously.
I don’t know the original name of the dessert, so I named it what it is to ME with the changes I have made!
All I know is…it’s pretty simple to make and not that expensive. Win win for me!
Let’s start with the CRUST
1 Cup Flour
1/2 cup pecans finely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
Pre-Heat the oven to 350
Set the butter out to let it get to room temperature. In a bowl, mix the ingredients well. It will be crumbly.
Grab a pan….I use a half sheet disposable pan so I don’t have to worry about collecting a pan at the end of the night. You can use any 9″x13″ pan though.
Pat the mixture down into the bottom of the pan well making sure to cover the entire bottom. I’m not the neatest baker, so I try to be specific for others like me!
Place the pan in the oven for 15 min. If you know your oven takes a little longer, try 17 min.
Take the pan out and let it cool completely.
Or…for a laugh, you can watch my video explaining the crust! LOL
Ingredients for the filling (the good stuff!)
1 package 8oz Cream Cheese.
1 cup powdered / confectioners sugar. (May also be called 10X sugar depending on where you live)
1 1/4 cup Cool Whip (I buy an 8 oz container and it works perfectly)
Now, the baking for dummies side note….the cream cheese needs to be at room temperature (left out) and the Cool Whip needs to be thawed completely but left in the refrigerator. Funny story, I tried to make this once and only the top was thawed. Ended up being a mess and I had to keep stirring it to thaw it! Took forever!
Beat the Cream Cheese and powdered sugar together. Then slowly add the Cool Whip. It should be nice, light, and somewhat fluffy. Spread it over the cooled crust evenly.
Now, because I’m not a quick baker and I’m convinced these few minutes make a difference (yes, I know it probably doesn’t) I put the pan in the refrigerator while I’m mixing the second layer. Ok, really I have to take the time to wash the mixing bowl and measuring cups because I don’t have a lot of them! 😊
2 packages Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding. (Rumor is you can do any flavor, but I never have. You could try Butterscotch, Lemon, Pistachio….any flavor you would like in a cool treat)
3 cups milk
Another funny story….make sure it is INSTANT pudding. Yes, I made that mistake. To the expert bakers who are still reading this, I’m sure you’re laughing at me. To the non-bakers, don’t worry about it, just make sure it’s INSTANT! Trust me!
Beat the two ingredients together. It will thicken, takes about 2+ minutes. Then carefully spread over the first layer, being careful to try not to mix them. Not that it really matters, I’m sure it wouldn’t affect the taste, but just don’t do it! 🙂
Once you have the second layer done, you’re ready for the third layer, it’s pretty difficult, but you can handle it….
Spread the remainder of the Cool Whip over the second layer. That’s it. Super simple.
I like to sprinkle pecan pieces over the top to make it pretty but also to make it clear there are nuts in it. You can also put chocolate shavings on it. If you do lemon pudding, you could do something lemony, to indicate what flavor it is.
When done with the top, put a lid on it (another reason I use the disposable pan, so I can cover it with the lid and write on it with a permanent marker!)
Place in the refrigerator until time to serve.
Make sure you use a serving utensil that will cut through the crust. If you don’t, people tend to “scoop” it out and miss the crust. If you use a disposable pan and pre-cut it, be careful not to cut right through the pan. It has happened!
I use disposable utensils as well. If I get them back, great. If not, no big deal. I get the pans, lids, and utensils from Sam’s Club.
When it’s time to serve, make sure you are close to the front because it goes quickly and you want to eat some!