Summer Chocolate Dessert

I LOVE this dessert.  I love it so much that I only make it a couple of times a year.  Why don't I make it more often?  Because I would eat the entire dessert every time!  I only make this dessert when it's for a larger get-together - that way, most or all of it gets eaten.  I get to have my taste and then everyone else can have some too AND I don't gain 10 pounds from this one dessert.  Since Labor Day Weekend is upon us, I decided that I would share it.  I could eat this anytime but I think that it's perfect for the summer because it's so cool and light.  It's also a nice change to all the fruity summer desserts.

Here's the final product... the profile shot:
Here's what you need to get here:
1 cup flour
1 1/4 sticks butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 cup powered sugar
16 oz cool whip
10 oz instant chocolate pudding
4 1/2 cups milk

First, get the crust together.  You are going to cook the crust, so go ahead and preheat the oven to 375.  To make the crust, mix the flour, butter, and pecans together with your hands.  It's a mess doing this, but it's worth it because that crust is so good.  With all that butter, you know it's going to be good.  When it's mixed, put it in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.  It's difficult to spread out, but just keep trying.  It just takes some time.  This is what it looks like when it's ready to go in the oven:
Bake it in the oven at 375 for 10-20 minutes.  I know that's a huge range.  It just depends on how you like your crust.  I just keep an eye on mine and when it gets a little golden and looks all bubbly, I take it out.  Once it's out, let it cool completely.

When it's finished cooling, you can move on to the next layer.  Start by beating the cream cheese well.  If it's close to room temperature this is much easier.  If you just pulled it out of the fridge, it's a little more difficult.  Either way, you want to beat it well.  After you beat the cream cheese, add the powered sugar a little at a time.  If you just throw both things in before beating the cream cheese, the sugar gets all these ugly and not so tasty lumps.  By beating the cream cheese and then slowly beating in the sugar, you get a nice creamy mixture.  When the cream cheese and sugar are mixed, add in half the cool whip (8 oz).  Mix that, but don't over mix it.  Now look at this pretty creamy layer:
Now it's time to put this layer on top of the crust.  This crust is good, but the only bad thing about it is that it does not like to stick to the bottom of the pan very well.  So, when you put this layer in, be careful when you're spreading it or you will end up having no crust and just a crunchy bottom layer.  That would not be the worst thing in the world, but I prefer a crust and then this smooth layer.  You can see that I got some pieces of crust in this layer, but it was still delightful:
For the next layer, mix the pudding and the milk.  Beat it for 2-3 minutes or until it gets thicker.  Then pour the pudding in the dish to create the next layer:
At this point I like to put the dish in the fridge until the pudding sets up a little more.  If you're under a time crunch though, it's not a big deal.  For the final layer, just spread out the rest of the cool whip over the pudding layer:
For the final topping, I used half of a large Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar.  I put it in the freezer to get it hard (next time I would just put it in the fridge) and then I put it in the food processor to chop it up.  If you don't have a food processor, you could just put the chocolate in a Ziploc baggie and then crush it with one of those beater things (you know what I'm talking about... it's like a hammer for the kitchen).  Then sprinkle it over the top of the dish.  This makes it pretty and it adds some crunch.  And who doesn't love dark chocolate?
Sometimes I put nuts on the top too, but Ray doesn't like the nuts, so I decided to be nice to him this time and leave them off.  I don't think that he knows that they are in the crust.  What he doesn't know won't hurt him.
Make it before summer is gone!


Popular Posts