I don’t think it can be denied that I have just a wee bit of a sweet tooth. So, it is no surprise that my favorite “dishes” of the holiday season (besides mashed potatoes and cranberry relishes) are desserts. Right now I am dreaming of what I am making xmas week. For certain on my list are: fudge (I haven’t made it in years–I like mine with nuts, but will probably do both to satisfy all camps), the apple pie (by request) and churros I made last year, carmel or kettle corn (either the recipe I posted in October, or a new one I found in this week’s food section of our local paper), and gingerbread (another recipe in the same article this week!).
While these desserts still lie in the future, I did enjoy a couple of scrumptious desserts at Thanksgiving that might be worth sharing. The one on the right is the Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust I wrote about last year. My Auntie made it this year, and it was totally devoured by the family. My contribution was the not so elegant looking “casserole” on the left. But looks can be decieving.
That casserole is a dangerous thing in a house full of chocoholics. Not the prettiest dessert around–it has something to do with it being layered in a casserole dish–but it makes up for it in taste. If I could figure out how to make it look prettier, this dessert would really shine, so if you have any ideas, please pass them on.
The original recipe, from my grandma, calls for a lot of packaged elements. Instant Pudding and Cool Whip are two key ingredients. I’m not a fan of Cool Whip, or instant pudding for that matter, so I altered the recipe to use unpackaged equivalents– fresh whipping cream and a chocolate pudding from scratch. A little extra time, but it was worth it.
This a long time family fav, and every time we have it we are all smiles. It just doesn’t get better than Delirious Pie…but you wouldn’t want to indulge too often. Best to save it for the holidays–even a sweet tooth like me knows this.
This is a layered dessert–kind of like a trifle, or, for lack of a better example, a layered bean dip, but with chocolate. There are four layers: crust, cream cheese mixture, chocolate, whip cream.
Crust: Preheat oven to 400. Blend 1 cup flour with 1 cube of butter with a pastry cutter. Mix in 1 1/2 cups finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, maybe almonds? You can do one nut or a mixture) to make a slightly loose/crumbly mixture. Press it into a 9×13 (I’ve always used a glass one). Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400. While its cooling, you might make chocolate layer.
Chocolate layer: Prepare this Ina Garten double chocolate pudding recipe (or instant or cook & serve boxed pudding). Let it cool, and chill in the fridge–keep it covered so it doesn’t produce film on top.
Cream cheese layer: When the crust and pudding are cooled/chilled, prepare this layer. First whip a large container of whipping cream sweetened to taste. Mix 1 8oz package of softened cream cheese with 1 cup of the whipped cream (reserve the rest) and 1 cup powdered sugar until well blended and smooth.
Assembly: Spread the cream cheese layer on top of cooled crust. Next top with chilled chocolate pudding. Top with reserved whip cream. Chill for at least 1 hour. You can top with a little cocoa powder and cinnamon like I did before serving, or leave it plain. This will always be a “soft” dessert, so the first pieces usually need to be removed with a large serving spoon. It will keep in your fridge for a couple days, but tastes best the first day.