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The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford

Kelsey Hilts with the recipe that made her husband shout the above out with joy.
Text And Photo By Kelsey Hilts

The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford

The first time that my husband spent Thanksgiving with my family we were all gathered around the table after dinner and my Aunt pulled out a pan of a layered pudding dessert. My husband exclaimed, “The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford! This was my favorite growing up!” We all started laughing because we only knew it as the layered pudding dessert. Not to mention that it was especially funny coming from my husband. A quick search on Google, however, revealed that my husband wasn’t nuts. There is actually a dessert with this name.

So here it is. The recipe that my husband grew up on. This rich, creamy and chocolaty dessert definitely isn’t for the weak. A little bit of the buttery cookie crust topped with vanilla-chocolate pudding and whipped cream goes a long way. The dessert is a crowd-pleaser and it’s simple to make, so it’s great for parties and potlucks. The original recipe calls for frozen whipped topping but I couldn’t resist using homemade whipped cream.

5.0 from 1 reviews

The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford
 
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This rich, creamy and chocolaty dessert definitely isn’t for the weak. A little bit of the buttery cookie crust topped with vanilla-chocolate pudding and whipped cream goes a long way.
Author:
Recipe Type: Dessert
Serves: 24-32
Ingredients
Bottom Layer
  • 1 cup (99g) unsifted flour
  • ½ cup (115g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (121g) finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Middle Layer
  • 1 8-ounce (227g) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (192g) sugar
  • 4½ ounces (120g) homemade whipped cream
Top Layer
  • 1 large package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 large package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 3 cups (710mL) cold milk
Garnish layer
  • Roughly 4½ ounces (120g) homemade whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings
Instructions
Bottom layer
  1. Mix together the flour, butter and chopped nuts until the dough is crumble-like.
  2. Press the mixture into a greased 9×13-inch pan.
  3. Bake the cookie crust at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
  4. Let the cookie crust cool.
Middle layer
  1. Beat the sugar into the cream cheese until it is smooth.
  2. Fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust.
Top layer
  1. Beat the milk into the pudding mixes until the mixture is smooth and thickened.
  2. Spread the pudding over the middle layer.
Garnish
  1. Spread whipped cream over the top and sprinkle the the dessert with grated chocolate candy bar, such as Baker’s Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Shavings.
  2. Cover the layered dessert and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve it.
Kelsey Hilts

Kelsey Hilts

Kelsey Hilts is the founder of Itsy Bitsy Foodies, an online resource for families looking for ways to spend more time together enjoying food and exploring the world beyond the children’s menu.

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Originally Published: May 30, 2011

7 Responses to The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford

  1. Miriam Garcia

    Miriam Garcia Reply

    May 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    LOL! I always say Robert Redford was my first love! This must be great.

  2. Pam Kanavos

    Pqm Reply

    May 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  3. Nandita Nataraj

    Nandita Reply

    May 31, 2011 at 3:49 am

    This looks brilliant Kelsey!!! Just awesome :)

  4. Kristina Reply

    September 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    It’s wonderful you were able to give him back a memory. That’s often the best part of serving a dish … the excited reception of your guests.

  5. Cindy Reply

    November 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    This is a great dessert! I have been making it for family dinners and get-togethers for years. I have found that it is helpful to refrigerate it while you are making the next layer. Also, I have successfully prepared this dessert a bit “low-cal” by using skim milk, low-fat cream cheese, light Cool Whip and sugar-free Jello instant pudding. Doesn’t seem to impact the taste. I have found this dessert is best prepared the day it is to be consumed. Leftovers store well in the refrigerator, but the crust gets a little moist and the layers start to run together. Still tastes great! Can also substitute lemon pudding for the chocolate … if so, it is called “lemon lush”.

  6. Anne Reply

    September 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    How many grams are in the instant pudding and what is home made whipped cream
    Thank you Anne

  7. Cheryl Reply

    November 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

    My Cousin Sharon always brought this to family gatherings, I make it every thanksgiving . It is Awesome… Might make 2 this year…

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