Sunday, January 25, 2009

More STUFF for Dessert

This week I allowed my sweet tooth to follow up on one of my earlier blogs, Cherry Pretzel Dessert. Another decadent dish that follows suit in my family's Dessert Stuff tradition is Chocolate Stuff. My cousin Sandra was the first to introduce us to this amazingly rich and chocolaty treat. It's actually a pretty common dessert that I have encountered, going by various names: Dirt Cake, Trifle and...brace yourself...Better than Sex (how do you get to judge THAT contest?!?!). But to keep with family tradition, we went with Chocolate Stuff. It's a fairly simple deep-dish dessert, alternating layers of chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, cool whip, broken pieces of Score or Heath Bar, and finishing up with crumpled up Oreo cookies. The classic version is usually served in a giant glass bowl to enhance the layer effect. The Dirt Cake version is served in a plastic flower pot and may even include a plastic floral arrangement and buried gummy worms for "ooohhh's" and "aaahhhh's" from the kids. Being that I am an equal opportunist, I decided to make a Vanilla Stuff version, using vanilla cake, vanilla pudding and crumpled Nilla wafers. Imagine the shock that I felt when I found out that this concoction already existed as the alter ego of Dirt Cake – Beach Sand (served with a beach shovel out of a beach bucket no less).

Not to be outdone by a plastic bucket, I forged ahead and have come up with a few clever deviations over the years, and all have been fan favorites. Below is a list of my Dirt/Sand/Trifle variations. If you have any other versions or suggestions, by all means, send 'em in!

Strawberry Banana Stuff: alternating layers of vanilla cake, banana pudding, slices of bananas, cool whip, topped off with fresh or frozen strawberries

Tropical Stuff: alternating layers of vanilla cake, vanilla pudding, crushed pineapple, cool whip, topped with shaved coconut

Chocolate Covered Cherry Stuff: alternating layers of chocolate cake, cherry pie filling and chocolate cool whip

Pumpkin Stuff (perfect for the fall): alternating layers of gingerbread, pumpkin pudding (vanilla pudding mixed with canned pumpkin and brown sugar and cinnamon), cool whip and topped with crumpled Ginger Snaps

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