Sunday, August 17, 2008

Post-Grad Gourmet?: Dirt Cake

I haven't made a cooking post in a while, and this weekend proved the perfect opportunity to take some delicious photos. We're celebrating my dad's birthday, and a celebratory staple in our house is Dirt Cake. Little Brother and I made it last night and I "passed down" the recipe to him.

Dirt Cake is a super-easy no-bake cake. My grandma gave us the recipe, but I am not sure of the origins. In recent years, we stopped using flower pots in favor of clear containers--we like being able to see the delicious chocolatey layers. What follows is my edited version.

Dirt Cake

Food Processor, blender or a plastic bag and rolling pin
New, medium sized 8" flower pot or about 10-12 small flower pots

2 large bags of oreos
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/2 cups skim milk
2 small packages cheesecake pudding (I use Jello brand, original recipe calls for vanilla)
12 oz. cool whip
Gummi worms, silk flowers, toy bugs or other decorations

1. First, crush your oreos in the food processor. If you don't have a processor or blender, you can put a couple of handfuls in a gallon-sized bag and crush them with a rolling pin...or your hands. Put crushed oreos to the side.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, cream cheese and powdered sugar. I recommend not using a wisk for this part--a wooden spoon works best.

3. In a second bowl, mix together the milk and the pudding. Fold in the whipped topping.

4. Gradually pour and mix the pudding mixture with the margariney-sugar. Mix thoroughly--a few lumps are okay, but coming across a big ol' chunk of cream cheese is unpleasant.

5. Layer the oreos and the pudding mixture in your flowerpot in 1" sections. (If your flowerpot has a drain at the bottom, put a small square of wax or parchment paper in the bottom over the hole.) You should get about 5 or 7 layers, ending with the oreos.

6. Decorate! I like using gummi worms, but I remember my mom once used seed packets taped to popsicle sticks in individual sized pots to great success. Finally, refrigerate for two hours so the oreo layers get nice and soft and yummy.

This is one of our favorite cakes to make in the Grande household, It's way easy and so delicious. For a "Sand Cake" version, replace the oreos with graham crackers and use either the cheesecake, vanilla or butterscotch pudding. Yum...

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