Granny's 4 layer dessert
I'm not really sure WHERE Granny (yes, Granny. Not Grandma, Grandmother, Gram, Gigi, Nana, etc..I have a Granny...) got this recipe. I'm sure it's funeral related. In fact..some of our favorite meals (esp casseroles) were found at funeral dinner tables. *shrugs* Either way...from the time I was 8 years old until the time I was 17 I spent my summers in Indiana with my Grandparents (Granny and Papaw). Not a big deal? Well..kinda...we lived (and currently live) in Missouri..and it is a 550 mile trip. I think the first 'stay' occured when I was 8 b/c we were in the middle of moving from North Carolina to Missouri and so they parked me there for a couple weeks, but then I really liked it...so I was always excited when summer vacation rolled around b/c I knew a couple days after school let out I'd head east for the summer. And I do mean "the summer". I'd usually leave a day or so after school let out, then I'd come back about a week before school started. I spent my summers being spoiled (within reason) and loved beyond measure by my awesome Granny and Papaw. Somewhere along the way Granny started making this dessert (again, I'm sure someone died or something)-and as a kid I didn't appreciate how 'good' this stuff really was. She'd make it and happily offer it to me and I'd wrinkle my nose and go back to watching Days of our Lives. My special Granny dessert is her Apple Stack Cake (which doesn't really have a recipe...and even WATCHING her, as in STANDING Over her while she makes it doesn't help b/c it's all in her head *sigh*). Anyway...geez I get even more rambly when I'm pregnant..um...4 layer dessert..ok. So the other day I wanted something sweet. But not over the top sweet. And I wanted something easy. As much as I love and adore cupcakes, pies, layer cakes, etc....none of those sounded good..I needed quick. I needed familiar....I needed 4 layer dessert...so I called Granny...and she relayed the recipe to me over the phone. Since it IS a 4 layer dessert I broke it into the ingredients for each layer and instructions for each layer. I'm sure alot of people have recipes VERY similar to this one..but this is the one our family uses. I used my food processor for the first three layers...so it was awesome that basically I just dirtied that ONE thing and not a ton of different bowls. Bottom layer-(1) 1 cup ap flour (yes flour, not graham cracker crumbs) 1 cup ground pecans (I was out, so I used walnuts) 1 stick butter -melt the butter and mix it into the flour and ground nut mix, pat into a 13x9 and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes-remove and cool COMPLETELY. Next layer-(2) 4 oz cream cheese (softened) 1/2 cup sugar 4 oz Cool Whip (half the tub) Cream the cream cheese and sugar, and mix in the Cool Whip. Spread on the COMPLETELY cooled crust. Are you getting sick of the cap on that? Sure..but it's really important..b/c if you don't let it cool when you add this layer it will kinda peel the crust and make it harder for you to put it on there. Next layer-(3) 2 small boxes (or one BIG box) instant pudding of your choice 1 cup milk Make the pudding as it says on the box and once it sets just a little-put it on top of the (2) layer. I had one BIG box of vanilla..so that is what I used. My Mom's favorite is lemon, and Granny's all time favorite is Butter Pecan. With all the different instant pudding varieties...this dessert has soooo many possibilities. Top layer-(4) Remaining Cool Whip Top gently with the remaining Cool Whip and put in the fridge for at least a couple hours. The layers need time to get cold and get to know one another. This is a good one to make in a morning and then have it for dinner. Also...as long as it's covered, it stays good. It's almost better 3-4 days later than it is the first day. Oh...the topping in the picture...I added crushed graham crackers just for visual appeal. Idea...for this winter...chocolate pudding, then crushed peppermints on top...yum! For the summer..key lime pudding and graham cracker crumbs..see...endless possibilities!!! Oh..also..this would be really easy to make with less calories...I'm sure the fat free or low fat cream cheese/no sugar instant pudding, etc would work just as well!