Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Holiday Traditions: Pumpkin Paradise Layered Dessert

This is my favorite time of year for making pumpkin treats for family and friends. I created this recipe for a fun alternative to traditional pumpkin pie on the holiday dinner table. This time of year, Jell-O comes out with a seasonal pumpkin spice pudding flavor and I have found it delightful to use in dessert recipes. If you cannot find it at the grocery store, you can use instant vanilla pudding and add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for each 4-serving package. I love the texture the gingersnap crust creates and Promise butter spread is a great healthy alternative to the standard stick butter used so often in baking. The regular versions of the ingredients will work well, but I used the lighter choice ingredients in the recipe below for a light and fluffy pumpkin treat. 

"Pumpkin Paradise Layered Dessert" 

1 (14 oz.) package gingersnap cookies

1 stick butter, softened

1 (8 oz.) package light cream cheese, softened

1 8 oz. container Cool-Whip whipped topping, thawed

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

3 cups milk

2 ( 4 -serving size) packages Jello-O instant pumpkin pudding 
* If you cannot find the pumpkin flavor, use vanilla instant pudding and add 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Spray 13 x 9 baking pan with cooking spray. Place cookies in sandwich bag and use rolling pin to crush the cookies Combine together until moistened and press into bottom of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Allow crust to cool. In large bowl, blend cream cheese and confectioner's sugar with mixer for one minute. Fold in 1 cup of Cool-Whip and mix until well-blended. Reserve remaining Cool-Whip for top layer. Pour cream cheese mixture over cooled crust until mixture covers crust entirely. In separate mixing bowl, add pudding mix and milk. Stir or mix with hand mixer until thickened. Pour over cream cheese layer, covering cream cheese layer completely. Top with remaining Cool Whip in container. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Cut into squares to serve. Enjoy!