Friday, April 30, 2010

Cookies & Cream Dessert Bars

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One thing that's great about my friends is that they love playing in the kitchen just as I do. So when I'm throwing a pot luck, I can always count on them to share some of their delicious recipes at the table. For the recent Pasta Party Dinner I hosted, my friend Suzanne took care of dessert and she made these wonderful Cookies & Cream Dessert Bars that I'm still craving nearly a week later!...

Cookies and cream is a classic combination that both my husband and I love especially in ice cream. When Suzanne brought this dessert for our dinner party, we were so excited to try it out! Suzanne came across a similar recipe but when she made it, it wasn't as good as she hoped. So after much tweaking and quite a few substitutions, she came up with her own recipe that was outstanding!

The creamy, chocolate and whipped cream layers of this dessert is delicious in contrast to the crunchy, chocolate crust the layers sit on. I suppose one could even take this recipe a bit further and use other pudding flavors in place of the devils food chocolate pudding such as butterscotch, banana or even vanilla. I would recommend making this dessert in a glass baking dish so that you can showcase the pretty layers. Regardless of what you end up using to make these, you'll have an empty dish soon enough!


Cookies & Cream Dessert Bars
original recipe from Suzanne

1/3 package of chocolate graham crackers (about 1 wrapped sleeve)
1 (18 oz) package of Oreo cookies
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 (8oz) tub whipped topping (Cool Whip)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 (3oz) packages instant devil's food chocolate pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
Chocolate jimmies for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a food processor, combine the chocolate graham crackers and oreo cookies. Pulse to crumbs for bottom crust. Measure out 4 cups of this chocolate cookie crumb mixture and place in a bowl. Reserve any remaining for future use.

To the 4 cups of chocolate cookie crumbs, add the melted butter and stir. Press this mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While the crust is cooling, combine the softened cream cheese, 1 cup of whipped topping and powdered sugar in a bowl. Spread this mixture over the cooled crust; set aside.

In another bowl, combine the dry pudding mixes, milk, and 3/4 cup of whipped topping. Spread this mixture over the cream cheese layer.

Top the pudding layer with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with chocolate jimmies if using and cut into squares and serve.

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