Thursday, March 12, 2009

The michael5000 Kitchen #5: “Better Than Robert Redford”

Provenance: This recipe comes from and is in the handwriting of frequent L&TM5K commenter DrSchnell, who in turn got it (if memory serves) from an aunt who didn’t like to talk about her “Better Than Sex” recipe in front of the kids. DrSchnell likely gave me the recipe sometime during our mutual residence in Lawrence, Kansas, between 1993 and 1996.

I don’t recall if I was ever served this dish by DrSchnell. I attempted to make the dessert myself sometime last year, but made two very critical errors – trying to substitute almonds for peanuts, and accidentally buying one instant and one non-instant pack of pudding – and ended up with a sticky, barely edible mess. This time I paid closer attention.

The Recipe:

2/3 cup Chopped Peanuts
1 cup Flour
1 stick Butter
Mix these and press into a 9” x 13” baking pan. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Cool.

8 ounces Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
Mix these together until smooth. Then mix in 1 cup Cool Whip. Spread mixture on cooled crust layer. Chill.

1 small package (3.9 ounce) Instant Chocolate Pudding
1 small package (3.9 ounce) Instant Vanilla Pudding
2 ¾ cup Milk
Beat two minutes. Spread mixture on top of Cream Cheese Layer, then cover with remaining Cool Whip from a 8 – 9 ounce package.

Sprinkle with another 1/3 cup Chopped Peanuts and 2 ounces Chocolate Shavings (which you can grate from a standard Hershey Bar.

Chill. Eat. Get Fat.

The Results:

Oh. My. God. This really is ridiculously more brute-force delicious than anything has any right to be. I found that it was best not to concentrate on anything else but the very small bites that you put into your mouth; this dish would be wasted on a social occasion. I recommend very small portions, as large portions would probably kill you.

Don’t trust me? Here’s frequent L&TM5K commenter Vida, who lives near Castle5000 and got a big chunk delivered to her door:

It's an explosion of texture. First there's the nutty topping, and then there's a chocolately, soft layer. Then there's a nice complimentary layer underneath (not sure what this is made of) and then there is the scrumptious cookie crumbly layer on the bottom. All these layers really explode in the mouth. And then there is that nutty aftertaste…. I think it's really tasty.
Later, she added:

Vida: By the way, thank you for not putting any nutrition facts with this recipe. I don't even want to know how much fat this has.

Michael5000: Well, you know, you need a CERTAIN amount of fat in your diet just to stay alive....

Vida: Yes, and one piece of this would cover me for 50% of my life, assuming I live a long time.

Incidentally, I missed the part about covering the Pudding Layer with Cool Whip. I doubt it makes much difference in the taste, but the chocolate shavings and the mixed nuts sprinkled on top probably look a little better against the white background.

Would it change things much if you went with two packets of Vanilla Pudding? Two packets of Chocolate Pudding? I dunno. Ask DrSchnell’s aunt. It is, however, vitally important that they both be INSTANT pudding. Trust me on this.


Yankee in England said...

while this definetly sound lovely cool whip kinda freaks me out. It falls into my catagory of truely unatural. I wonder if it would work as well with whipped cream? All a mute point as you can't get pudding instant or other wise in the UK.

Anonymous said...

This was really good. It tasted like the more carefree moments of childhood. Though we are a two-person household, and it is clearly a dangerous substance in large quantities, I will confess to a brief, sharp pang of disappointment when M5K announced that he was going to bring some over to Vida's.

Elaine said...

Isn't Cool Whip made from recycled plastic? Wouldn't a "mute point" go unheard? Did M5000 really throw out the first batch, or just eat it all by himself?
My offering--just as many calories, and no recycled plastic:
We only make this on Derby Day because more than once a year and we'd probably drop dead....

Triple Crown Pie

Make a plain pie crust of your choosing or use this mixture:
4 Tbsp butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 c. flour
Mix well and chill 1 hour before rolling for 9" pie pan. I prefer the plain crust, to offset the filling.

For the filling:

2 eggs–beat til frothy in food processor or blender
Add: 1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp bourbon or 1 tsp vanilla (bourbon way better)
1/8 tsp salt (essential)
1/3 cup flour
Blend again
Now put in:
1 cup broken nut meats (pecan or walnut)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick melted butter (still hot)
Blend until chocolate is coarsely chopped–do not overprocess.
Pour into pie shell and bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
Check after ½ hour, then at 5 min. intervals. The center will rise and pastry will be light tan.
Refrigerate leftover pie; slices can be rewarmed in very low oven. Good vanilla ice cream is ...quite tasty.

The Calico Cat said...

Wow, that sounds so much better than the "better that sex" cake that I had... (Mine had pineapple & coconut - playing on the pina colada theme I guess...)

Rebel said...

I might cry.

DrSchnell said...

You've got the story of the name right. It was part of our recipe exchange during the Shortridge's foodways seminar, whatever year that would have been. I still make this on occasion for non-calorie-counting company.

The Cool Whip is there mainly for aesthetic reasons, though it does add yet another texture to the, dare I say, textural orgy that is this dessert. What would be much better (both in terms of taste and general lack-of-ickiness) is to just use plain ol' whipped cream, made from real cream and not petroleum byproducts or whatever Cool Whip (Kool Wip? Kuhl Wypp?) I think they have some sort of cutesy spelling for it)is.

Jenners said...

Another hilarious cooking with Michael5000 post! These are quickly becoming my favorite thing on your blog. Your little mishaps are cute and endearing ... we cook in much the same way -- poor attention to detail, random ingredient substitution.

And this one is one I will try....Finally, something without lots of beans.

Elizabeth said...

I had a "better than sex" soup - at least that's how I instantly classified it - many years ago at some French restaurant on Camelback in Phoenix/Scottsdale. It was a creamy roasted corn soup, lush but not sticky in the mouth, with a nutty depth from the roasted kernels and soft hot bites of fire-roasted jalapenos, swirled with creme fraiche to cool down overheated systems.

Michael5000 said...

Cool Whip is made from water, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oil, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), vanilla extract, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60 (glycosperse), and beta carotene, all of which are widely used food or food-like substances. And you know what they say about high fructose corn syrup -- in moderation, it's AWESOME. Really, since the product is in fact largely made of trapped air, its presence in a recipe of this type is the least of our worries.

Michael5000 said...

@Reb: Aw, don't cry. Soon enough you will have regular access to near-toxic concentrations of fats and carbohydrates again.

@DrSchnell: Ah yes, the legendary foodways seminar that, along with an entire autumn, pharmacutical experimentation (alas, purely legal and non-recreational in nature) has completely and disturbingly wiped from my memory. This explains some of the more perplexing index cards in my recipe box, which will of course get their due treatment on a future friday.

@Jenners: To date, only two of our five recipes have involved beans, and one of those only garbanzo beans, which we could easily call "chickpeas" and eliminate their beany nature altogether.

I am alarmed at how many mistakes I have been making in preparing the recipe for these series, as I really am trying to be careful. Ah well.

@Elizabeth: I rejoice in your happiness. I have also heard fresh nectarines described as "better than sex." My own instinct is to reserve the appellation to the dairy desserts, but to each her own, no?

Elaine said...

What, no recycled plastic after all in the Cool Whip? Maybe it was just the taste that made me think that!

Just to prove I am not a dessert snob-- my pecan pie recipe starts with a cup of Karo syrup (and next comes cane sugar.) If you are gonna sin, sin big.

Hmm, recipe errors are so easy to make. Perhaps measuring out and lining up the ingredients first, then doing a pre-flight checklist? Lately my newest Senior Moment trick is not turning on the oven. This increases the cooking time quite a bit. sigh

Michael5000 said...

@Elaine: I agree that turning on the oven is important. Many years ago, I worked in a certain burger joint in a certain state with a certain manager who often, very often in fact, smoked a certain special kind of cigarette. On normal days, we would open the doors, the customers would flood in, and the first frozen patty of meat would be thrown upon the grill with a satisfying ~sizzle~. On days when the manager had smoked an unusual quantity of the special cigarettes, however, he would forget to turn on the grill. Then, the first frozen patty of meat would hit the grill with a frictionless clatter, and we would collectively wince with the knowledge that it would be 45 minutes before we could produce the first orders of "fast food."

Elaine said...

That is so funny that I can't even come up with a smart-ass comment. But I do want to state that I have no need of special cigarettes-- I can screw up with no artificial aids at all!

Anonymous said...

I will not be making that but I will be eating it should any come my way. I am dieting for the first time ever, but if that things is in front of me, I'm not. So yum.

Anonymous said...

Michael, this articulate Vida girl really added to your post. I have to say I am in favor of you frequently bringing desserts by to her so she can eat them and comment. Good job. Carry on.

--Joey (and Daisy)

Eversaved said...

I'm really sad I don't live within baked-good-exchanging range of the Palace 5000 right now.

Also I recommend not accidentally forgetting the flour in cookie recipes. I tried that once and it did not end favorably for me or my oven.