Spiced pudding squares for your holiday parties!
While I might dread putting a meal for my family of five on the table every night of the week, I simply love baking. Whether I'm doing it for a holiday party or simply for my husband and the kids, I love baking a delicious dessert that everyone will rave about, especially in the winter. I do get tired of my holiday staples, though, and this year I headed out to see what I could try that would add some pizazz to my holiday dessert table. Spiced pudding squares fit the bill-and exceeded my expectations.
Bang for your buck
The ingredients were all available for under $15, and the finished dessert filled a 13x9 baking pan. It served my family of five, plus a neighbor's family of five, with leftovers. You can't beat that! The actual cooking/mixing time was short. The dessert can be made up to two days in advance, so you can avoid last minute party prep.
You'll need a spice cake mix, one egg, and half a cup of butter in order to make the crust of this dessert. Because your batter is going to be thick, melt your butter almost completely in a microwaveable bowl before you begin to mix the three ingredients. You'll end up with a thick batter that you will spread into a well-greased 13x9 baking pan. You may want to use your hands to make spreading out the crust easier. Bake this in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
While your crust is baking, you'll mix together 1 package of JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding, 1 cup of milk, and 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, to taste. Slowly mix in 1 ½ cups of thawed COOL WHIP. Once this topping is well blended, refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
After the crust is baked, allow it to cool completely. Once it is cool and your topping has chilled for several hours, spread the topping onto the crust. Then, you'll need toffee bits to sprinkle over the top of the dessert. If you don't have toffee bits on hand (we didn't!) consider using a toffee candy bar that you hammer into small pieces. It'll work just as well (as long as you don't eat the candy bar while you're waiting for the crust and topping to chill).
This delicious dessert was a new take on some traditional holiday favorites. My family loved the taste of the pumpkin pie spice blended with the pudding and COOL WHIP to create the topping. The crust was the perfect consistency (not too hard, not too soft), and the toffee on top went well with the dessert. Overall, I'd call that a holiday dessert success!Content by Kelly Herdrich.