This dessert came to mind as I was thinking ahead to the candy that was about to invade our house. It falls solidly into the category of, Why don’t I make this more often? But also into the column of, Because I would eat it all in one sitting and have to lie to my children about why it was all gone.
This is in no way healthy. And yet it is so wonderfully nostalgic of neighborhood pot luck gatherings you can’t help but sneak it in around the holidays. Obviously it would be a hit with the kiddos, but the grown-up paring of tart apple and sweet caramel will have the adults smiling as well. Ultimately, it is quick, easy, and so so so fun. What better way to morph all that Halloween candy into something more interesting than brownies with chopped M&M’s, Snickers, Butterfingers, Raisinets, MilkyWays, Tootsie Rolls, and Starbursts stirred in?! So grab those last few apples from the crisper drawer and ask your kids to start unwrapping the candy. If you tell them it will be smothered in pudding and whipped cream they may be more cooperative in donating them for the family dessert.
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
Recipe from the MN State Fair 4-H Cafeteria archives.
I have seen this made before without the diced apple, but I have no idea why you would want to omit it. It makes this salad and the tartness cuts through the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients. Granny Smith are perfect for this because the green color looks great in the dish, and they are firm enough to stand up to mixing and serving. This recipe is easy to make in ANY quantity (I have personally made it for several hundred people at a time) and I try to stick to basic equal ratios between pudding, whipped cream, and marshmallows. For example, if you use 2 c of pudding, then use 2 c of whipped cream and 2 cups of marshmallows. You can always add the candy and apples by eye. I am not a huge fan of using ready made whipped cream, but it doesn’t break down as easily in this recipe as the real stuff does so here, it is warranted.
1 large tart/sour apple, cored and diced, such as granny smith
1 box (3-4 oz) instant vanilla pudding (you could also use french vanilla or cheesecake flavors)
1 1/2 c cold milk
1-8oz container whipped topping
2 regular sized classic Snickers candy bars or 6 fun sized from your kids Halloween bag, chilled
2 c mini marshmallows
Vigorously whisk together the instant pudding and milk in a large bowl until well combined, smooth, and starting to thicken. Chill for half an hour. Pudding should be extra thick! Meanwhile, cut the cold candy bars lengthwise down the middle, and then across into small, bit sized pieces. You should get 8 pieces out of a fun sized Snickers bar. They cut much easier when they are cold and they don’t stick together when you mix them in! Add the container of cool whip to the pudding and fold gently together. It is ok to leave some streaks in there since you are going to mix it more anyway. Add the apples, marshmallows, and candy and gently fold until combined. Chill or serve immediately. This dessert salad lasst for several hours and even overnight. Just note that the marshmallows may get a bit soft after a day and the more it is handled, the more they will break apart. The flavor doesn’t suffer though!