Sunday, May 15, 2011


I make Dirt for my husband's birthday. Every year. He loves it. I pretend not to love it. It's been his birthday cake since before we were married and every year since. It really is delicious. Who wouldn't love smashed-up Oreos layered with a cream cheese-pudding-Cool Whip mixture? If you don't, seek help immediately. Don't wait for your husband's birthday to make it. Your kids will love it. You'll pretend not to love it. But you will.

To start, you'll need two packages of Oreos. Process them in the food processor until they look like dirt. Hence the name.

And that's all we need for the chocolate layer. Now on to the creamy layer to hold the dirt crumbs together!

Put both packages of pudding in a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. And measure some milk. And try to measure your milk more precisely than I measured mine.

Whisk the milk and pudding together until no lumps remain. You'll have to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl because pudding likes to clump there.

Now add the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. Start the mixer out on medium-low speed, because the blocks of cream cheese and butter will make the pudding slosh around and make a mess on your counter. Listen to the voice of experience and learn from my mistakes.

As the ingredients incorporate, you can turn the mixer up higher and higher until it's on full-blast and all of the lumps disappear. Your pudding mixture now looks like this:

Okay, now it's time to fold in the Cool Whip. Fold it gently so that the Cool Whip doesn't break down and become liquid. One time, instead of folding the Cool Whip, I beat it vigorously. It did not go well. The mixture broke down and became liquid. So, again, learn from my mistakes and fold it gently as to not break down the artificial ingredients that make up Cool Whip. What is Cool Whip, anyway?

Your final mixture will be pale in color and look fluffy like this:

Okay! Now ready to assemble. If there are a couple of Cool Whip lumps, don't worry about it.

Get out your favorite monogrammed bowl that your wonderful brother and his wonderful wife gave you for Christmas and proceed to take a blurry picture of it:

And start layering! Put a layer of cookie crumbs, and then a layer of pudding, then a layer of crumbs...I guess you get the point. Just don't be too generous because you want to make several layers and you want to end up with enough cookie crumbs to end with cookies on top. I ended up with four layers of cookies and three layers of pudding mixture.

As it chills in the refrigerator, it set up and becomes a cake-like consistency. I think authentic Dirt has gummy worms sticking out of the top, but I just can't bring myself to contaminate this delicious dessert with worms - albeit gummy ones - so I leave them out. But if you love worms, decorate away.

2 one-pound packages of Oreos
1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
2 small packages vanilla instant pudding mix
12 oz Cool Whip

Either use a food processor to pulverize (my preference) or a Ziplock and a rolling pin to crush the cookies. I like them finely ground crumbs, but leave them chunky if you want.

In a mixer, blend the butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together until creamy. In a separate bowl, mix the milk with the pudding. Using a whisk, combine the cream cheese mixture and the pudding mixture. Fold in the Cool Whip with a spatula.

Beginning and ending with the crumbled Oreos, layer the two mixtures in a large glass bowl. Notice I said large bowl - this recipe feeds a lot of people. Or it can feed a few people for a lot of days. Either way. Make it a day before so it really comes together and becomes like a cake. It keeps well in the refrigerator.

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