February 6, 2012

Chocolate Delight

My perfect day is getting to spend all day in the kitchen trying out a new recipe, perfecting an old one or just tinkering around. I tell you this because it makes what I’m about to say a little bizarre.

My all-time favorite dessert is one of those whip-it-up jobs that uses semi-prepared shortcut items like Cool Whip and instant pudding.

I’m so ashamed.

Anywho… it never occurred to me to post this recipe because it’s so popular in my family I assumed that everybody and their dog had it. Then I was making my grocery list one day and didn't have the recipe with me so I searched online expecting to find 40’leven recipes for it… and I couldn't find it. At least not the way we make it.

There are versions of this out there but they vary greatly and I had a hard time finding one with the same pecan shortbread crust. That and the fact that my posting a picture of it on the Facebook page resulted in you guys demanding the recipe told me I should post my family’s version of this recipe.

Chocolate delight (aka Better Than Sex Cake, Better Then Sin Cake, Chocolate Layered Dessert, 4-Layer Dessert, Robert Redford Pie and many other names, I'm sure) is a simple layered dessert that includes a pecan shortbread crust, a cheesecake-y cream cheese layer and a rich chocolate pudding layer that's all topped with whipped topping and pecans. And seriously, I think it's the pecans that make it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Chocolate Delight
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, divided (here's the nut grinder I use)
Pinch of salt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
16 ounces Cool Whip, divided
2 3.9-oz. boxes instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk

Combine flour, butter, 1 heaping cup of pecans and salt and press into the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in half of the Cool Whip and mix until combined. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly onto crust.

Mix pudding mixes and milk with an electric mixer until combined then mix on medium speed for two minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly onto cream cheese layer.

Spread remaining Cool Whip onto chocolate layer then sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans.

This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!




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76 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. We call this Texas Dessert in my family and we use layers of chocolate and vanilla pudding. Fun for parfaits too! - Renee

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    2. I made this the other night for my family and my grown daughter who was over visiting (she lives 5 houses from me) and they were a huge hit. EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE, even the picky grandson who is not a gravy fan LOVED these. a few nights later my daughter cooked them for her husband and he is now in love with this recipe. Good thing too, cause I think if my daughter had it her way, they would eat them 4+ nights a week. haha.

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  2. I want some of this now!!! Thanks for sharing on Weekend Potluck!

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  3. Popped over here from The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck. Surprisingly this recipe is new to me and looks awesome!

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    1. it is!!!! my ninnie use to make it and it WAS our family recipe so i was told anyway! lol but we also do a few things differntly. if ur interested, hit me up and we will compare! :)

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    2. This is still our family favorite. But we make it differently too. We add another-different pudding flavor between the cream cheese layer.

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  4. I was so excited to see this recipe! I was on The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck and the minute I saw youru picture, I knew it was my "Aunt Jan's Chocolate Stuff". That's what all us kids called it when we were young and sadly, she now has Alzheimer's and we cannot get the recipe. This is so delightful it truly IS a Chocolate Delight. Especially on a hot summer night! I cannot wait to introduce my husband and grandson to this lovely southern dish. Thank you!!

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    1. Awwww... you just made my day! It's such a shame when we lose family recipes... my grandmother (Nanny) made the best chicken and dumplin's but we lost the recipe when we lost her and I've never been brave enough to attempt it. Yet.

      I hope you enjoy the Chocolate Delight as much as your aunt's! Thanks so much for your comments.

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    2. Nanny's chicken and dumplin's!!!!
      Hope....

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  5. I can remember this dish from my childhood. I'ts called 4 Layer dessert and to Die for!!!!

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  6. I have made this for years! It is so good and my whole family loves this. Thanks for posting this, this reminds me to think about making this for our 4th of July cookout.

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  7. My mother used to make this every Christmas when we were kids. It was originally for those who did not care for pumpkin pie, but we all ended up having some of both. I have not had it since my mom was alive because I could never find a recipe due to not knowing its official name. My mom passed away 10 years ago, and this sure brought back some good memories. Thanks!!

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    1. Oh... you just made my day. Sometimes I question putting such simple recipes here (because really, this is "mixing" not "cooking") but then someone like you says something like this and I remember why I posted it. This recipe is all about family memories for me too. I'm glad you have the recipe again!

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  8. I never thought to make this with chocolate. I have always made peach or strawberry delight. I just made one about three weeks ago. OMG!!!

    Andreaetta

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    1. That's funny! I've seen it with peaches or strawberries but I've seen it with cherries and blueberries. I guess you could slap anything in the middle and it would taste great!

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    2. We call this "Louisiana Yummy". My dad's family is from Georgia and South Carolina. I lost my recipe when I got divorced and moved. Thank you for posting it. It was always a favorite anywhere I took it!!

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  9. One of my favorites! WHen I pregnant, I fixed this and ate the entire thing myself... shhh. Did I just post that? :-)

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    1. Don't worry my little cousin made this dish for me when I was pregnant and I ate the whole dish too!! :)

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  10. LOL! I know this recipe by the name of Sex in a Pan - 'cos it is so goooood! My mother - upon hearing her young granddaughter ask, "Can I have some sex in a pan, please?" decided right then and there that it had to be renamed. She renamed it "Heaven in a Pan"! Love this stuff!

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  11. Love this recipe. I've been making it for about 15yrs (it was passed down to me by hubby's g-ma)

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  12. My family's been making this for 20 years. We call it Million Dollar Dessert! :)

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  13. I have this recipe too....and we love it, we know it by the name of "BETTER THAN SEX " LOL....but
    you can't take it to church and tell people what it is :) so we named it just "CHOCOLATE TORTE"
    and we have called it that ever since...my sister makes it using blueberry pie filling and it is
    good also, but to me nothing beats the chocolate......just sayin............

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  14. My mom is allergic to chocolate... do you think I could make this with white chocolate pudding and it would be just as yummy?

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for not responding sooner! I missed your comment! You can use ANY instant pudding with this. I've made it with lemon and pistachio and both are amazing!

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  15. Yes I live in Arkansas and we call this "4 Layer Delight" somebody always brings this to a church funtion.or a variation of it ..like using another flavor pudding.

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  16. In all honesty, this recipe name should be changed. It 'should' read - "Chocolate Delight for One".

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  17. the reason you had so much trouble finding it online is beacuse there are soooo many names for it.....we've always called it 4-Layer Delight

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  18. Ohhh! I hadn't thought of this in a while! So good! We always called it 4 Layer Delight, too. If it's not quite decadent enough (eye-roll!) you can always try pouring a can of cherry pie filling over the cream cheese layer - before the chocolate layer. Mmmm!!! Well, I guess you could pour it over the chocolate layer - before the Cool Whip layer - whatever makes your tummy happiest! :) Thanks for reminding me of this!

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  19. Does the fact that I am licking my computer screen mean anything bad?

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    Replies
    1. Nope. Seems perfectly normal to me!! LOL!!

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  20. I've made this many times and it is always appreciated. Funny, the recipe I received 20 years ago was called "Robert Redford Pie". Dreamy :)

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  21. Wish I had a dollar for every pan of this I've made! It's always delicious, and everyone loves it! We call it Chocolate Lush, and I've also used butterscotch and pistachio pudding as well. However, I've never thought of putting fruit in it! Going to have to try that too. Thanks so much for sharing this - now I need to make it again!
    Deb

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  22. I grew-up eating this. I am making two of them right now: chocolate and lemon!

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  23. I'm so happy to find this recipe! Came across it on Pinterest, which lead me to your sight. Love your recipes. And, you are the first person outside of me and my sister I've heard (seen) say 40'leven! Big stories called for 40'leven million! Thanks for all the great stuff you post, specially this cool, creamy chocolate stuff that I love!

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    1. Sending you 40'leven million thanks!!!

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  24. What do you suggest for those with a nut allergy? I am allergic to tree nuts ie: pecans.

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    1. we make it with an oreo layer... crush oreo's and add the butter... and it makes an awesome crust.. and then crust oreo on the top to make it pretty!!! I actually like it better than with the nuts! :)

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  25. This recipe was passed to me by my husband's Tennessee Mamaw. Their family calls it Holy Smoke. When my husband was little he couldn't remember that and called it Old Hickory (not sure why). Now my 7 year old doesn't know what to call it but he loves it too!!!

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  26. why does everything that looks soooo good always have cream cheese or yogurt in them? - can't eat either so I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of yummy stuff.

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  27. Curious - seems that 1c graham cracker crumbs would be much better than 1 c. flour for the bottom layer.
    I'm gona try it.

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  28. leave them out. It wont' be as good, but that's really all you could do.

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  29. Followup - I tried using graham cracker crumbs rather than flour. I think it's much better.

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  30. I've been making this recipe for the past 35 years using pistachio pudding mix and walnuts instead of pecans. we call them pistachio Squares -they are so delicious--I never thought to try chocolate! can't wait.

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  31. Does anyone know if this can be made a day ahead? Or will it be soggy or look yucky by the next day? Maybe best just to make crust day before and put everything else together day of?

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    1. absolutely, just have to keep it in the fridge.

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    2. It won't be soggy and in fact I think it gets better. I always make mine the day ahead.

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  32. I make it a day ahead all the time and is never soggy. I also make it without the pecans due to the rise in nut allergies these days and it taste great without the nuts.

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  33. I've been making this recipe for over 35 years. Always a hit at family gatherings, especially with the KIDS, the only difference is, I use walnuts instead of pecans.
    Its a must for us chocolate lovers and pretty easy to make. TIP: heat the cream cheese just for like 30 seconds or so and it will spread over the nut crust a lot easier.
















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  34. I make this using a pretzel base instead of a pecan one. I am allergic to nuts so I adjusted some things. With the pretzels I crush a med size bag of pretzels (I like mini ones, place in a zip lock bag, push all air out. Then placed that one in another zip lock bag. Find a HEAVY can of whatever you have and beat the heck out of that bag. leave some large pieces and make sure you pour all salt and small piece in the mixture)crushed, 1/2 cup if melted butter and 1/4 sugar mixed up and then patted down. Bake at 350 for 7-10 mins. Remove and let cool. Make all other layers like the above says. Yhe salt makes the sweetness of everything else so much more tasty. Also it stays crispy on the bottom even after 5 days in the fridge. Instead od the nuts on top I use shaved chocolate. I call my version "crack puddin" because you have some and it makes you want more and more. LOL.

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  35. I hsve been making this for almost 40 yrs. and it is always a favorite. We call it Mississippi Mud Pie. An old friend who has since past away gave me this recipe with the name. I am always asked to make this by family and friends. Great recipe!

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  36. It sounds great but what about people who have dairy issues.. can the cream cheese be changed with something else? I use almond milk so that's no problem. Thanks!

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  37. I made 2 of these this past weekend--one chocolate and one butterscotch. Sometimes I use both chocolate and butterscotch in the one pan divided by a layer of whipped topping. I always heard it called "Sex in A Pan" but at church we just call it "Heavenly Dessert".

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  38. I made this yesterday--I used graham cracker crumbs with 3 tablespoons of flour and it was Awesome!!! I will definitely make it again.

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  39. I just found your website looking for this recipe and will share it with my two girls. I have been cooking for years (self taught) and learned so much from reading your tips. I left out the pinch of salt but never again. Thank you for sharing.

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  40. I have FINALLY found the right recipe for the crust! There is no doubt that the pinch of salt is the key to the crust, I even added a little sugar to make it more like a cookie. Lemon pudding is my families' favorite! Next time I am going to add a little almond flavoring to the crust. I wonder how that will be?

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  41. Thank you so much for this recipe. This was my dear sister's special "Chocolate Surprise" dessert from years ago. She passed away and just reading the recipe makes me so happy, thinking of her. You've made my day. I can't wait to make it and bring it to the next holiday gathering. I appreciate that you do include these simple recipes.

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  42. I have made this for many years, it started out as chocolate, then my family asked me to change it up a bit. So instead of using pecans, I use walnuts and instead of chocolate pudding I use Pistachio, it's always requested every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Give it a try I'm sure you'll enjoy it also.

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  43. I always have trouble with the crust. I don't think it's done so I cook it longer & it ends up being a bit overdone. Any tips on what it should look/feel like when it's baked? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. It's funny that you say that because I never think it looks done either. It should look like a shortbread cookie. It shouldn't brown. If you're worried that it's not done in 25 minutes, cook for 30 but I wouldn't cook it longer than that.

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    2. I always had trouble with spreading the cream cheese layer on the crust, the crust wanted to pull up. If I gently spread the cream cheese on the crust while still warm it is much easier. I use one box of French vanilla and one box of chocolate pudding. It makes a more rich chocolate layer. I also started grating a Hershey bar on top for garnish and am surprised at how much flavor it adds.

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  44. I have to ALWAYS make this dish for my family at Thanksgiving and Christmas! It's NOT the holidays without it! :)

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  45. Yum! Been eating this pie all my life. Guess it's not our "family's recipe" huh? haha. Only difference is we use a store bought graham cracker crust instead of baking one.

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  46. This is also good with lemon pudding.

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  47. I am making this for Thanksgiving and wondering if I can make tonight (the night before) and refrigerate? Or does it need to be made Thanksgiving morning? We are traveling about an hour tomorrow and I don't want it to be soggy when we get there!

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    1. Absolutely! Just store in the refrigerator overnight and try to keep cool while you're traveling. i usually make mine the day before too and it's never gotten soggy on me :)

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  48. Thank you! My grandmother used to make this and I didn't have her recipe so I am glad to have found yours. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  49. I enjoyed reading all the different names people call this. Had to chime in. My family calls it 'Better than Robert Redford's Face!' Funny when the little ones ask 'Who is Robert Redford?' LOL

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  50. lol we have always called this one mississippi mud pie... yummmmmmm!

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  51. My sister makes this every year at Thanksgiving. She showed up one year without it & after the fuss everyone put up, she never came without it again. Funny that we're a family of cooks but something so simple can be so amazing & be a favorite. I'd love to try it with pistachio pudding, YUM! I'm not a big fan of chocolate but love this. Oh, our family calls it "Holy Smoke", not sure why. I think that's what the person who have the recipe to my sister called it.

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  52. My Aunt Sharon, from Western NY, has been making this exact recipe for the past 35 years. We always called it Chocolate Slush.

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  53. Thank you, now I am going to make it myself too, it looks delicious, someone posted the picture on facebook,and I like your recipe is simple for me to do..I was buying chocolate cream pies at Marie Calenders s but just my luck in Jan 2014 I found a small screw in the pie and hurt my theeth...so I decided to learn to make some desserts like these at home..I hope my blender wont lose a screw too...haha..thanks again..!!

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  54. In my family, this is always made with butterscotch pudding. It is also a real favorite. In fact, we just had it for Easter dinner. Please try the butterscotch version. It is so good. We,too,are a family of cooks but good is good!

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  55. I have to share (and I should be ashamed, should but I am not), this is one of my favorite desserts and I honestly believe I could sit down and eat the whole thing. Truly, the whole thing. It is such a light dessert and it is very good. Never had this recipe until I moved to the South from California. Best move of my life. lol

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  56. This looks delicious, I will try it out. Thanks for the recipe.

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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