I used some light ingredients in place of full fat ones throughout the dish hoping the end product would fall into the "not overwhelming" section of desserts, but with Oreos and peanut butter cups, it could only
help so much. So...if you want to lighten it up further, here are a couple of recommendations. First, use Lite Cool Whip. When I looked at the nutrition label in the store I thought the difference was minimal (20 versus 25 calories in 2 tablespoons), and since I was making this dish for the first time and for company, I chose the regular version. What I failed to mentally do was multiply by the entire container! If you are eating a couple of tablespoons of cool whip, indulge in the regular version, but the whole tub... well changing to the Lite version would have saved upward of 500 calories which would reduce each serving by 45-60 calories. Second, the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Due to the inherent sweetness of this dish already, that could probably be reduced a bit. Having provided those suggestions, that is not how I made the recipe, so I cannot vouch for any texture differences that making those alterations might cause!
With all of the calorie talk out of the way, let me share a couple reasons why I this dessert is over the top good. First, it reminds me of my favorite pie which I only get on my birthday and has been my birthday treat for at least 15 years now. So, I get a little taste of an all time favorite in a different package. Second, it is a perfect dish to take to gatherings. Made in a 9x9, it travels easily and could be doubled easily for a crowd This recipe fills a 9x9 to the brim, so you would need a pan larger than a 9x13, probably closer to an 11x7x2". Even better, if you have a trifle dish, it would make for a beautiful presentation on a dessert table. Third, this dessert can be eaten frozen (though I have not personally tried it). If it is the middle of the summer and you want something chilled to really give relief from the summer heat, put it in the freezer until firm for more if an ice team-like treat. Lastly, and maybe this is just common sense, but chocolate, peanut butter, all combined and creamy smooth in your mouth - it's delicious enough to let you forget all of your troubles for at least a few minutes while you are consuming it. My hubby isn't a dessert guy and he had seconds tonight...just saying...
Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine (Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert)
20 oreo cookies, divided*
2 tablespoons light butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup reduced fat peanut butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 carton (16 ounces) Cool Whip, divided
15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup cold skim milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
- Crush 16 oreo cookies until coarse. Add the melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9x9 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping and spread over the oreo crust layer. Sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups but reserving some to sprinkle on the top.
- In another bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix, and remaining ½ cup powdered sugar on low for about 2 minutes. Let stand for two minutes. Fold in the remaining whipped topping. Spread on top of the peanut butter cups. Sprinkle the top with remaining crushed oreos and peanut butter cups. Cover and chill for 3 hours before serving.
*I used double-stuffed Oreos because that is what my family prefers, and I knew we would have leftover cookies from the package. Regular stuffed Oreos or Peanut Butter Stuffed Oreos would also work just as well.
Whipped Silk Candy Bar (printable recipe)