FOUR LAYER DELIGHT

Bob and I always look forward to my Florida sister Pam’s annual visit. Besides giving me precious time with my baby sis, it means we’ll be having one of my hubby’s favorite desserts: Chocolate Delight. So everybody wins!

When I pulled out the recipe recently, I was surprised to see I’ve been making this classic since 1986 (I actually wrote down the date!). Since then, I’ve fixed it so many times you can practically smell the chocolate on the recipe card. My version layers a crunchy, pecan shortbread crust with a creamy, cheesecake-like base, luscious chocolate pudding center, and simple Cool Whip-and-roasted pecan topping.

I adore serving this company-worthy dessert because, aside from being ever-so delicious, it’s pretty and really easy to prepare. Each of the layers needs only two to three ingredients and you can take advantage of shortcuts like ready-made whipped topping and instant pudding and pie filling. Also, although it’s still a splurge, Neufchatel cheese, 1 percent milk and Cool Whip Lite help lower the calorie count.

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Even this to-die-for dessert’s homemade crust is a breeze if you have a stand mixer to help with turning flour, crushed pecans and margarine into a scrumptious dough.

The crust is topped with three layers, each calling for two to three ingredients including pecans, Cool Whip Lite, milk, vanilla instant pudding and pie filling, chocolate instant pudding and pie filling, powdered sugar, and Neufchatel cheese.

You need to bake and cool the crust before assembling this sweet treat. Plus, it tastes even better after several hours in the fridge so I usually whip it up in the morning for dinner that night or, better yet, start a day ahead.

Please continue to Next Page (>) for the full list of ingredients and complete cooking instructions.