Hello, L&L readers, Katie here to wish a very happy early Halloween to you! Tis’ the season for spooky treats, and there was no way I was going to let the opportunity to get a little creepy with our food pass us by this month.
When I was a kid, worms in dirt were the ultimate Halloween party dessert (what 8-year old doesn’t love chocolate pudding and Oreos?), and I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that not much has changed since then. It’s been quite a while since I could say a dessert made me flat out giddy but I must say, this one definitely did. The nostalgia alone was enough to get me going — and it doesn’t hurt that the assembly is an edible art project on its own — but what I truly love about these Grown-Up Worms in Dirt is that they’re practically oozing with Halloween spirit, while packing most of my favorite things into one fun little container. This version features an intensely rich bourbon-spiked dark chocolate pudding, layered with seasonal-favorite pumpkin spice pudding and topped the traditional embellishments: crushed Oreos, two types gummy worms and a few googly eyes for good measure. In a moment of ambition I chose to make my pudding from scratch, but you can certainly go the semi-homemade route and use instant pudding mix instead (see shortcut notes in the recipe), and don’t be afraid to tweak the flavors to fit your preference or theme — a blood-red velvet pudding would be scarily good here! Enjoy! XO, Katie
Grown-Up Worms in Dirt
The most adorable Halloween inspired dessert for adults and children alike.
Shortcut: Make instant vanilla pudding according to box instructions then stir in the spices and pumpkin puree.
FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon or liquor of your choice (optional)
Shortcut: Make instant chocolate pudding according to box instructions then stir in 2-4 oz. of melted semi-sweet chocolate.
20 Oreo cookies, crushed
FOR THE PUMPKIN SPICE PUDDING
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk just until small bubbles appear around the edge.
While the milk is heating, whisk the eggs with the granulated sugar, cornstarch, spices, pumpkin and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Gradually whisk about half of the warm milk into the pumpkin mixture, then transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, mixing constantly.
Continue to whisk, until very thick, smooth and shiny, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and let cool slightly. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl, then place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl; set aside.
Whisk together the egg yolks and cream in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over no heat, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn the heat on to medium and slowly whisk in the milk until smooth.
Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer and is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and slow whisk in about half of the warm mixture into the eggs and cream. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat.
Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 2 minutes.
Strain into the large bowl you prepared and let sit for two minutes to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla and liquor and stir until the melted chocolate is completely blended in. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
For easy assembly, spoon each of the puddings into 2 large Ziploc bags, and snip a triangle from the corner of each bag.
Pipe one layer of pudding into the bottom of your serving cup, cover with crushed Oreos and a couple of worms, then top with another layer of pudding. Repeat until your serving cup is full. Finish the top with extra worms and googly eyes, if desired.
Lark & Linen Interior Design and Lifestyle Blog https://jacquelynclark.com/