Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sugar Free Sunday--Butterscotch Yum-Yum

This has been one of the worst years for heat and drought across the Gulf Coast south that I can remember. (And trust me, my memory goes back a long time. Really long.) But the weather has finally moderated enough for me to do some cooking again. Not much, I admit, but a little. And at the same time, my son and I have decided to go back sugar-free, at least most of the time. We just feel better when we do. But because we just started, we're struggling to change our eating habits, and I'm struggling to remember to change my grocery-buying habits, as well.

I decided to go back through some to sugar-free (and otherwise) goodies that I've made in the past, and revisit them, seeing where I can make improvements to tastes and texture.

This recipe, while sugar-free (or can be made regular) is a purely convenience goodie--fairly quick to make, not homemade at all, except in the sense that it's "made at home"! But so, so, good when you're craving something sweet and creamy.

Layer 1: The original recipe calls for a basic "press in" crust:

  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, softened

  • 1/2 c flour

  • 1/3 c chopped nuts

  • 1 T sugar or Splenda (optional)
Toss together the flour and sugar or Splenda; cut in the butter, then add the chopped nuts. Press into the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until set and just slightly brown around the edges. Set aside to cool. Quick and easy option: If you happen to have a roll-up, refrigerated pie crust floating around in the back of your fridge, you can use it instead. Unroll, fit to your pan, and cut off the excess. Sprinkle a few chopped nuts on the crust and press into the dough. Add a sprinkle of sugar or Splenda if you want. Then bake just like the homemade press in crust. Works for me.

Layer 2: While the crust is cooling, mix together in a medium bowl

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1 c sugar or Splenda

  • 1 t vanilla

  • 1 c whipped topping (I used sugar free)
Mix everything together until well blended. Spread on cooled crust.

Layer 3: This is where you can get creative with the flavor

  • 1 small pkg instant pudding (I used sugar free butterscotch)

  • 1 1/2 c milk
Whisk together until blended and the mixture starts to thicken. Pour over the cream cheese layer and smooth the edges.

Layer 4: Add a layer of whipped topping (again, I used the sugar-free)

Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. I usually cut this into squares, but sometimes I don't let it set up long enough, so I just sort of scoop it out onto the plate. (see the top picture) Then I have to eat along the edge to straighten it out. Funny how that happens, huh?

This gets two thumbs up from the sugar-free-ers in my household, including me! As a matter of fact, this flavor has become our favorite, so I make a special trip to a particular grocery store to find the butterscotch sugar-free pudding mix. One of the draw-backs of living in a small town with small grocery stores--not much variety at some of them sometimes.

If you're not a sugar-free-er, just use regular pudding and whipped topping, and sugar instead of Splenda. It's a good basic recipe that can be adapted with any flavor of pudding, or even fruit topping.

Until next time, good cooking and good eating!

This post linked to:

My Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory
Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Recipe Swap at the Grocery Cart Challenge
Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home