This is a great make-the-day-beforehand kind of dessert, sure to put a smile on the faces of those you love. We used Dry Roasted Georgia Pecans with Himalayan Salt, but if you dislike a salty crust, you could also go with Honey Glazed Cinnamon Pecans
FOR THE PECAN CRUST:
1 1/2 c. All-purpose Flour
1/2 c. Packed Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/3 c. Finely Chopped Dry Roasted Georgia Pecans with Himalayan or Honey Glazed Cinnamon Pecans
9 tbsp. Cold Unsalted Butter
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
12 oz. weight Cream Cheese, Softened
1 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
12 oz. weight Cool Whip, Divided (1 1/2 Cups For Cream Cheese Layer, Remaining For Cool Whip Layer)
FOR THE CHOCOLATE PUDDING LAYER:
2 boxes (3.9 Oz. Size) Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
4 c. Cold Whole Milk
FOR THE COOL WHIP LAYER:
Remaining Cool Whip From Cream Cheese Layer
2 oz. weight Shaved Dark Chocolate From A Bar
For the salted pecan crust:
Preheat oven to 325° F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and pecans. Cut in butter with a rigid pastry cutter or a fork until crumbly. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake for 18–20 minutes, or until crust is set and slightly browned. It should smell nice and toasty, buttery and nutty. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
For the cream cheese layer:
With a blender, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar until completely smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in 1-1/2 cups of Cool Whip from the 12-ounce container until combined. Spread mixture onto cooled crust. Refrigerate while preparing the next layer.
For the chocolate pudding layer:
In a medium bowl, whisk pudding with milk for 2 minutes. Pudding will become more and more thick as you whisk. Spread pudding evenly over cream cheese layer.
For the Cool Whip layer:
Evenly spread remaining Cool Whip from the 12-ounce container over chocolate pudding layer. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate. (I use a vegetable peeler, running it down the sides of a chocolate bar.) Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving.
This dessert can easily be made the day prior to serving. I actually prefer the overnight refrigeration, as it allows the dessert to chill thoroughly and firm up. Always serve this dessert chilled.