Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Dessert

I have re-started my Workbasket series.
This is how I am trying to get back into blogging regularly.
Like I said in my most recent Motivational Monday post…this is not perfect: time and consistency will help me reach MY imperfectly perfect.
This is not it yet, but it’s a step in that process.

So, let’s jump into this!

Workbasket Magazine Home Arts Magazine from January 1978. January 2019’s blog inspiration.

Today I am sharing the first in a series of recipes I am from the January 1978 issue of The Workbasket Home Arts Magazine—another thing that was not perfect. Oh, I just really thought about that! This is the perfect magazine to be working through. I’ll talk more about it later, but this magazine was never perfect, and that was okay, because it provided  good information on a variety of topics and it was loved by many from early 1910s to the early 1990’s. An 80ish year run for something that was imperfectly perfect.

I kinda got the chills just thinking about it!

Anyway, the recipes I will be doing from this issue are all sweets—desserts (chocolate ones). All the savories are built around fish. And for the most part—unless it’s battered-deep-fried fish (or a decent piece of salmon) it doesn’t really fly in this house.
So, desserts it is!

This recipe has the most inventive name: Chocolate Dessert.
Don’t blame me, one of the four-person staff at the magazine gave the recipe its name 41 years ago—maybe creativity was in short supply that day.

This recipe was submitted by a reader: Mrs. Clara Johnson. I have never seen a ‘call for recipes’ ad in this magazine—and I have quite a issues. Nevertheless, many issues have submitted content and I think tha’s pretty cool. It just cements the fact that it had a loyal audience.

So, not only is the magazine a good choice but this recipe is too, especially if it’s still Christmas break and your have kiddos around who want to help: mixing, crumbling, pouring all great things for them to do. And of course, the best thing, no eggs. This means no mom guilt for letting little fingers (and tongues) lick the beater or spatula or both–don’t judge!

Mommy can I lick that? No uncooked eggs…Go for it!

This is a recipe where none of the ingredients are fancy, I used mostly store brand products because we are not fancy in this house.

First thing you need, graham cracker or vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (or crumbles).
This is the first bit of fun for kids. I used 1 sleeve of graham crackers, placed them in a measuring cup, then let my daughter use the end of a rolling pin—I have one of these, but mine came from the Dollar Store— to crumble them up…you could also put them in a sealed bag and beat them roll them with the rolling pin.

The perfect job for kids…crumbling cookies with the end of a french rolling pin.

You put three-fourths of the graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Now, in starting this recipe I thought that this is too big a pan (and not enough cookie crumbs) but ultimately this is a good size pan.
This does, however, lead me to my first modification—MORE cookie crumps. Try two sleeves of graham crackers next time.

Tap crumbs down a little with a something flat. I used a plastic Ball Jar lid but a measuring cup would also work.

Next, take an 8oz brick of softened cream cheese and mix it with 1/4 a cup of milk and 1 cup of whipped topping. After you have that mixed, add your powdered sugar.

Future modification #2: Leave out the powdered sugar, or reduce it to 1/4-1/2 a cup. This dessert is sweet—too sweet in my opinion.

Spread the mixture over the graham cracker crumbs.

Once the softened cream cheese, milk, whipped topping, and powdered sugar is mixed place over the graham cracker layer.

Next, pour the package of vanilla pudding into a bowl, add the package of chocolate pudding into the same bowl and mix in 3 cups of milk. Whip it together and pour on top of the cream cheese layer.

Doesn’t look like a mixture of chocolate and vanilla pudding, but it is. We’re almost done!

Final two steps: Spread any remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer—I forgot to do this. Then top your entire dessert with the remaining crumbs.

Last step, using the crumbs we held back to sprinkle on top.

Wholla, it’s done!
Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Lick beaters and spatula!

Final Thoughts: To me, this dessert is super sweet—almost sickeningly sweet. However, my husband and culinary  daughter have enjoyed it.
All that being said, I’d make it again but with my modifications and the layer of whipped topping I forgot about.

This dessert has been approved by a 6-year old. Maybe you should consider making it with a kiddo in your life.

Try it and let me know what you think.


Chocolate Dessert

Mrs. Clara Johnson
Taken from the January 1978 The Workbasket Home Arts Magazine
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup Graham Cracker or Vanilla Wafer crumbs
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Whipped Topping
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 pkg Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 1 pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 3 cups Milk


  • Put crumbs into a 9x13 pan. Save approximately 1/4 of the crumbs back for topping. 
    Mix cream cheese, 1/4 cup milk, whipped topping, and powdered sugar.
    Pour over crumbs.
    Beat pudding mixes and 3 cups milk.
    Pour over cream cheese layer.
    Spread any remaining whipped topping over pudding layer and top with remaining cookie crumbs.
    serve immediately or refrigerate until ready.
Keyword Chocolate, pudding, graham crackers, cream cheese

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