A friend asked me how I made my worm pudding dessert for Sophie's birthday. I was going to send her the recipes and modifications, but then two others asked me about it... I thought I'd just put it here for all to see...
Now, maybe the next random family would go to the store, buy a package of instant pudding, a tub of Cool Whip, a box of Oreos, and a bag of gummy worms, but when you are a family with food sensitivities, that isn't an option. The easiest dessert becomes quite a production. Here's how I did it... BTW, this is all free of refined sugars.
First, I made the chocolate cookies. I found this yummy looking recipe for brownie roll-out cookies. The only problem, it uses sugar, and I am not fond of the texture or taste of chocolate cookies with honey. (Been there, done that.) I decided to try maple sugar this time. Maple sugar is just maple syrup heated to 235' with a candy thermometer, then stir until it crumbles. I learned this the hard way making Maple Candy with the kids. You can follow those directions, just in step 3, do not add the nuts and keep stirring until you have sugar. Alternatively, you can buy a package of maple sugar at Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods), but go figure, it's pricey! I subbed in equal amounts of maple sugar for table sugar in the cookie recipe. You can make this recipe ahead of time. When it says, "wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour," instead, roll it into a log, wrap in plastic, throw in a freezer bag, and freeze until the day before you bake it. Then, thaw in the fridge, and cut your cookies off the roll. They aren't the prettiest things that way, but they are getting crumbled anyway!
Next is the worms. I originally found this recipe for Halloween Worms. They look great, except, again, pre-packaged jello doesn't work for us. My ingredient list looks more like this:
5 (1/4 ouce) envelopes of unflavored gelatin
3 cups frozen raspberry-apple 100% juice concentrate, heated to boiling
100 flexible straws
1 container (use an empty OJ or milk carton)
3/4 cup whipping cream
Follow the directions in the recipe. Be sure to get a friend to help you push the worms out of the straws. You fingers will be sore!
Now, comes the actual pudding. I've never before made this much pudding in my entire life combined. I used this recipe for Chocolate Fudge Pudding. Except, I multiplied the recipe times six to use 12 cups of milk. I also used whole milk and 1/2 honey-1/2 maple syrup to sweeten it. And you really have to cook for a long time to get a nice thick consistency. A lot longer than when it first "begins to thicken" like the recipe says. As long as you constantly stir, you are not going to burn it. Really!
Last, for the chocolate whipped cream, I figured out this little recipe:
1 cup cream
approx 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp coco powder
Beat all together until stiff peaks form. Makes about 2 cups.
Now, you simply layer the the dessert in pretty dish: crumbled cookies, pudding, whipped cream, pudding, whipped cream, pudding, crumbled cookies with worms sprinkled about. I made a big dessert for the candles and the adults to eat and gave each child their own pre-assembled cup, so they would each get a few worms! Enjoy!