Jamie says: I heard about the Sun Sentinel Blue Ribbon Thanksgiving Dessert Bake-Off Contest and knew I wanted to enter something. (I admit I enjoy competition.) So I brainstormed and came up with a recipe that encompassed many wonderful things- pumpkin pie, pudding, fresh whipped cream, dark chocolate, graham cracker crust, maple syrup, nuts, individual servings, and a cute look. And that’s when my Pumpkin Pudding Graham Cracker Cups were born. Although I didn’t win (I read in the paper they had close to 400 entries this year), it was fun coming up with the recipe and sharing it with friends. And now I get to share it with you!
I do have to say, it was quite delicious. My taste-testers didn’t seem to mind their job at all. The Pumpkin Pudding Graham Cracker Cups have a crunchy, lightly “buttery” graham crust with creamy pumpkin fall flavor and fresh whipped cream and shavings of dark chocolate. Drooling yet?
Pumpkin Pudding Graham Cracker Cups
- 1 ½ cups pecan halves
- 12 whole sheets honey graham crackers (Publix- has no partially hydrogenated oils)
- ¾ cup whipped buttery spread, slightly melted (Smart Balance)
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ½ cups fat free milk with omega 3s (Smart Balance)
- 1 (15 oz) can 100% pure pumpkin
- 1 (3.4 oz) box pumpkin spice instant pudding and pie filling (Jello)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1.5 oz dark chocolate (Dove Promises)
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Place a metal bowl and wire whisk in the freezer to chill.
- Toast pecan halves on a baking sheet for 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly. Place pecans in a reclosable bag and crush, using hands, into small pieces. Place graham crackers in another reclosable bag and crush into crumbs. Add pecan pieces, graham cracker crumbs, margarine, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice to a food processor. Pulse until finely blended. Lightly grease muffin pans. Press mixture into bottom and sides of cups. Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely in pan to harden.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and pumpkin puree. Add pumpkin pudding mix, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Whisk until blended. Chill in refrigerator.
- In the chilled metal bowl, rapidly whisk whipping cream and sugar for about 4 minutes or until peaks form. Chill in refrigerator.
- Shave dark chocolate into small pieces with a knife.
- Fill graham cracker cups with pumpkin pudding. Top with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
- Nutrition note: Stock up on a few extra cans of 100% pure pumpkin this season. It’s a great source of vitamin A and fiber and it’s difficult to find during other times of the year.