Even as an adult I have a soft spot for the ever popular cup of dirt. I know their generally geared towards kids, but who doesn’t like chocolate pudding and cookies?
As I mentioned in my Robins Egg Cake with Filo Nests post, I love the spring, and I get really inspired by spring and Easter, and cups of dirt seemed like a great base for a cute Easter dessert. Wanting to up the cuteness quotient, I wanted to make carrots you could pull out of the dirt and eat, and because no one wants a real carrot in their pudding, I went with peanut butter carrots. The carrots are great on their own too, you can set out a plate of them with other Easter candy, or stick a few in a basket.
The base is my favorite chocolate pudding recipe. It’s thick and rich, but if you want something a little sweeter sub milk chocolate for the dark chocolate. For the cookies, I used extra chocolate cookie dough, but you can just as easily use nabisco famous wafers, or Oreos.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the milk, and half and half.
- Place yolks in a medium bowl.
- Heat the milk mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally until hot, but not boiling.
- Temper milk mixture in to yolks, and return to the pan.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbling.
- Remove from heat and mix in butter, vanilla and chocolate, until incorporated.
- Strain into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap to the surface, then refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
Peanut Butter Carrots
- 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1/4 cup butter, room temp
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, or as needed
- 1 package orange Wilton candy melts
- Green frill toothpicks or Easter basket grass (see notes below)
For the carrot tops I tried to different things. The first was using Green frill toothpicks that I cut the pick down to 1 1/2 inches. The other was using Easter basket grass. I gathered in to bundles of 12-14 pieces, then tied them off before cutting a 1 1/2 inch piece with the knot at one end.
- Combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a mixer.
- Cream on low until blended.
- Add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until blended. Beat in additional powdered sugar until mixture is thick and dough like, and will hold its shape.
- If you’re using the basket grass, form a cherry tomato sized ball of peanut butter mixture. Stick a bundle of grass in the middle, closing the mixture up around the knot, then roll in to a 2″ carrot shape.
- If your using the toothpicks, shape the mixture in the a carrot shape before inserting the toothpick through the length of the carrot so only the top frill shows.
- Place all the carrots on a parchment lined sheet pan, and freeze for at least 3 hours.
- Melt the entire bag of candy melts over a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth.
- Place melted candy melts in a glass ( a tall narrow container makes it easier to dip the carrots).
- Working quickly, dip each carrot until the coating just touches the “carrot greens”.
- Shake off any excess coating before placing back on the parchment. Repeat until all carrots are coated.
- Refridgerate until the coating is firm.
- chocolate pudding
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 12 oz chocolate cookies (homemade, nabisco famous wafers, or Oreos)
- peanut butter carrots
- mini chocolate eggs
- large piping bag
- Container of choice (see note below)
I made my mini pots in mini silicone cupcake cups that look like terra-cotta pots. You can use real mini pots, but you need to plug up the hole in the bottom. You can also make a large pot of carrots using a wide shallow pot, or a serving dish (I used a clear pirex bowl so you can see the layers).
- Whisk the cooled pudding until smooth.
- Whip the cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer until stiff, but not over whipped.
- Fold the whipped cream and pudding together until just combined. Place in piping bag, set aside.
- Crush the cookies, either in a food processor, or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. It’s ok if it’s a little chunky, it’s supposed to be dirt.
- Sprinkle enough cookie crumbs at the bottom of the container until just covered.
- Pipe the pudding mixture next, until just before halfway full.
- Sprinkle on more cookie crumbs.
- Pipe in more pudding until just below the top.
- Sprinkle with more cookies.
- Stick a carrot, greens up, in each mini pot. Or multiple if using a large pot.
- Decorate with mini eggs.