Dirt Dessert

Perhaps “Down-and-Dirty Dessert” would be a better name, because you’re going to want to put a spoon in each hand!

Perhaps “Down-and-Dirty Dessert” would be a better name for Kristi Linton’s scrumptious Dirt Dessert, because you’re going to want to put a spoon in each hand and go to town! The tasty concoction is definitely good. But all the creamy deliciousness in each bite means lots of fat and calories, and that’s a problem for this Bay City, Michigan reader.

Kristi explains, “I’ve lost 50 pounds, and I’m now watching everything I eat. My mom used to make this recipe, and I remember just loving it. But I don’t want to even think about the calories and fat! Could you please make it over?”

You bet, Kristi! Our pros in the Test Kitchen got right to it, and making it lighter turned out to be a fairly straightforward task.

Nearly every ingredient in the delectable dessert had a low-fat or fat-free equivalent, so the team started by using fat-free milk and reduced-fat cookies and whipped topping. They also replaced some of the cream cheese with the fat-free version. But to maintain the original’s richness, they opted to keep just enough of the full-fat cream cheese in the original ingredient list.

Next, they completely eliminated the margarine, which decreased the overall fat a great deal. And the confectioners’ sugar was lowered by a fourth, which reduced calories without cutting much of the original’s sweetness.

The teammates also opted to use sugar-free pudding mix. As a result, the calories were trimmed down even further.

By focusing on smart ingredient choices, the makeover team was really able to put a dent in the amount of fat, calories and cholesterol found in the original dessert. Calories were cut by over a third, while fat and cholesterol were each slashed by over 60 percent.

Kristi can now serve Makeover Dirt Dessert to her family and friends guilt-free! It’s not only lighter; it makes an amazing after-dinner treat. So break out the spoons and make sure you get a bite, because this is one dessert that definitely won’t be around for long!

A great way to reduce the amount of fat but keep the flavor and texture of a dish is to replace some or most of the full-fat products, not all. A little can go a long way!

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