"Dirt cups" were de rigueur at late 80's backyard birthday parties, and my elementary school buds and I couldn't get enough of that combination of Jell-o pudding layered, parfait style, with Oreo crumbs. Of course, those cups were never complete without the requisite garnish of gummy worms poking their little heads through the "mud" and "dirt" to the surface.
Being a childless woman in my 30's, it's been years since I've encountered this old favorite, but that doesn't mean I don't pine for a dirt cup from time to time. Just because it's a staple at birthday parties for those under 12 doesn't mean that we grown-ups can't enjoy the amazing combination of crisp chocolate crumbs and creamy chocolate pudding, too. This week, I've upped the ante with rich, homemade chocolate pudding, real whipped cream, and darker chocolate wafer cookies (sans worms.) The result is a pie that will take you back to childhood but still cater to your grown-up palate.
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About the author: Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute. You can follow her on Twitter at @evillagekitchen.