Layered Chocolate Pudding Dessert with Salted Pecan Crust

This Layered Chocolate Pudding Dessert with Salted Pecan Crust is an improved rendition of a retro dessert I grew up with. From Brenda Score of A Farmgirl's Dabbles.
Layered Chocolate Pudding Dessert with Salted Pecan Crust

INGREDIENTS
  • FOR THE SALTED PECAN CRUST:
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 9 Tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter
  • FOR THE CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
  • 12 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 12 ounces, weight Cool Whip, Divided (1 1/2 Cups For Cream Cheese Layer, Remaining For Cool Whip Layer)
  • FOR THE CHOCOLATE PUDDING LAYER:
  • 2 boxes (3.9 Oz. Size) Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
  • 4 cups Cold Whole Milk
  • FOR THE COOL WHIP LAYER:
  • Remaining Cool Whip From Cream Cheese Layer
  • 2 ounces, weight Shaved Dark Chocolate From A Bar


INSTRUCTIONS
  • For the salted pecan crust:
  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and pecans. Cut in butter with a rigid pastry cutter or a fork until crumbly. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake for 18–20 minutes, or until crust is set and slightly browned. It should smell nice and toasty, buttery and nutty. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the cream cheese layer:
  • With a blender, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar until completely smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in 1-1/2 cups of Cool Whip from the 12-ounce container until combined. Spread mixture onto cooled crust. Refrigerate while preparing the next layer.
  • For the chocolate pudding layer:
  • In a medium bowl, whisk pudding with milk for 2 minutes. Pudding will become more and more thick as you whisk. Spread pudding evenly over cream cheese layer.
  • For the Cool Whip layer:
  • Evenly spread remaining Cool Whip from the 12-ounce container over chocolate pudding layer. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate. (I use a vegetable peeler, running it down the sides of a chocolate bar.) Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving.
  • This dessert can easily be made the day prior to serving. I actually prefer the overnight refrigeration, as it allows the dessert to chill thoroughly and firm up. Always serve this dessert chilled.