In 1984, I participated in a recipe exchange by mail and this is one of the recipes I received. There are a lot of versions of this dessert with a lot of names, but since Robert Redford still looks good to me, I’m keeping it. This is an easy dessert to assemble, should be made ahead of time and chilled, and is very rich and delicious.
THE NEXT BEST THING TO ROBERT REDFORD
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter, cut in small cubes
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8 oz. carton of Cool Whip whipped topping, divided
- Small package of instant vanilla pudding (four 1/2-cup svgs.)
- 1-1/2 cups milk, divided
- Small package of instant chocolate pudding (four 1/2-cup svgs.)
- Block of Hershey chocolate bar or Ghirardelli milk chocolate bar
- Pecans for garnishing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
To Make the Crust:
Mix the flour, butter and pecans well. Press mixture in a 9×9 baking pan. Bake @ 350 degrees F for 15 minutes until lightly brown. Cool
To Make Filling and Assemble:
Layer 1: Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Fold in 4 ounces (half of an 8-oz. carton) of whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust.
Layer 2: Mix vanilla pudding and 3/4 cup of milk until thickened. Spread over Layer 1.
Layer 3: Mix chocolate pudding and 3/4 cup of milk until thickened. Spread over Layer 2.
Layer 4: Spread remaining 4 oz. of whipped topping over Layer 3.
Grate the block of milk chocolate over the top of the dessert and garnish with whole toasted pecans.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
This dessert won a ribbon at the Hamilton County Fair (Cincinnati) in 1984 and has been a favorite dessert in our family ever since.
I’m so glad I took part in that chain mail recipe exchange.
“Redford”, as we call it, was our dessert today when my daughters and grandchildren returned from swimming at Boomerang Bay (Kings Island, Mason OH). We had another old favorite for lunch – Mom’s Tuna Melts.
4 thoughts on “The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford”
Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve been looking for this recipe for years! I used to make it all the time in high school, but then lost it and could never quite remember it. Google never helped either, but as soon as I saw Robert Redford in the title I knew this was it. Out of curiousity, what other names does it go by?
It seems like every community or church cookbook has a version, varying the flavor of pudding or adding fruit or nuts. Off the top of my head, I remember Better than Sex Dessert, Four Layer Cream Cheese Pudding Dessert, Cool Whip Delight, Blueberry Cream Cheese Dessert, Pistachio Cream Cheese Dessert – etc., etc., all variations on the Robert Redford (I don’t know if it was the original or not).
I’m glad I posted something that you were looking for – we’ve certainly enjoyed it for a long time. Lillian
I had never heard of this but it does look really good I will have to try it soon.
I am a native Ohioan who has been making this dessert since the 1970’s. Now my children make it and have managed to take my last copy. I am making it for a family gathering on Saturday. I am so glad I found your blog. This is the original recipe I always made. Thank you!