Sunday Dessert – The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford

Since my 85 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Our dessert this week is an easy-to-make chilled concoction from 1984 named The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford.  I received this recipe in an exchange back when we did things by snail mail and it has been a favorite ever since.  As I said in my post in 2010, Robert Redford still looks good to me (I’m 4 years older than he is).

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.

Also served: A favorite beef entrée that cooks slowly in the oven and is served over rice – Really Good Ginger Beef. I always have steamed /sautéed broccoli and carrots with this meal.  From my post of 2007:

















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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

4 thoughts on “Sunday Dessert – The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford”

  1. Well, thank you for the laugh when I read the title. 🙂 This looks delicious, but I’ll have to keep it for when I go to SC this winter. Here at home, we can’t have nuts in the house because our grandson has allergies. In SC, we gorge on nuts. 🙂

  2. Two wonderful dishes. Thank you! The name of the recipe is funny, but I had to stop and think about how long I’ve been a fan!

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