8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick)
Both the cream cheese and butter represent biotic (living things) and abiotic (non-living things) in our soil
1 large package of Oreo chocolate cookies, (about 3 dozen)
This represents the soil particles that are a combination of living and non-living things
1 cup sugar
This represents nutrients like fertilizer (phosphorous, calcium, zinc, potassium, nitrogen)
2 (3.4 ounce) boxes of vanilla instant pudding (plus milk)
This represents moisture; it fills the gaps between the soil particles
1 (8 ounce) carton whipped topping, like Cool Whip
This represents a mulched layer that keeps the dirt cool and moist, and keeps the soil in place.
1 clean, new 8” flower pot and artificial flowers, optional
This represents things that grow in the soil – native plants are always good, they are used to our temperatures and rain patterns.
1. Crush the cookies with a rolling pin or process them in a food processor. Set aside. This is the dirt part of the recipe.
2. Cream the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together and then beat until smooth. Set that aside, too.
3. Prepare the vanilla pudding according to package directions.
4. Fold the whipped topping into the pudding. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the pudding mixture.
To assemble your Earth Day Dirt Dessert:
1. Cover the bottom of the flower pot with plastic; the whipped topping lid, cut to fit is perfect.
2. Set aside about 1 ½ cups of crushed cookies for the final topping.
3. Sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining cookies on the bottom of the pot. Top with 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Repeat the layers of cookies and pudding mixture two more time. Sprinkle the 1 ½ cups of crushed cookies you set aside earlier over the top.
4. Chill for several hours, preferably overnight. Insert an artificial flower just before serving. Serve with a garden trowel, if desired.
Makes about 16 servings!
Happy Earth Day from Mrs. Whitaker’s 5th Grade Class at Gilchrist Elementary!