Summer is right around the corner and as the mercury slowly creeps up on thermometers across the northern hemisphere, the idea of preheating the oven to bake several batches of cookies or a cake for your next party is nearly as oppressive living in District 12 of Panem (yes that was a pop culture reference to Hunger Games, don’t be ashamed that you got it.). The best way to avoid turning on the oven unnecessarily is to make an icebox dessert – a dessert that, instead of being baked at all, only needs to sit in your fridge for several hours before serving.
My favorite of these refrigerator desserts is recipe that made a frequent appearance during my childhood. Rich, creamy, and cool, with a delightful crunch, Butterfinger dessert was included in every family get together for as long as I can remember. This recipe is for a 13×9-inch pan, so it is the perfect size for your next summer party. It can easily be halved, as I did in these photos, and made in an 8×8-inch pan (although I did go ahead and use all 8 mini-candybars, instead of just 4).
2 sleeves graham crackers, crushed (about 2 cups)
30 Saltine crackers, crushed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup butter (melted), plus extra for greasing pan
2 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
8 snack size Butterfingers, chopped
1) Grease a 13×9 inch pan.
2) Combine butter and both types of crushed crackers and press 3/4 of the mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Place in refrigerator until you need it again.
3) In a large bowl mix cold milk and pudding together until thickened. Fold in softened ice cream.
4) Spread ice cream-pudding mixture over the prepared crust. Spread thawed whipped cream over the pudding-ice cream mixture.
5) Chop up butterfinger candy bar and mix with the remaining cracker mix. Sprinkle over whipped cream.
6) Chill in refrigerator for overnight. It can also be stored for up to a month in the freezer if it is well wrapped and protected from freezer burn.