I spend a lot of time on the What's Cooking message board on The Nest. And on this board I've met a lot of great women and made some great friends. Five of us are from central NJ so we decided to get together for a potluck lunch and spend some time together in person. Everyone made a dish and we gathered at my house to eat, drink and be merry. Colleen brought the pizza pockets appetizer (and a delicious loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread as a hostess gift for me - thanks, Colleen!), Jenn brought the entree of chicken marsala, Lauren brought a marsala orzo and Sarah delivered a broccoli casserole. Everything was so good! My contribution to the meal was hot apple toddies and dessert. I tossed around many dessert ideas before settling on this pumpkin gingerbread trifle that I found on Melissa's blog. I liked that it had seasonal flavors and could be made the night before. Plus it looked delicious!
I put this dessert together Friday night, and it attracted a lot of attention from the get-go from Joe and my brother-in-law John. They were fascinated seeing it come together, but then ultimately disappointed when I told them they couldn't dig in. (Well, and John was fascinated by my trifle bowl, because when he first walked in the house he thought it was a giant wine glass and got excited.) Not only is this trifle easy to put together, it makes a really pretty presentation. Oh - and it tastes awesome! I followed the directions fairly closely, except I used fat free pudding and fat free Cool Whip. I also omitted the brown sugar. I realized once I started making the dessert that I was out of brown sugar, but after tasting the pudding/pumpkin mixture I realized you would never miss it! It's definitely sweet enough without it.
I really, really liked this! The flavors are perfect together and I love the cool and creamy texture of the pudding and Cool Whip. I had a helping of this after lunch, then another (slightly larger) helping after dinner tonight. This dessert is a winner - and it makes a TON so it's perfect to bring to a party or potluck. Or a nice afternoon with friends - thanks, ladies! Let's do it again soon!
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix (I used instant)
1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I omitted)
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional (I used pecans)
Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.