Meet the Cook: Since we entertain my family - around 25 people - each December, and I do most of the cooking, I appreciate dishes like this I can prepare ahead of time. I'm a home economics teacher...my husband is a teacher, too...and now our daughter, who's in her last year of college, is doing her student teaching! -Judy Trott, Goldsboro, North Carolina
- 30 to 35 Fig Newton cookies (about 1 pound)
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 large bananas, sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Red and green maraschino cherries, well drained
- Cover the bottom of a 13-in. x 9-in. dish with cookies. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy; spread over cookies.
- Toss bananas with lemon juice; arrange over the cream cheese layer. In another bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for two minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.
- Fold in half of the whipped topping; spread over bananas. Spread remaining topping over pudding layer. Sprinkle with pecans. Decorate with cherries. Cover and chill overnight. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Holiday Fig Torte in Country Woman November/December 1995, p33
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