Cool Whip is a wonder ingredient in the homemade dessert world; its fluffy texture and light vanilla flavor pair perfectly with just about everything and help craft some of the most delicious layered desserts we’ve seen online. But how exactly did it get such a cult following? It all comes down to one recipe out of the 1970s.
You probably remember Watergate salad (or pistachio delight) from when you were a kid--if you’re from the Midwest. The cookout and potluck staple was invented in 1975, and used this whipped topping as a main ingredient and binder for pistachio pudding mix, chopped nuts, pineapple chunks, and mini marshmallows. Altogether it was seriously sweet, seriously unworthy of the name “salad,” and seriously unappetizing to look at--even if it tasted delicious.
Luckily, bloggers have picked up the classic church cookbook recipe, taken the basic flavors, and let their creative minds run wild with them. The results are some drool-worthy desserts that celebrate Cool Whip and pistachio with more substance, so you can really sink your spoon into something sweet. Our favorite of these reinventions has got to be the beyond-easy no-bake pistachio icebox cake from the blogger behind Spend with Pennies.
This blogger cuts the marshmallows and swaps them for crunchy layers of graham cracker crumbs that give your dessert some much-needed heft. Plus, the chilled pudding takes on the texture of ice cream if you let it sit in the freezer, or mousse if you let it thaw. Of course, it comes topped with a generous layer of the whipped topping and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.
It’s a versatile take on the classic that you can trot out all summer long, confident that you’ll wow all your cookout guests--and now you can surprise them with some Cool Whip trivia, too.
Get the full recipe and step-by-step directions from Spend with Pennies.
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