Believe it or not, in some parts of the world insects are considered a delicacy. In some countries, crickets are considered crunchy and tasty, and in others cockroaches are seen as stew-worthy. The cravings for insects don’t stop at crickets and cockroaches — worms are also a delicacy in many parts of the world. In China and Mexico, for example, the natives have found quite a few creative ways to incorporate these protein packed wrigglers into their diets. In Mexico worm tacos are super popular and just about everyone is familiar with the old “worm at the bottom of the tequila glass” right? Over in China, worm bamboo shoots and worm jelly are just a few of the country’s top worm-based delicacies. What’s even more amazing is that some of these worm desserts and delicacies can be just as expensive as the ever-popular escargot.
Back in the U.S., however, a worm is just a worm. Most Americans prefer their worms neatly tucked away in the soil, only to come to the surface at night when most of us are fast asleep.
While America has no desire to fry, sauté or dip its night crawlers in chocolate, America loves to come up with tasty sweet treats and candies with fun names like “worms dirt dessert” or “dirt cake gummy worms.” These types of treats are made especially for kids and the candies are shaped like worms, of course!
One of the most popular candies for kids today is the gummy worm. Gummy worms are made from edible gelatin and loads of sugar. Gummy worms can be eaten alone or used as part of a recipe to make cupcakes, cookies, and cakes. A popular gummy worm dessert is the “worms dirt dessert.”
The worms dirt dessert is a novelty cake of sorts, made from ingredients kids love such as Oreo cookies, cool whip, chocolate pudding, and gummy worms. Used mostly for kid’s birthday parties or Halloween, the “worms dirt dessert” has many different versions, but the following recipe happens to be a favorite. Enjoy!
1 bag of gummy worms
1 1/4 lb. pkg. Oreo cookies
1 12 oz. tub Cool Whip (can use chocolate)
2 3 1/2 oz. pkg. instant vanilla or chocolate pudding
1/2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups milk
Flower pot (8 inch diameter)
Crush Oreos. Put 1/3 of the crushed Oreos into brand new flower pot. Set aside.
Mix sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Set aside.
Stir milk and pudding mix together. Fold Cool Whip into the pudding.
Fold pudding mixture and butter-cream cheese mixture together.
Layer the mixture (about 1/3) onto the crumbled cookies. Add another layer of the pudding mixture, then another layer of cookie crumbs. Continue until all ingredients have been used.
Place the gummy worms in the “soil” with their heads poking out. Embellish with decorative pieces like edible flowers or plastic daisies.
Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
For a low-sugar dirt cake with gummy worms, replace the powdered sugar with “powdered Splenda” made from scratch. The following recipe is perfect because dirt cake with gummy worms does not require baking.
Try the following Splenda recipe for powdered sugar:
1 cup granulated Splenda (buy a box of loose Splenda, not the sugar packets)
1 tsp cornstarch
Place the Splenda and the cornstarch in a mixer or food processor. Blend on high speed for one minute until the texture is similar to powdered sugar. The mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to one month. While Splenda can be used for baking, keep in mind that this particular Splenda mixture is not intended for baking. Click here for Splenda baking tips.