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SANDRA'S TROPICAL BANANA SPLIT DESSERT

Prepared this decadent dessert this morning,
and now enjoying it this evening...


Servings: (9-12)
Prep: 20 Mins.
Chill Crust (Freezer): 10 Mins.
Chill Dessert (Frig): 4 Hrs.

INGREDIENTS:

Crust
4-1/2 graham crackers, crushed (equals about 3/4's cup of crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pudding filling
1 (5.1 oz pkg) Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pudding filling toppings:
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 sliced bananas (plus 1 more banana for serving)
2 tablespoons prepared chocolate sauce in squeeze bottle (plus more for serving)

Whipped topping
1/2 cup cold, fresh whipped cream  + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, whipped
1 (8 oz. pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Just before serving - toppings
1 final sliced banana
1/4 cup chopped candied pecans
2 tablespoons chocolate sauce

METHOD:

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 8" square glass baking dish. Freeze 10 min.

Meanwhile, prepare whipped cream in stand mixer with sugar and vanillla. When done whipping, add softened  cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whip with mixer until blended and smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk for 2 minutes. Spread filling carefully over crust; top with pineapple and coconut flakes. Slice 2 bananas; arrange over pineapple, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce.

Top with whipped cream mixture using an offset spatula.

Refrigerate dessert, covered with plastic wrap, for 4 hours to set and allow flavors to meld.

Heading to the refrigerator to set for 4 hours...
Slice the final banana just before serving. Cut dessert into squares to serve. Arrange banana slices over each dessert serving, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce, and sprinkle with chopped candied pecans. ~ Enjoy!

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