Next Best Thing to Robert Redford (1966?, 1982)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jul 29 13:40:11 UTC 2004

FWIW, Redi-Wip was redily available by the late 1950s, and IIRC Kool-Wip (sp?) was out ca1960.


Robert Redford's

Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
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Poster: Bapopik at AOL.COM
Subject: Next Best Thing to Robert Redford (1966?, 1982)

The LOS ANGELES TIMES digitization has been stuck on 1964 for weeks now. One
of the things that I'm waiting for (aside from the California roll, granola,
and trail mix) is "The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford." I'll provide some
other posts for it.

A recent book on American desserts insists that this is from the late 1960s,
but that sounds too early.

by Judith M. Fertig
Boston: Harvard Common Press

Pg. 402:
_The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford_

The year was 1966. (...) Robert Redford was about to become a Hollywood
heartthrob by starring in _Barefoot in the Park_ with Jane Fonda. General Foods
Corporation launched Cool Whip nondairy whipped topping.

Almost immediately, American cooks, freed from the not-so-arduous task of
whipping real cream, became almost giddy with this sense of dessert freedom--and
with the smooth, creamy taste of this nondairy whipped topping.

Desserts with improbable names like "The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford"
or "Can't Leave it Alone"--the two I have in my recipe collection--were hastily
written down on recipe cards.

1966 seems too early, based on the below...I've never eaten Robert Redford,
but I've eaten Paul Newman.

1 September 1982, POST STANDARD (Syracuse, NY), pg. D-7, col. 1:
The Los Angeles Times
(...)(Col. 2--ed.)
Some of these recipes have decidedly provocative names. Who, for instance,
could resist trying a dessert called The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford or a
cake entitled Better Than Sex?

Here are a few of the recipes that have found a home in my personal recipe
file during the last year:

1 cup flour
1 to 2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup finely-chopped pecans
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) carton of frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 (6 3/4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (6 3/4-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
Grated chocolate candy bar, optional

Prepare bottom crust by mixing together flour, butter and pecans until
crumblike. Press mixture into (Col. 3-ed.) greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool.

Beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Fold in half of whipped topping.
Spread mixture over cooled crust. COmbine vanilla and chocolate pudding mixes.

Beat in milk until smooth and thickened. Spread over cream cheese layer.
Spread remaining whipped topping over top. Sprinkle with grated chocolate candy
bar, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. Makes 16 servings.

The origin of this cake is in doubt. The recipe has been passed from food
editor to food editor all around the country.

However, it does seem likely that it had its beginnings somewhere along the
eastern seaboard where, according to Helen Moore, food editor of the Charlotte
(N.C.) Observer, "people like sweet and gooey desserts."

1 (18 1/2-ounce) package of yellow cake mix
1 (1-pound, 4-ounce) can of crushed pineapple
1 cup of sugar
1 (6-ounce) package of vanilla pudding mix
1 cup whipping cream, whipped and sweetened
COconut, lightly toasted

Prepare cake in 13-by-9-inch baking pan and bake according to package
directions. Combine crushed pineapple and sugar in saucepan and bring to boil.

Cool slightly. When baked cake has cooled, poke holes in it with fork. Pour
pineapple mixture over it. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions.

Spread prepared pudding over top. Chill. Just before serving, cover with
sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with coconut. If desired, garnish with
pineapple slices. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

24 August 1982, Syracuse (NY) HERALD-JOURNAL, pg. D-12, col. 5:
Several readers responded to Jane Eckley's request for Robert Redford pie.
Here is one version from Mrs. Mary Falcone, who says she uses a cake instead of
pie dish. Mrs. Falcone called the recipe "the next best thing to Robert

1 cup flour
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup chopped walnuts
Combine and press into bottom of 9x133 cake pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350
degrees. Cool.

8-ounce package cream cheese
1 cup non-dairy whipped topping
1 cup powdered sugar
Spread over cooled crust.

In a large bowl combine and stir until thick:
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 box instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk

Stir until thick. Pour over first 2 layers (crust and cream cheese mixture).
Cover with additional whipped toppin. If desired, grate small chocolate bar
over top for garnish. WIll keep covered up to 2 weeks in refrigerator or may be

WHAT DID BARRY POPIK HAVE FOR DINNER?--Afghan cuisine, at Pamir on Second
Avenue and East 75th Street.

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