Once upon a time Gummy Worm Dirt Cups were the Gold Standard of dining out. At least as far as Kiddo was concerned. In his book, if a restaurant offered Dirt Cups for dessert, it must be a Five-Star establishment. One thing was true, any restaurant offering Dirt Cups was family-friendly indeed.
When Kiddo was a little guy, we loved making our own Gummy Worm Dirt Cups. I’d make the pudding, crush the “dirt” cookies and put everything out so he and his friends could create their own dirty worm adventures. I went so far as to make 30 of them for Earth Day so Kiddo could share with his entire class. Those were the days!
In honor of National Gummy Worm Day, let’s all be kids again!
Gummy Worm Dirt Cups
2 (3 oz) packages Instant Chocolate Pudding
3-3/4 cups cold Milk
6 clear Plastic Cups
6 Oreo Chocolate Cookies
6 Gummy Worms
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the pudding and milk together. When pudding reaches the soft-set stage, divide among the cups. Fill each cup about half way, leaving room for the “dirt” and the “worms”. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes for the pudding to fully set.
Crush cookies for the dirt. If not serving right away, place crushed cookies in an air-tight container. Finish dirt cups just before serving to keep the cookies from becoming soft.
Divide among the cups, spread out over the pudding. With a straw, poke a whole into the pudding. Tuck a gummy worm down into the whole, letting it drape up and over the side of the cup.
Serve with a spoon and enjoy.
Want more fun? Then try making your own Gummy Worms.
1 cup Water
1 cup Fruit Juice (see note)
4 packets Gelatin
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream, optional
2 tablespoons additional Fruit Juice
Food Coloring, as desired
Note: a thin fruit juice such as cran-apple, grape or cranberry works best.
Bring water to a boil. In a large mixing bowl, combine juice, gelatin and sugar. Add boiling water to the gelatin mixture. Stir until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved. The liquid will be smooth and thick.
Note: For opaque worms, add cream. For translucent works, omit the cream. If omitting cream, add a little more fruit juice.
1 or 2 Straight-sided tall Drinking Glasses or Mason Jars
50 large Straws
2 large Rubber Bands
Place straws together in the drinking glass. If necessary, use two glasses and hold straws together with rubber bands. Take care not to crush the straws.
Place two inches of ice-water with some crushed ice in a casserole dish to create an ice-bath. Place the drinking glass inside ice-bath. Carefully and evenly, pour half of the worm mixture into the straws. Fill straws abut 2 inches.
Add food coloring to the remaining gentian mixture. Set remaining mixture aside. Let the mixture in the straws solidify, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the mixture in the straws is solid, add remaining gelatin mixture. Pour as evenly as possible to fill the straws.
Remove the jar from the ice water bath, place in the refrigerator overnight.
Pull the straws from the jar. Straws may be difficult to remove due to the excess gummy material that has seeped or spills out from the straws. If necessary, use a knife to score around the outside edge of the straws to make removal easier. Using a knife, scrap the excess gummy material from the sides and ends of the straw.
With fingers or a rolling pin, squeeze the worms out of the straws, working from the empty end down. If necessary, run straws under warm water for a few seconds to loosen.
Note: To prevent worms from sticking together, spray lightly with cooking spray, toss and refrigerate.