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Snickers Salad isn't really a salad at all. There are no vegetables in it, but there are apples. It being a dessert precludes it from being served during the salad course, namely before the entrée. This dish somewhat resembles potato salad, so its name may cause further confusion at potluck dinners and picnics.

Okay Gord, we know what it isn't. So what the hell is it? Essentially, it's chopped-up Snickers bars and Granny Smith apples suspended in sweet goo. Mmm.

This dish is a family tradition in my wife's family. I first ran into (away from) it the first time they shared Easter dinner with me. Not being a fan of potato salad (or most creamy salads and side dishes, for that matter), I was hesitant to sample the small dollop that was occupying space on my plate that I thought would have been better suited to ham. Or mashed potatoes. Or more ham. By the time I worked up the courage to try some, and thus realize that it did happy things to my mouth, I was too stuffed to consider eating more. And although I know it tastes wonderful, its appearance and the concept of drowning chocolate bars in pudding and Cool Whip befuddles me.

Alright Gord, how do I make this?

-- 12 oz. (375 mL) Cool Whip
-- 2 small packages of instant (powdered) vanilla pudding
-- 1 cup (250 mL) low fat milk
-- 4 Granny Smith apples
-- 6 regular sized Snickers bars (or one 1 lb. bag of Snickers miniatures)
  1. Combine Cool Whip, pudding mix and milk in a large mixing bowl. Mix until all lumps are gone.
  2. Chop Snickers bars into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes.
  3. Peel and core apples, chop into 3/4 inch pieces as well.
  4. Add Snickers and apple chunks into pudding mix. Stir until evenly distributed. (Additional milk may be added to smoothen the consistency.)
  5. Chill until ready to serve.
Several brave souls, the exact number depends on how many spoonfuls each of them decide to attempt.

As noted above, Snickers salad resembles potato salad. If you intend to bring this dish to a potluck supper or perhaps a large, disorganized family grub-up, then I would encourage you to label the bowl clearly. Something like "THIS IS A DESSERT" should suffice.

For those brave enough to try Snickers salad, a pleasant surprise awaits you. The pudding/milk/Cool Whip base is smooth, similar to the texture and taste of melted vanilla ice cream. The tartness of the apples contrast well with this, and the palette of textures (crisp apple, chewy chocolate bars and smooth pudding) is surprisingly complex for a dessert to come out of backwater Minnesota.

Several variants of this recipe can be found online, all seeming to originate from the Upper Midwest. No two agree on the quantities -- or even most the ingredients, save for the apples, Cool Whip and Snickers Bars. Some add pineapple, toffee, lemon juice or even sour cream into the mix. Experiment and do what's best for you.

Oh yeah! Check out the Snickers Salad's distant cousin, Lometa's Snickers Dessert.

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