Butterfinger lush

Everyone in my immediate family has a July birthday, starting with my own, which was last weekend.

In fact, on my mom’s side of the family, all the kids were born in either March or July, leading my grandpa to sometimes comment with a chuckle, “You can tell what happened when planting and harvest were done.”

We Erickson post-harvest babies all celebrate our birthdays within the span of 19 days in July. 

But this year is unique: Despite some of the birthdays being only a couple days apart, there is a separate issue of the Banner preceding each birthday – meaning I get to choose a birthday recipe to celebrate each member of my family without any overlap. (Yes, I’m easily entertained.)

First up is my dad, Lee, who celebrates his 65th birthday July 16.

If there’s anyone in the world who understands my obsession with food, it’s my dad. 

We may look like we’re paying attention, but at any time of day – regardless of what we’re doing – a big part of both our brains is entirely devoted to thinking about when we’ll be eating next, what we’ll be eating and how to go about procuring it.

For most others in our family, food is sustenance. But to both Dad and me, food is the product of love and a source of happiness.

Dad’s a meat-and-potatoes guy whose eyes light up at the word “gravy,” but he’s also got a sweet tooth. He doesn’t go for desserts in huge quantities; he just needs a few bites of something indulgent to cap off a good meal.

This dessert is perfect for a birthday in the heat of mid-July. Not only is it cool and refreshing, but it’s a no-bake recipe that won’t heat up the kitchen. It’s an incredibly rich dessert featuring layers of cookie crumb crust, peanut buttery cream cheese, chocolate pudding and whipped cream – all infused with bits of one of Dad’s favorite candy bars, Butterfingers.

Happy birthday, Dad!

For the recipe, please subscribe to the Banner's online or print edition.