Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding

The reason I made Homemade Vanilla Pudding the other day was because I wanted to use it on this banana pudding recipe I found from the Food Network from Paula Deen that I've bookmarked for a long time. I've never really had banana pudding until about a few months ago when I decided to pick some up at one of the cupcake shops at the mall. One taste of the banana pudding and I was hooked. I had one of my co workers have a taste of it and he asked me if I was sure I wasn't from the South, because I always had Southern desserts for him to try out. I'm not from the South but I am a huge fan of Southern food (do Red Velvet Cupcakes come to mind?). So whenever I see banana pudding on a menu at a restaurant, I always wanted to give it a try. Honestly, I always thought that banana pudding was just a pudding with banana flavoring. Boy was I wrong!

This recipe was pretty easy, if you take the labor out of making vanilla pudding from scratch. You could definitely use a boxed mix as the original recipe calls for. But you know me and making it from scratch. And I definitely think making it from scratch makes a big difference. The original recipe makes a huge 9x13 dessert, but you can easily cut the recipe in half if you don't want to make too much of it. You can also use any type of shortbread cookie, like Lorna Doone, because the Chessmen cookies can be pretty expensive. The end result is this creamy and comforting dessert. The dessert is even better the next day because it gives the cookies a chance to soften from the vanilla pudding. I can't stop eating it!

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies (or any shortbread cookies)
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups prepared vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) container frozen whipped topping

1) Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with a layer of cookies. Top the cookies with sliced bananas. Set aside.

2) In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and condensed milk and mix until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Stir in prepared vanilla pudding until well incorporated.

3) Pour mixture over cookies and bananas. Arrange the remaining cookies on top of the creamed mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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