Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers

This recipe is adapted from an Alton Brown’s Refrigerated Banana Pudding recipe. This version reduces unnecessary fat and sugar. This photo shows the pudding before it is fully assembled.

The amount of sugar added, in my opinion, is the least possible amount that should be added – it’s just sweet enough – very possibly not sweet enough for some. Taste the pudding while it’s still hot. If you’d like to add additional sugar, stir it in until fully dissolved.

Ingredients

Pudding
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk (2%)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional but adds a touch of richness and gloss)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Approximately 45 vanilla wafers (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (2 large or 3 small bananas)
Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1- 2 tablespoons powdered or fine grained sugar

Directions

  1. Using a whisk, combine milk, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat on stovetop.
  2. Allow milk to scald (heat to the point when tiny bubbles form around edges of pan). Whisk occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Temper the eggs by adding about 4 tablespoons of the hot milk into eggs. Whisk it all together and then add the eggs into the hot pan, stirring constantly.
  4. Return the pan to heat and whisk gently until custard thickens, another 2-3 minutes. Do not boil.
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  6. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl for cooling.
  7. Spray a round piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until the pudding is completely cold, approximately 2-3 hours.
  8. When the pudding is cool, remove the parchment and whisk or beat with a blender to cream it up. Sometimes I add a bit of milk if it seems too thick.
  9. Spread a small amount of the pudding in the bottom of a 1 1/2-quart glass mixing bowl. Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining pudding on top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding.
  10. Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar beat with whisk attachment just until soft peaks form.
  11. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely.

Want to try–Alternate recipe by Trisha Yearwood. I watched this episode on Food Network. It looked really good, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  • 4 large eggs (3 yolks plus 1 whole) (I would skip the 4th yolk)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch salt 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 30 to 40 vanilla wafers 
  • 3 to 4 medium ripe bananas 
  • Separate the yolks from the whites of 3 of the eggs; set aside the whites. Add the remaining whole egg to the yolks.
  • In a {cold} saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the whole egg and 3 yolks, and then stir in the milk. {Now turn on heat} Cook uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Spread a thin layer of the pudding in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Thinly slice the bananas crosswise, about 1/8 inch thick, and arrange a layer of banana slices over the wafers. Spread one-third of the remaining pudding over the bananas and continue layering wafers, bananas and pudding, ending with pudding.
  • Top with whipped cream

Another one I’d like to try: Southern Banana Pudding from Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I would use no more than 3/4 cup)
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs separated (you’ll need whites later for meringue)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box vanilla wafers approximately 45 wafers
  • 5-6 bananas
  • 3 egg whites reserved from above
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large, heavy saucepan.
  • Lightly beat egg yolks and combine with milk in a large bowl or measuring cup. Pour the egg and milk mixture into dry ingredients in heavy saucepan. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until ingredients are thickened and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • To layer your banana pudding, begin by placing vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2 quart oven-safe glass bowl or baking dish.
  • Slice bananas and place on top of wafers.
  • Pour one-third of custard over wafers and bananas.
  • Repeat layering process two more times until all wafers, bananas, and custard have been used, ending with a final layer of wafers. 

For the Meringue:

  • Whip egg whites with an electric mixer set at high speed.
  • Allow egg whites to foam, add cream of tartar and then gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  • Continue whipping until sugar is well-dissolved.
  • Add vanilla once stiff peaks have formed and whip until well-combined.
  • Spread meringue over banana pudding, making sure to spread to the edges of the dish.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

Lebanese Orange Blossom Pudding (Mahalabia)

Adapted from Daliahskitchen.com

Delicious Lebanese Orange blossom pudding (Mahalabia) topped with simple syrup and ground pistachios. This is a popular Middle Eastern dessert. It’s low in fat and sugar (the way I make it) and totally addictive. 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of milk (I use 1%)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon rose water 
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup crushed pistachios
  • Simple Syrup or Attar

Directions

  1. Whisk the cornstarch with a little water, then add it to the milk and bring everything to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Add the sugar, salt and rose water then simmer for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  3. Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  4. To serve, sprinkle with crushed, raw pistachios, a drizzle of simple syrup (or Attar) and a light sprinkling of sea salt.

Chocolate Cake

I’ve tried dozens of recipes for chocolate cake and this is the best one I’ve ever tried. Adapted from Add a Pinch.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon and leveled)
  • 2 cups sugar (I use 1 3/4 cup)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (I skip this)
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Preferably using a bundt pan, prepare by spraying with baking spray or butter and lightly flour. You can also use two 9-inch cake pans prepared the same way.
  2. In a stand mixer or bowl mix sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Use your paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan or distribute evenly between the two cake pans.
  5. Bake for about 35-40 minutes in the bundt pan or 30-35 minutes in the 9-inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If making cupcakes, bake for approximately 17 minutes,
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  7. If using frosting, allow cake to cool completely. If using glaze, apply while warm.

Note to self: Baked cupcakes on middle rack in small oven. 15 minutes in small muffin tin. 

My Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Milk

In medium bowl, beat butter and vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until spreadable consistency is achieved.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the unsweetened chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and place it over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and butter have melted. Sift the powdered sugar and add it to the chocolate mixture along with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. While stirring constantly, continue adding boiling water in very small amounts until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle over the cake. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, if desired.

For Portal Cake:

After frosting the cake, carefully place crushed Oreo cookies evenly around the entire surface. Then top with Maraschino cherries placed inside a dollop of whipped cream.



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies or Bars

Makes about 4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350-F.
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
  5. Stir in the oats and raisins; mix well.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

For bars: Bake 30-35 minutes in ungreased 13 x 9 inch metal baking pan.

\


Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350-F. Grease a 13×9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Add sugars to a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixture.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan, stirring constantly until golden.
  4. Add the butter to the bowl with the sugar and stir. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla and stir well. Stir in the oats and salt.
  6. Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and add flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix until just combined.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
  8. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Creamy Brown Rice Pudding

Creamy, delicious and nutritious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  1. Add rice, water, and milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil. While you are waiting for it to come up to temperature, add in the cinnamon and coconut palm sugar.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed. note: I’m not sure how long this will take. The one and only time I made this recipe, I had to leave the house before the liquid had absorbed, so I threw it in a 225 degree oven for about an hour. When I came home it was ready for the next step.
  3. Raise the heat to medium/low and stir in about 1/4 milk. At this point temper the egg and add it. Cook it down for a minute. Continue to add milk and heat through until it becomes the desired consistency. Keep in mind, this will thicken as it cools. I like mine really creamy. I add even more milk when I take it out of the refrigerator if it seems to have thickened up too much. 
  4. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and butter, if using.

Serve hot or cold – for dessert or breakfast!


Chocolate Pudding Cake (low-fat)

This recipes just happens to be low fat, although I don’t ‘think it was intended that way. It’s wonderful hot, served alongside ice cream, but it’s also delicious cold, served right from the fridge.

Recipe from Dinner at the Zoo.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour (spoon and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish or round souffle dish.
  2. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/3 cup cocoa in medium bowl. Add milk, butter and vanilla, stir until just blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared dish.
  3. Combine brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Pour boiling water over entire mixture; do not stir.
  4. Bake 35 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the top layer comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes.

Emeril Lagasse’s “Big Chocolate-Chip Cookies”

Recipe from Emeril Lagasse’s book There’s a Chef in My Soup! The recipe can also be found on Emerils.com

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour (spoon and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I use salted butter). Make sure to use softened butter, not melted. If you use salted butter, make sure the salt added to the recipe is kosher salt, not regular table salt.
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
IMG_2458

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-F (I use convection setting).
  2. Place the butter, salt, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream the ingredients on high speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add the vanilla and egg and mix on medium speed.
  4. Place a sieve over the mixing bowl (or use a separate bowl) and sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Mix on low speed just until the batter is combined. It will be stiff–don’t over do it!
  6. Turn off the mixer and, using a large spoon or plastic spatula, fold in the chocolate chips (I use a stand blender and just turn it on high speed for a few seconds to incorporate the chips).
  7. Using a tablespoon, scoop about 2 spoonfuls of the dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet (or weigh them at about 53  grams).
  8. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping the scoops about 2 inches apart. You should get about 9 cookies on each sheet.
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 16-18 minutes. Makes 21 cookies.