Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not Yo Momma's Banana Pudding and a Recipe Fail!


The non-failure recipe. Keep reading for more info. :-)
So yesterday afternoon, after sufficient couch time, I decided to embark on a baking adventure. I hadn't baked in a long time! (Ok... just 4 days.) But we were having guests for dinner the next night, so I had to prepare a dessert!


I had been debating between Cake Batter Rice Krispies and Better than Crack Brownies... and I decided to go with the more indulgent of the two. 


It all started out innocently enough.


Basic brownie base, topped with some chopped Reese's.




It was then to be topped with a Chocolate-Peanut Butter Rice Krispy mixture. Which called for 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter. Slight problem: we were almost out of peanut butter! 


I tried to improvise, substituting some marshmallows and adding a little extra chocolate. Smelled good, tasted good, but as it set up it became not so good.


Fail, #1.


Clumpy, nasty mess. Yuck!


Attempt #2 to salvage the topping consisted of trying a no-bake cookie type recipe for the top. Ya know, where you cook the sugar and the cocoa over the stove. Usually you would stir in oats, but I stirred in Rice Krispies.


Fail, #2. The Rice Krispies did not maintain their "Snap, Crackle, Pop!" The topping was a like a layer of soggy cereal.


Did that keep me from eating it? No way! By this point I was just craving chocolate. It still did the trick. That is, until I was eating my brownie and discovered part of a butter wrapper within it... such is life. 


Eww... did I really just find a butter wrapper in my brownie?



My recommendation for myself is not to bake a new recipe the same day I have spent 2.5 hours chained to a treadmill. It obviously affected my ability to think clearly!


That brings us to today. I still needed to prepare a dessert for our guests tonight! A few weeks ago, one of the teachers at school brought in a pan of banana pudding to share. Now, normally banana pudding is not one of my favorite desserts. Hello, where's the chocolate?


But, I was coerced into trying a bite, which then turned into several bites, which turned into a bowl-full. That stuff was good! Turns out she used Paula Deen's Not Yo Momma's Banana Pudding recipe.


And I've been wanting to make it ever since!


[Side note: I was watching Paula Deen on the Today Show with Al Roker yesterday morning down in Atlanta. It was 8am, and I swear that woman had to have been drinking something! She couldn't even speak straight. It was all sorts of crazy! Did anyone else see that?]


It all starts out with two bags of these babies. Usually these are pretty expensive, about $3.39 a bag. But!! With my new couponing skills and the sale going on at Meijer I was able to get them for just $1 a bag this week. Saving money makes me happy. 






First, line the cookies up like little soldiers in your pan. The original recipe calls for a 13x9-inch pan, but I didn't have a pretty one, so I used my pretty, pretty pink 9x9-inch pan. (I did end up with leftover cookies and pudding. Which actually turned out to be a good thing, because my Business Man and I were able to do some quality-control without "ruining" the dessert before it will be served to our guests. Win-win situation!)






Then, slice up your bananas, and layer them in your pan. Bonus points if they're in nice little rows. It's funny, I am not very organized in most areas of my life, but when I am making a desserts, everything has to be lined up perfectly. It's almost OCD-ish. Each person must receive the exact same ratio of cookies:banana:pudding! (I will have to tell you a story sometime about making fruit pizza with my Business Man. It did not end well.) 






Then, you mix up the "pudding" layer. It starts with some boxed pudding mix. (The horror!) You combine the pudding mix with milk, and blend with a mixer a couple minutes until it's thick.


Then, in another bowl, you blend together an 8-oz. brick of cream cheese with a 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, the healthiest milk out there! It builds strong bones!






Once that's mixed up, you fold in a container of Cool Whip. (Think of all the calcium you're getting in this dish, milk, cream cheese, more milk, whipped cream. And the bananas add a fruit serving; this is almost like a complete breakfast! Just add the obligatory glass of OJ.)






Then, fold all that into the mixed up pudding. It should be thick and luscious and creamy. You might as well taste a little bit to make sure it's not poisonous.






Spread the creamy pudding over the bananas in the pan. Pile it on thick!




Finally, you top off the pudding with even more cookies






And there you have it! Not Yo Momma's Banana Pudding! My momma's never made banana pudding (that I can remember) but this stuff is good! My Business Man and I went to town, dipping the leftover cookies into the leftover pudding. I'm sure it will taste even better after it's mellowed out in the fridge for a few hours!





Not Yo Momma's Banana Pudding


  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 5-oz. box French vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-oz. container Cool Whip

Method

Line the bottom of a 13x9-inch pan with 1 bag Chessmen cookies, and layer bananas on top.

In a large bowl, combine milk and pudding mix and blend well using an electric mixer.

In another bowl, blend cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well-blended.

Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator.

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