Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fantabulous Food! Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding

This is a recipe that has given me undue fame with my husband's extended family. It is now automatically expected that I will make it for every get together - which I'm fine with because it's so easy to make :) This is a Paula Deen recipe (surprisingly, it doesn't contain butter), so I can't take credit for it, but man is it good.

Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding by Paula Deen:
  • 2 bags of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies
  • 6-8 Bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 (5oz) box Instant French Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 (8oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 (14oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 (12oz) container Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed

1. Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2" dish with 1 bag of the Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies. *I like to look through both bags and put any of the broken ones on the bottom - it makes the top look prettier :)
Slice bananas about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick,
and layer the bananas over the cookies.
2. In a bowl, combine milk and pudding mix. *I always had made it with one large box of pudding mix and didn't pay attention to the actual weight listed on the box - It will work. But this time, the store was out of the large boxes, so I got 3 small boxes (which still only came out to 4.5 oz) and everyone remarked how it was better because it was thicker and more custard -like in the end.
Blend well with a wisk and set aside to thicken.
3. In another bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk.
Blend until smooth. I like to use a hand mixer - it just gets out any lumps the cream cheese may have left if you mix it by hand.
4. Fold whipped topping into cream cheese mixture.
*It is important that you do this by hand with a spatula or a spoon. You don't want to blend it in with a mixer - it will take away some of its' fluffiness.
To fold: Just scrap the spatula along the bottom and sides of your bowl and pull the stuff on the bottom over the top. Repeat until mixed completely.
5. Combine cream cheese mixture and pudding mixture.
Stir until well combined.
6. Pour mixture over cookies and bananas.
Spread out evenly to cover all the bananas.
7. Cover the pudding mixture with remaining bag of Chessmen cookies and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Here is the result:
I have also tried this same recipe using Sandies instead of Chessmen (they were on sale and the Chessmen are always kind of expensive) and it came out great. I even got creative once and made it with chocolate chip pecan Sandies - really as long as it's a shortbread cookie, it will work. The Chessmen just make the final product look cooler because of their designs.

All in all this recipe only takes 15 or 20 minutes to make and everyone loves it! I would definitely advise making it the night before you want to eat it though as this gives the cookies time to soften. It's still good if you want to eat it immediately, just softer - more like traditional banana pudding - if you wait.

Even my sister who's favorite thing is my mom's made from scratch banana pudding (she actually cooks her pudding and everything so it's hot when it's first finished) love this recipe. It's just as good tasting but with less effort and time - sound like a winner to me :)

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