This is hands down one of my favorite desserts – Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers!
I’m making this one from scratch, not with the box mix. Fun fact, when I go to a BBQ place, I almost always get the banana pudding as kind of a gauge to see how good the food is. I love how the nilla wafers get kind of mushy. YUM!
Full disclosure, this isn’t my recipe. I don’t do a lot of desserts, so on this one, pretty much the only thing I changed was how it is served. I looked at a bunch of recipes and landed on one made by my best friend that I never met, Alton Brown. Alton, presented his version in a large clear bowl showing the layers. I chose to serve my version in ramekins.
I hope the next time you plan to make banana pudding you will take a few extra minutes to make it from scratch. Homemade has SO much more flavor and you know exactly what went into it. Try making your version and let me know how it turns out.
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and salt in a 3 quart pot.
Add the eggs and egg yolk, then whisk to combine
Add the milk and whisk until well combined
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches about 180 degrees - about 10 minutes
The mixture will begin to thicken and bubble around the edges
Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, piece by piece until fully incorporated
Add the vanilla extract, whisking to combine
Cover the pudding with a round piece of parchment paper (I used clear wrap similar to saran wrap)
Refrigerate until the pudding reaches 45 degrees (I wasn't measuring the temperature, but I DID make sure to wait well over 2 hours to ensure it cooled off)
** Recipe deviation. Alton's version calls for laying out the vanilla wafers on a sheet pan and slowly pour the liqueur over them, then set them aside for 10 minutes. Since I was using ramekins, I put the cookies (6 in each) on the bottom of the ramekin and then drizzled about a teaspoon of the liqueur in each one. After tasting the final product, I think I would add a little more liqueur as I didn't pick up on it at all.
Toss the banana slices with the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside
Spread a small amount of the banana pudding in the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart glass bowl
Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices
Spoon 1/3 of the remaining pudding on the top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding
Put the whipping cream in a bowl of a stand mixer
add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form
Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread
Top with any remaining soaked cookies
Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving
Store covered in the refrigerated for 3 days... if it lasts that long
Since I used ramekins, I didn't do the step of tossing the bananas with the lemon juice. I simply sliced the bananas as I needed them in each ramekin.
As mentioned above, I put the wafers on the bottom, put in some of the liqueur, put a little pudding in, then some bananas, and then topped with pudding.
I won't judge if you don't make your own whipped cream. 🙂
For Dessert Tonight – White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies!
Usually I make chocolate chip cookies around Christmas time, but this year I wanted to do something different. I found this recipe by Trisha Yearwood that used white chocolate chips and cranberries along with macadamia nuts. It sounded really good and it was something I hadn’t tried yet. I stayed true to her recipe with the exception of the nut, I used pecans instead of Macadamia nuts.
These are SO good! The pecans were awesome in this cookie. I’m so glad that I tried something a little different. The next time you bake cookies, I hope you will try this recipe!
Last week, I made these Hanukkah Bars with white chocolate, coconut, milk chocolate squares (or gelt), and a graham cracker crust. In the spirit of Hanukkah, I decorated them with blue and white sprinkles. Everyone who tried them loved them!
The holidays are the only time I make many sweet treats, so when I do I try to make them special. While I used chocolate bars for the squares of chocolate, I recommend using gelt. What’s gelt? Gelt are the milk chocolate candy coins wrapped in foil. Of course, for the recipe you would unwrap them first. Cut the servings so each piece has a chocolate coin in the center.
While I made these Hanukkah bars, you could easily turn them into Christmas bars by changing the color of sprinkles to red and green. If you really wanted to get fancy, you could use milk chocolate Christmas trees on top instead of the gelt.
The next time you are deciding what dessert to make your family or pot-luck, I hope you will try my Hanukkah Bars!
Today, I brought the Original Gooey Cake to work for my co-workers to try. They LOVED it! What’s not to love in a dessert whose main ingredients are butter and sugar?
The entire dessert can be made in about an hour. For the base, melt a stick of butter and combine with a box of yellow cake mix and one egg. Spread that in a 13×9 baking pan.
For the filling, melt another stick of butter and combine with two eggs, a block of cream cheese, vanilla extract, and confectioner’s sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes and that’s it!
Once you make this, you can also make almost infinite variations. How about a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling? You like chocolate and peanut butter? Use chocolate cake mix and mix in peanut butter to the filling. What about lemon cake mix and lemon zest to the filling? Like I said, the possibilities are limitless.
Make this once and you will be making it many more times after that.
On the menu tonight – Blueberry Cheesecake Lush! When I saw a picture of a similar dish online, I knew I had to make it. I love cheese cake and I love blueberries, what’s not to love?
The crust of this dish is a mix of ground graham crackers and Biscoff cookies held together with butter. There is a layer of the cream cheese filling, a layer of cheese cake pudding, and a layer of blueberry filling, all topped with whipped cream!
The entire dessert comes together really quickly. You could make the crust with pecans, graham crackers, Biscoff cookies, or any combination you like. For the filling, you could use whatever fruit you like. It’s perfect for holiday parties, potlucks, or … cuz dessert! I hope you’ll try this dessert and let me know how your version turns out.
The holidays are here! It wouldn’t be the holidays without homemade chocolate chip cookies. Tonight, I made a big batch of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Usually, I use the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Cookie recipe. They are awesome and I will post that recipe here another time. This year, I wanted to try something different and I’m glad I did. These cookies are definitely chewy.
One of the differences in this recipe than others I tried is you use all brown sugar instead of a mix of brown sugar and cane sugar. I also add a little espresso in my batter to bring out more of the chocolatey goodness. The next time you want to make chocolate chip cookies, I hope you’ll try my recipe. Don’t forget to serve at least a few warm with a glass of milk.
After making the last batch, I still had some cookie dough in the bowl. As much as I wanted to eat the rest of the dough right from the bowl, I decided to also make a Pizookie. What’s that you ask? It’s a big chocolate chip cookie baked in a small cast iron skillet and served with a scoop of ice cream on top. YUM!
This has got to be one of my all-time favorite desserts. I LOVE Key Lime pie! Summer has arrived when I get a slice of that tangy lime goodness with the graham cracker crust! After trying a few different recipes, I think this is the one.
In the past, I tried using a store bought crust and it was pretty disappointing. My biggest tip for a good pie is make your own crust. I didn’t have access to fresh key limes, so I used the bottled stuff from Key West. The end result was tastier than many a disappointing key lime pie imposters I’ve had at restaurants.
There isn’t anything complicated about making this dessert. Treat yourself and your family by making this key lime pie.
On the menu tonight, for dessert – Lemon Blueberry Bars! Yesterday, I made Chicken Parmesan. It made me think of my trip to Italy a few years ago. One of the places we went was Capri and one of the things it is known for are the lemons. I swear that I saw lemons as big as my head while we were there. I had never seen anything like it. It inspired me to make something lemony for dessert and I landed on lemon blueberry bars.
The chilled lemony goodness is perfect for a summer snack or dessert. They have a delicious shortbread crust and the lemon blueberry top is tart and sweet at the same time. The next time you need bring a dessert to a potluck or your next cookout, make these lemon blueberry bars.
On The Menu Tonight – Bourbon Pecan Pie! My first attempt at making Pecan Pie. I swear I’m not a baker. I tried making pie because my wife needed to bring a dessert for a party at work. Since I hadn’t made this before, I requested she bring me home a slice so I could try it. Before I go on, let me say that I don’t usually test recipes on other people. 99 times out of a hundred, if you are eating my food I’ve made it before and I know it’s good – according to me. 🙂 When Audrey came home she said the pie was a big hit. She went on to say one of the people said it was the best Pecan Pie he’s had and he called himself a Pecan Pie aficionado. When I tried it, I had to agree that it was an excellent piece of pie. The only thing I could have added to make it better would be some ice cream. I hope that you’ll try this recipe and let me know what you think.
Whisk the corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, melted butter, vanilla, and bourbon in a mixing bowl.
Beat the eggs in another bowl, then whisk into the corn syrup mixture.
Put some pecans in the bottom of your prepared pie crust, then pour the filling into the crust.
Put more pecans on top in a decorative pattern. Another option is cook the pie 20-25 minutes, remove and add the pecans in a decorative pattern and cover pie with tin foil to protect the crust from burning.
Return to oven for an additional 30-35 minutes. Test with a knife inserted to center of pie. It should come out clean. Total cook time between 40-50 minutes.