Alright friends... Today all diets are off!!!! You know I am huge on health, but I am also a big believer in a good treat every now and then. And this is probably one of the BEST treats I have ever ever ever ever had. Ever. One of my mom's favorite desserts is banana pudding, so I wanted to make it for her for Mother's Day. I'd never made it before, so I searched the net to come up with something good...
That's when I ran across the recipe for "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding." It's one of Paula Deen's old recipes that had a 5-star rating and over 2,000 good reviews - so I knew it was going to be good. I've had LOTS of different banana puddings, but this is honestly one of the top three desserts I've ever had. Even better than most chocolate desserts I've had (never thought I'd say that!). It's rich, creamy, full of really good banana flavor, SUPER easy to make, and the cookies are a little soft (from storing it in the fridge overnight). The recipe is a little different in that it calls for Pepperidge Farm's Chessmen cookies as opposed to vanilla wafers. I PROMISE you won't miss those wafers one bit!! The other good thing about this dessert is that the longer is sits, the better it gets. It's the perfect cool dessert for a summer backyard BBQ or party - and would be great for Memorial Day! My mom loved it and I'm hoping that my co-workers (who will be getting the banana pudding you see there) will love it just as much as she did... :)
Here is what you need and what to do:
1 5 oz box instant vanilla pudding
2 cups whole milk
1 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz container Cool Whip
2 packages Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
1. Add the instant pudding and milk to a medium bowl. Use and hand-held electric mixer to mix the ingredients together. Mix until the pudding is slightly thickened. Set aside.
2. Add the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk to a large bowl. Use the mixer to mix the ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. Add the Cool Whip to the cream cheese mixture and fold it in until everything is well combined. Add the vanilla pudding to the Cool Whip mixture and gently fold it in.
4. If you using a trifle bowl, here is what to do: Add two layers of cookies to the bottom of the bowl. Slice two bananas and add the slices on top of the cookies. Add 1/3 of the cream mixture to the top of the bananas. Add another two layers of cookies. Slightly press the cookies down into cream so that they create a cake-like texture once it sits in the fridge. Then add another layer of bananas, then the cream. Repeat for the third and final layer.
If you are using a 13x9x2 dish, here is what to do: Add a full package of the cookies to the bottom of the dish. Slice up all of the bananas and add them to the top of the cookies. Then pour all of the cream mixture on top of the bananas. Then add one layer of cookies to the top of the cream.
Once it is made, cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge overnight. If you make it in a trifle bowl, you can crumble up some cookies and sprinkle them over the top right before you serve it to add a little crunch.
Images by me