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Vanilla Pudding & Putting It All Together (Banana Pudding Part 2!)

Welcome to the second installment of the banana pudding experiment! The first installment featured vanilla wafers. This post is going to highlight how to make vanilla pudding, and of course- how to put the banana pudding together. My final product was far from pretty- but it was the most delicious banana pudding. I think that all of the work- making the wafers and pudding from scratch- is definitely worth it.

I know that a lot of people aren’t banana fans. You can easily make it sans bananas, or you could use pineapples instead. My father loves pineapples so next time I try this I am going to use pineapples in place of bananas.

Again- this half of the recipe is also courtesy of Alton Brown from his Good Eats episode on banana pudding. Slightly altered from the original! I was lacking lemon juice (which keeps bananas from going brown) and I was also way too lazy to whip cream for it, so I just used cool whip.

Ingredients (vanilla & banana pudding)

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter/margarine cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • vanilla wafers
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 container of cool whip

Directions

  1. Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, kosher salt, and cornstarch in a pot
  2. Add eggs and egg yolk- whisk to combine; then add the milk, whisk again
  3. Cook over medium-low heat until the temperature of the pudding reaches roughly 175°. At this point the mixture thickens and also bubbles around the edges.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Then whisk in the vanilla.
  5. Cover the surface of the pudding with a round piece of parchment paper and refrigerate about 2 hours.
  6. Spread some of the pudding in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Cover the layer of pudding with a layer of cool whip. Cover the pudding/cool whip with vanilla wafers and banana slices. Start again with the pudding and repeat until you have used all of your ingredients!
  7. Refrigerate again before serving.

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Vanilla Wafers (Banana Pudding Part 1)

So it is obviously no secret at this point that I love Alton Brown and I enjoy using his recipes when I’m cooking. I had watched the episode he did on Banana Pudding and decided that I wanted to try and make it. So the banana pudding will come in two installments- first, this post, on how to make vanilla wafers. Tomorrow will be the pudding and putting it all together. Just so you know, pure vanilla is going to taste a lot better here than imitation vanilla extract. It is more expensive, but it is also worth it. This is the original recipe– I didn’t deviate much. I didn’t have vanilla sugar- and was too lazy to make any. Also, I didn’t want very crispy wafers. I like softer cookies because I’m weird and love how soggy they get in banana pudding. But to each his (or her) own!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Combine flour/baking powder/salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together. Then add the egg, vanilla, and milk- mix again.
  4. Add flour to the mixture slowly on a low speed- just until combined.
  5. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 10 minutes. I gave it about half an hour.
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Scoop the batter into small balls and drop onto the baking sheets. Gently press each ball with your hand.
  8. Bake until golden brown- 15-20 minutes for crispy wafers. About 12 minutes for soft cookies- which I prefer. Keep in mind this will make at least 4 dozen wafers.
  9. Cool and eat- or store to use in a banana pudding.

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Vanilla Cupcakes

From watching cupcake wars, I’ve been trying to learn to make awesome, kick ass cupcakes. My vanilla cupcakes are pretty freaking delicious. I have yet to perfect an icing recipe- so I’m going to leave that off. Until I do, I would suggest googling some icing recipes or using something out of a jar. But it will happen. Thus far my experimental icing just hasn’t been a success. And I’ve wasted tons of powdered sugar trying to figure it out. So I’m not going to put you guys through the same thing. After I perfect some sort of icing recipe I will post it.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter/margarine softened
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin/cupcake pan with liners. I prefer to use foil wrappers because they don’t stick to the pan or the cupcake- but you can go for paper, and you can even grease the pan and just pop them out without liners, too.
  2. Beat butter, vanilla, and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after adding each egg.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture and the milk- alternating. Pour in some flour, mix it. Pour in some milk, mix it. So on. Make sure that your batter doesn’t get too thin, though! You might not need all of the milk.
  5. Evenly fill each of the cups. About 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Usually after 15 mine are done. The top of the cupcake should be spongy/springy. What I do is set the timer for 15, and give it more time if needed. Over baking will cause the cupcakes to come out dry.
  7. Remove from cups, and let cool before icing.
  8. Frost/ice your cupcakes! You can try a homemade frosting or something out of a jar.

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