Growing up in South Georgia, everyone around me was always in a tizzy over who made the best Banana Pudding and of course, everyone felt that their concoction should win the prize. After getting over my banana initiation, I decided I'd give Banana Pudding a try. During my taste tests, I discovered that most simply missed the mark in overall flavor. In addition, I am sooooooooo NOT a fan of soft, mushy Nilla Wafers (they seem to go soggy so quickly), so I eventually decided that this dessert in this form just didn't quite do it for me.
Over the years, I've made Banana Pudding for others, but wasn't quite convinced that I'd ever accomplish what I wanted for myself. One good attempt is the Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding, popularized by Paula Deen, which uses Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies. Since the Nilla Wafers were one of the issues, this one did manage to provide a good alternate, but it still fell a bit short for me. As I continued to search, I felt that my options were running out. Luckily for me, I was flipping through the February 2009 issue of Southern Living and spotted a Nutter Butter Banana Pudding Trifle. The Nutter Butter's instantly caught my eye. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Nutter Butters, so I think my wait may be over--I've hit a bigger jackpot regarding my soggy Nilla Wafer aversion. I'll simply take the good parts of the various versions I've stumbled upon over the years and incorporate the Nutter Butters (the mini ones) to create my very own Banana Pudding. Y'all wish me luck, because I really want to create one that I actually like. In the meantime, I'll share the Southern Living Recipe with you.
Nutter Butter Banana Pudding Trifle
Prep: 35 min., Cook: 20 min., Stand: 30 min., Chill: 2 hr. This homemade pudding is divine, economical, and uses on-hand ingredients. The pudding has thickened enough when a distinct trail is left in the mixture when you stir with a spoon. The cookies will soften the longer the dessert chills.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 3 cups milk
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 medium-size ripe bananas
- 1 (1-lb.) package peanut butter sandwich cookies
- 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
- Garnishes: peanut butter sandwich cookies, dried banana chips, fresh mint sprigs
1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.
2. Fill a large bowl with ice. Place saucepan in ice, and let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly chilled.
3. Meanwhile, cut bananas into 1/4-inch slices. Break cookies into thirds.
4. Spoon half of pudding mixture into a 3-qt. bowl or pitcher. Top with bananas and cookies. Spoon remaining pudding mixture over bananas and cookies. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Nabisco Nutter Butter® Sandwich Cookies. For photography, we divided mixture between 2 (1 1/2- to 2-qt.) wide-mouthed pitchers.
Shortcut Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle: Omit eggs, sugar, flour, and butter. Substitute thawed extra creamy whipped topping for sweetened whipped cream. Reduce vanilla to 1 tsp. Place 3 cups milk and vanilla in large bowl; add 2 (3.4-oz.) packages vanilla instant pudding mix. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until thickened; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 through 4.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling and Cool Whip Extra Creamy.