Good Ole' American Desserts

Good Ole' American Desserts For an American BBQ
Two nights ago we had a family dinner out at this amazing restaurant downtown. Naturally I was craving dessert. When they offered up their “banana pudding” I almost took them up until my cousin, who’ll remain nameless for the sake of being able to return to his favorite restaurant with his little buds, warned me that it is “a crime to even call it “southern banana pudding”. Soo I didn’t order it, and I left sad and dessertless.
Point being, my world just wasn’t set right. So last night at our next family BBQ, I decided I needed to whip up my own banana pudding and make the world a happy place again. My mom and I started out by making our banana pudding, but I swore with my family (14 of which were present) one batch wouldn’t be enough. So with solely the best interest of my family in mind, I convinced her that a second dessert was needed (muahaha) – a buffet of desserts if you insist. Oddly enough, I think we found a way to pay homage to some good ole American desserts: banana bread pudding and chocolate chip cookies, actually these were Chipwiches (chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches), but still ‘merican.

Dessert #1: Banana Bread Pudding

The banana bread pudding is again such an easy dessert to make and only 4 ingredients. This one isn’t scratchmade, in fact the only homemade part about it is the stirring and cutting, but it is sooooooo good. The key is to use vanilla pudding and let the banana flavor come from fresh sliced bananas. What you’ll need is:
1 box Jello instant vanilla pudding (and whole milk to make it)
            1 Tub Whipped Topping
            2-3 Fresh sliced bananas
            ~20 vanilla wafers (crunched or whole)

Step 1: Fix your vanilla pudding according to package directions (don't forget to use whole milk!)

Step 2: Add your vanilla wafers – I prefer mine to be whole

Step 3: Add sliced bananas

Step 4: Stir it all together until well mixed

Step 5: Swirl, not combine, the whipped topping into the pudding. You don’t want to fully mix in the whipped topping; in fact you want to be able to see bites of it throughout the pudding.

Chill until ready to serve. Voila! The longer the bananas sit in the pudding the stronger the flavor becomes. With the fresh banana slices, the pudding will only keep for a few days – so eat up :)

Banana Bread Pudding

Dessert #2: Chipwiches

A lot of my guy friends are pretty hesitant when it comes to trying new foods – even desserts. So in high school, whenever they would come over my go-to-dessert was Chipwiches, or chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. I’m actually not a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies, weird I know, but I for some reason love these.
To make them you can either use a boxed cookie dough or a homemade recipe, either will do. The important part is to bake the cookies at 25 degrees lower than the recommended temperature and for a minute less than normal. They’ll be just slightly underdone so that they’re still soft and chewy with the cold ice cream underneath.

To make the Chipwiches

Bake off a batch of chocolate chip cookies for a minute less than the recommended time and at 25 degrees lower than the recommended temperature, or just until they look barely done – remember cookies keep cooking while they’re cooling and we want these guys to stay soft and chewy. Meanwhile take out your ice cream to soften.

After the cookies have cooled scoop small spoonfuls of ice cream onto the underside of one cookie, smoosh the other cookie on top, and you have a Chipwich. You can wrap them up in plastic wrap and store frozen.

Sometimes if I’m feeling a little ambitious ill press the sides of the ice cream with mini chocolate chips, but since we didn’t have any in the pantry we did without. 


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