For Easter, I was in charge of dessert. And because I’m a nice mom (every once in awhile anyway), I let the wee ones choose what to make. They decided on cookie pizza. It isn’t the most traditional Easter dessert, but I want them to be invested in what we make and eat – so cookie pizza it was. I made a dairy free version of it for Little Miss and a dairy filled version for us.
As the dairy version was baking, I realized we needed to run to open gymnastics with the wee ones, so I set the oven to stop cooking ten or so minutes before it was scheduled to be done, figuring that it would be cooked pretty close to perfectly. When we arrived home after the hour and a half open gym, the oven was still on. Uh-oh. While they were miraculously not burnt, the cookies were very very crispy. I audibled and decided to make a trifle instead, figuring that the pudding would offset the overly crispy cookie. At least a little. Fortunately, it worked.
The focus for this week’s Tasty Tuesday? The delicious homemade vanilla pudding I made. This recipe is perfect for an after dinner dessert for a family – and yes, it’s good served warm, too. For the trifle, I doubled the recipe to ensure I had enough to cover the cookie layers. I also mixed in a small handful of chocolate chips (the good chocolate kind) into the warm pudding just before layering it, which made for a chocolate swirl pudding that was beyond awesome just by itself.
Homemade Vanilla Pudding
1/4 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
2 c milk (NOT skim, please)
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 T butter
1 t vanilla
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Turn the heat onto medium, and slowly add the milk while whisking the sugar mixture. Cook until it starts to bubble and get thicker, stirring periodically.
Reduce the heat once it starts to bubble gently, and stir constantly for two minutes to ensure nothing scorches on the bottom. Remove from the heat after the two minutes are up.
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add a spoon of the milk mixture at a time, continuing to beat the egg yolk with a fork while you do so to ensure that the egg doesn’t cook. Once the bottom of the bowl starts to feel warm in your hand, you have added enough milk to temper the eggs (my very unscientific method, but it works!).
Slowly pour the tempered egg yolks into the milk mixture, whisking the milk constantly. Return to medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it begins to bubble gently again, cook for one more minute – continuing to stir. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until it’s melted and incorporated. Add the vanilla, and do the same.
Let it cool on the countertop for 15 minutes, stirring periodically. At this point, place a piece of plastic wrap over the pudding, which will help prevent a skin from forming on it. Chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. Assuming no one eats it all, this will last four or five days in the fridge.
Note: After the fifteen minutes, I added the handful of chocolate chips and placed the pudding on my cookie layers so that the cookies would better absorb the moisture from the pudding; had the cookie not been so crispy, I would have waited until the pudding was fully cooled so that it didn’t make the cookies mushy.