The Best Banana Pudding-Really!!
What you see before you is the best banana pudding in the world. Seriously. No seriously. I could really end this post with that simple statement and just hope you would trust me enough to make this. Because honestly, it is one of those things you have to eat to believe. This is that good and I am having trouble coming up with the words to convince you that it is the best I have ever had. Remember when I mentioned that I started this blog to share all of my tried and true recipes with all of you? I told you I wouldn’t post anything here that wasn’t exceptionally great. Some bloggers try a recipe, blog about it, and them move on to something different, possibly never making that dish again. Not me. If you see it here, you can count on that recipe being something that I have made before and will make again. Or in the case of this banana pudding, something I have made a lot before and will make again very soon. Preferably this week. Or tomorrow…
Let me tell you a little story. It is a story about a young woman eating banana pudding in the middle of the desert surrounded by sailors. Intrigued?
Years ago, literally days before my husband got out of the Navy and was released from duty, we were at an unofficial ceremony which served to honor my husbands time in the military and simultaneously celebrate the fact that he was rejoining the real world. A passing of the baton, if you will, to the next sub-mariner who would be getting out of the Navy. It is a very long explanation that I am not at all sure I am even allowed to share with you. But just know that when I mean unofficial, I mean no uniforms, no officers, and a large amount of beer. So we were celebrating at a friends house who happened to live in the middle of nowhere, somewhere near the Mexican border and everyone had brought a dish to pass. One of the things that I had decided not to try was an actual vat of what looked like vanilla pudding. And when I say vat, I mean a huge aluminum roasting pan of it. Toward the end of the evening, my friend Doug walks over and sits down with a whole plate of what I learned was actually banana pudding. I think it was his second helping. I snitched a bite and wordlessly stood up to go and fill myself a whole plate of it too. And I ate the entire plate. It is so addictive, so creamy, so simply good, that it makes you wish it were calorie free so you could eat it for every meal of the day.
That is when I had it first and I have been making it ever since. The recipe is actually quite common and I have seen it many different places: the Internet, food network, church cookbooks. There is a good chance that you have seen it before or even have it tucked in the back of a recipe box somewhere. Well, now I am telling you that while the ingredients may be simple, the flavor is not. Make it. Make it now. And it tastes that much better if eaten surrounded by friends and family. Cute sailors are encouraged, but not required.
2 bags Peppridge Farm Chessman Cookies
1 small box instant vanilla pudding, made according to package directions
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping
Line a large 9X13 glass baking dish with 1 bag of the cookies. I use all the broken ones from both bags for the bottom and save the perfect whole cookies for the top. Slice up the bananas to form one layer on top of the cookies. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Fold in the vanilla pudding. Fold in the whipped topping. Pour the whole mixture over the bananas and spread it nice and smooth. Top with the last bag of cookies. Chill until ready to eat. Enjoy!!