Beb’s Banana Pudding

My sister’s birthday is coming up. She passed away six years ago, which is really unbelievable to think about. I’ve made a habit of trying to celebrate her birthday. Partly because I know wherever she is she is partying, so it feels like i’m doing that with her. I’ve shared this recipe in the past, but with her birthday right around the corner I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring it back.

Banana Pudding was one of the few things she and I could ever agree upon. When we were both in school at Fordham in New York City we would go to Magnolia Bakery and buy these giants tubs of banana pudding. And when I say giant I mean it’s like a good 10 servings if not more. We would finish it in one sitting. In fact, I know she could finish it by herself in one sitting.

I guess I should share a little back story on this gem of a snack. I guess it all goes back to Black Eyed Pea. We had one down the street and frequently ate there as a family. I don’t think anyone ever ate their meals especially not the vegetables, but we certainly ate that banana pudding. It was a moment where all four of us could come together and appreciate something (that doesn’t happen often). This period was followed by a lull in banana pudding eating. Not to worry though, we more than made up for lost time in New York. Then my mom found this new recipe and it has been a staple in our home ever since.

The banana pudding recipe I’m going to share with you is by Paula Deen. Everyone can have their opinion about her, but the lady is a darn good cook. And her banana pudding is absolutely amazing. Lots of southern families have family recipes that have been passed down, but do yourself a favor and give this one a try. It might just become your new favorite.

Beb’s Banana Pudding

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies*
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 box instant** French vanilla pudding (5 oz.)
1  package cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1  container Cool Whip thawed (12 oz)
*Make sure to get the seasonal ones for Christmas!
**Make sure you get instant! This is essential
Step 1: Use the cookies to line the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch casserole dish, Then make a second layer with the sliced bananas.

Step 2: Blend the milk and pudding mix with an electric mixer. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. (DON’T CHEAT! Make sure it’s smooth). Gently add the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture and then add to the pudding mixture. Stir until completely blended.
Step 3: Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas. Then top it off with a final layer of cookies.
Step 4: Refrigerate! You could eat it right away but I suggest refrigerating for 1-2 hours so it gets nice and cool. The way banana pudding should be eaten.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do. It has become a staple in my recipe arsenal, and it is a quick and easy dish to bring to any get together or party you may have especially during this hectic holiday season.
Happy Eating
xoxo T

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