The other weekend, our friend’s kids came over while we (the adults) went out for dinner. It was a long overdue date night for the four of us, and we had a wonderful dinner at this new little restaurant. This was the second time we were there, and our friends just loved it. Normally when we go out for dinner, the girls get to choose what they have for dinner, as long as the babysitter can make it. Occasionally we will be out at Trader Joes and they pick something out that they want to try – they love that. This night though, I felt like trying out some new recipes, and they were my Guinea pigs. I bet you can guess what I made them for dinner…if you have been paying attention. And now we get to dessert.
My older daughter came into the kitchen when I was starting the dessert – and started laughing. She said, “Since when do you make a gourmet meal just for the kids?” Then I started laughing. She was right – although I would hardly consider this gourmet. Mac and Cheese and pudding for dessert? Well, I guess she was right. It’s not like I had opened up a box of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese, and then a box of Jello pudding – but seriously, both of these recipes were pretty easy – I was done with both in under an hour. I was mighty impressed with myself – and I felt like I had accomplished so much!
Now for the pudding – I am definitely a fan of Jello brand pudding – have been for years. It is super creamy, has a decent flavor, and if you make it yourself (with the box), you are actually adding real milk, so at least it has calcium in it. I love how you can make pudding for dessert in just a few minutes. But, what if I told you that it takes less than 30 to make real homemade pudding? And, that it is wonderfully rich and creamy, with nothing artificial? I have a feeling that would get a lot of you interested. I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I put it in the pile – actually hoping that I would have a little contest with my daughter – as she made the Jello brand, I would make this. We didn’t get to the taste test that night – since I didn’t have any Jello pudding in the house – but I know who would have won – this recipe hands down. It just tasted real. Oh, and did I tell you that we used up more Halloween candy in the process? Good old Hershey Bars to the rescue. I think I might need to write a cookbook – 100 ways to use up your Halloween candy…
So – this served 6, and when we got home we were stuffed – but there was still one left over. Even though we had ordered one of everything on the menu, our good friend still had enough room to polish off the last one. Good thing I licked the bowl clean when I made them…the benefits of being the cook. Now, what are you waiting for?
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk. Whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 1 minute or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Spoon about 1/3 cup pudding into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with 1/2 teaspoon peanuts.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding