Lightly freckled bananas sit on my kitchen counter and beg to be eaten while still in their prime. A thought crosses my mind, “What about using them in a dessert for the potluck dinner tonight?” Being short on time, I search for a quick and easy banana recipe. Voilà! Paula Deen to the rescue again! This recipe tantalizes me, because it contains all sorts of sinful ingredients like cream cheese, whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. But what really lures me in is the use of a big-time favorite cookie of mine – buttery Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies. I can’t wait to sample this dessert! Hold on a minute . . . how am I going to taste this luscious banana dessert AND serve it at a potluck? I don’t think anyone will notice a missing corner piece, do you?
Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream
1. Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies . . .
. . . and then layer bananas on top of them.
2. Notice that some of the cookies are broken. Eat them.
3. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
4. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
1. Because I like my banana desserts to be full of fresh banana flavor, I cut up eight bananas.
2. To prevent the bananas from turning yellow, I sliced the bananas and, in batches, put them in a strainer over a bowl and poured lemon juice over them. I poured the lemon juice from the bowl back into the measuring cup to use again.
3. For better flavor, I whipped up some fresh whipping cream and used it in place of the frozen whipped topping.
4. This recipe does come together easily and makes a wonderful dessert for potlucks, family dinners, and parties.