Monday, September 5, 2011

Ingredient Elimination: Grown-Up Dirt Pudding

Today's featured ingredient in ingredient elimination is sandwich cookies. Specifically, Newman's Own Hint-O-Mint. Please, commence I rolling that I let Oreos, Hydrox, or Newman's Own cookies go stale. I was so tempted by the cookies on sale at my co-op, but can't eat a whole bag. Since they hadn't gone bad, just stale, so throwing them out seemed wrong. Grown-Up Dirt Pudding to the rescue.

Why "Grown-Up" dirt pudding? For starters, it's got booze in it, so keep the kiddos away. Next, we have that it follows the somewhat obnoxious trend of gentrifying highly processed kids desserts (e.g., homemade organic Twinkies anyone?). This uses homemade pudding in place of the packaged stuff, and real whipped cream instead of Cool-Whip.

The basic pudding recipe comes from Tyler Florence from the Food Network page. The other additions are my own.

Grown-Up Dirt Pudding (serves about 6)
  • 2 C whole milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/3 C pure cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • about 12 mint sandwich cookies, crushed
  • 1 C whipping cream 
  • 1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
  • splash peppermint schnapps
  • pinch salt
1. Mix 1-and-a-half C milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from heat.
2. Whisk the remaining 1/2 C milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl. Gradually incorporate the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture.
3. Place the combined ingredients into the saucepan, cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, bringing to a full boil. Continue whisking, reduce heat, maintain at a simmer. Whisk 3 more minutes until thickened.
4. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl. Cool in fridge for at least 6 hours.
5. Once the pudding has fully cooled, mix the crushed cookies into the pudding.
6. In a separate bowl, combine the whipping cream, peppermint schnapps, confectioner's sugar, and salt. Whip until fluffy. Fold into the pudding mix. 

Kitchen Notes: I used Dean and Deluca cocoa. This was probably a bit too rich for this recipe. However, pure, unsweetened cocoa, is needed, otherwise the cocoa will be too sweet and lacking in chocolate flavor. I whip my chocolate by hand, since I feel I earn it that way :) Add more, or fewer cookies to this as desired. This can be presented in layers, rather than mixed together for a more attractive effect. I threw it together while running out the door for a picnic, so presentation was not a priority.

Verdict? Pretty tasty. Chocolate and mint are among my favorite combinations, so I had fun with this. I liked this recipe, since I had never tried to make chocolate pudding before. It's very easy, and compare the list of ingredients in this pudding versus a box of conventional pudding. There's no comparison:

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