WND – The Little Snowpocalypse That Couldn’t

February 11, 2010

A couple of years ago I signed up to do recipe testing for America’s Test Kitchen, and then when they started up their offshoot Cook’s County – although, honestly I can’t really tell the difference between the two of them, except Cook’s County seems to involve more gingham? – I signed up to do recipe testing for them too.  Because, why not?

I don’t get recipes from them very often, and frequently they require equipment that I don’t own – like the recipe for grilled rack of lamb that sounded fabulous except that half of Dinner really dislikes lamb and I don’t own a charcoal grill.  However, Tuesday I got a test recipe from Cook’s County for Banana Pudding, resurrected from the hell of Jell-o Pudding mix and Cool Whip to which it had been relegated into something they described as the American answer to trifle.

Now, let me preface this by say that I believe in heavy cream, and butter and full fat cream cheese, and I think that lite anything is an anathema.  So when I say the recipe I received from Cook’s County gave me pause you’ll understand exactly how decadent it was.  I think I could actually feel my arteries hardening as I processed the idea that they really wanted me to combine 8 egg yolks, 6 cups of half-and-half, a box of Nilla Wafers and a cup of whipping cream and call it dessert for eight people (for the record, I could have fed about 12-14 people with that, and in fact sent most of it up to the Lexington Library to be demolished by the staff there).  I couldn’t bring myself to make it on a night that I was also going to be serving lasagna and garlic bread, so I saved it for a week and planned the lightest dinner I could think of to balance out the dessert.

Like most America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s County recipes it worked exactly as advertised, and got every bowl in my kitchen dirty.  It was bar none the best banana pudding I’ve ever had, and I would never make it as written again because I’m not sure I could bring myself to commit to that much fat content if I wasn’t doing it to test a recipe.  Also, I think that you could replace most if not all of the half-and-half with milk and use fewer egg yolks and end up with a pudding that was still luscious but that didn’t leave you feeling vaguely ill after a few bites.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing
Pumpkin Cornbread

World’s Most Decadent Banana Pudding

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing

Recipe previously given: Cajun Chicken Salad

Pumpkin Cornbread
Pumpkin (well winter squash) and cornmeal are probably two of my favorite things, so finding a recipe that credibly combined the two of them was wildly exciting.  And, the recipe lived up to the hype that I’d created in my mind for it, which was also nice.  It also makes a great breakfast the next morning, toasted with a little butter and drowned in honey (or syrup).

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tbs molasses

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

Sift flours, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in cornmeal.

In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and molasses.

Make a well in the dry mixture. Add pumpkin mixture and blend batter with a few quick strokes (just until blended- don’t overmix).

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cornbread is browned and the surface has a slightly springy feel.

World’s Most Decadent Banana Pudding

I can’t actually post the recipe, but I’ll give you a photo montage.



  1. The banana/Nilla wafer sandwiches look so cute!

  2. […] Recipe previously given: The Little Snowpocalypse That Couldn’t […]

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