Growing up, my family was not a dessert family. There were definitely times where we had dessert and my mom made amazing cookies and breads and pies sometimes throughout the year and definitely at the holidays. But we didn’t always have ice cream in the freezer or a bag of cookies at the ready. Somehow, we survived.
Since treats were pretty special, I can remember in fairly specific detail what kinds we got. There were a few boxes of ice cream bars, some cinnamon bread here or there (toasted cinnamon bread with butter? TOTALLY DESSERT.) But one of my very, very favorites was pudding. In retrospect, it seems like an incredibly odd thing to buy in little plastic cups, but those were the days of Bill Cosby and his J-E-L-L-O.
I liked vanilla and chocolate and my sister, Laura, liked those flavors and tapioca. Laura ALSO liked to not eat her dessert for the pure joy of possessing dessert long after I did (true story). This meant that the chocolate and vanilla were gone within a few days, while her tapioca (which I didn’t like as a kid) mocked me from the cupboards. Man, sisters are mean.
The good news is that you grow up to be an adult and you can make your own darn dessert! Just a few days ago, I got a craving for a small cup of chocolate pudding. Several recipes and zero plastic cups later, I had the perfect fix.
Quick Chocolate Pudding
via Taste From Home
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, combine your dry ingredients (sugar, cocoa, cornstarch).
Add the milk gradually until combined and smooth.
Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Pour into serving dishes, cover and refrigerate until cold.
(I added some toppings to mine: mini Oreos, cinnamon and crumbled graham cracker crumbs. I’d also try some chopped nuts, whipped cream, marshmallow fluff or toasted coconut!)