Deliciously No-Bake Summer Dessert

As with most classic dessert recipes these days though, it's rare to not find a contemporary, new-fangled version of it updated by a creative chef or avid cook.  Given the fact that I always seem to have some cookies on hand, I figured this classic needed an update, too, and that Marlo's Bakeshop cookies would be the perfect stand-in for Nilla wafers. 

You can find a slew of recipes for vanilla pudding online and in cookbooks and you can get as fancy with it as you like (steep the milk with whole vanilla beans! Use 1/3 milk, 1/3 cream and 1/3 hard-to-find-in-the-market-dairy-product!) but at its core, vanilla pudding is so simple.  And on a hot day, don't you just want simple? Our recipe below has fewer than 10 ingredients and is a cinch to make.  If you don't like Bananas- no problem! Leave them out and layer our Chocolate Chip Brownie soft-baked biscotti with pudding and chocolate chips.  There are endless flavor combinations and ways to enjoy this no-bake dessert on your next warm day! 


The Easiest Vanilla Pudding
2 c milk (we used 1% but for a thicker, richer pudding feel free to use 2% or even whole milk)
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar (we used raw turbinado sugar here for a nice caramel-y flavor addition)
Pinch of kosher salt
3 T corn starch (or tapioca starch if you prefer)
1 T pure vanilla extract 

Method
Combine the milk, egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and salt in a bowl. Whisk together to smooth out any lumps. Place bowl in top of double boiler over simmering water (or sit a bowl on top of a small saucepan that has simmering water in it if you don't have a double boiler).  Whisk constantly until mixture thickens and doubles in volume, about 7-9 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.  Let cool. Cover with plastic wrap to avoid pudding skin & let set in fridge for an hour. 

New Fangled but Delicious Southern Banana Pudding
-4 x 4oz ramekins (or mason jars work beautifully here, too!)
-1 batch vanilla pudding
-2 bananas, thinly sliced
-1 x 5oz box of Marlo's Bakeshop GF Banana Bread soft-baked biscotti, each biscotti cut into fifths

Method
Layer bottom of your ramekins with biscotti chunks, tightly packed together.  Layer sliced bananas over cookies.  Pour about 1/2 cup cooled pudding over bananas. Place another layer of cookies over pudding, another layer of bananas and finish with pudding.  Enjoy immediately or store in fridge covered with plastic wrap