Vanilla Banana Pudding with Salted Caramel & Chocolate Chip Coooookies

Banana custard with cookies & salted caramel

Cake.
Honestly, not my go to. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I like cake. Who doesn’t. But in true Beatles vs. Stones style rivalry, pie will always be king for me. I know, I’m not making many friends. But give me pie, all the pie. And trifle, and brownies, and ice cream, and….
That said, I’ve never been huge on birthday cake. BUT! I love dessert. So this year I mixed it up a bit for my birthday and made these bad boys. Make them big enough to share and force your guests to share with their partners. It’ll get all romantic up in your house but they’ll love it, and the experience. Enjoy friends.
Serves 6 (with leftover pudding & caramel)
For the pudding
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1½ cups cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups heavy cream
12 of your Mom’s recipe chocolate chip cookies
4 cups sliced ripe bananas
For the caramel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 tsp fleur de sel
Directions
For the pudding
1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk and water for 1 – 2 minutes. Add the pudding mix and beat for about three minutes.
2. Transfer to a smaller bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
3. In a stand mixer on medium speed, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pudding mixture until combined. Lick the spoon.
4. Using 6 jam jars, wine glasses or other serving cups, layer 1 broken up cookie, bananas, and pudding and repeat until cup is full. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 8 hours before serving.
Drizzle generously with caramel right before serving. Devour.
For the caramel
1. Combine the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. This is the only time you can stir the sugar. If you stir it while it’s cooking, it turns to rock candy. Place the saucepan over medium to low heat until the sugars start to dissolve, 5 to 10 minutes. Then turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not stir while this is happening. You’ve got to watch the pot, because it goes from caramel to burnt really quickly. And be careful, the mixture is extremely hot
2. Turn off the heat and stand back to avoid splattering. Slowly add the cream. Don’t panic – the cream will bubble violently, and the caramel will solidify. Just give it more time to liquefy again-trust me!
3. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits. Stir in salt.
You can make this ahead of time and leave it at room temperature.
Modified from Magnolia Bakery.

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