The power of suggestion. Advertising agencies study, promote, thrive and survive on this simple concept. Admit it, how many times have you sat in front of the TV and a commercial flashes a big fat juicy hamburger that suddenly calls to you like a choir of angels on the wind?
You know that may not be such a good analogy, if we’re hearing angels calling us it probably means we’ve kicked the bucket and our kids are already fighting over who gets the jewelry box and who gets the collections of salt and pepper shakers.
Buckets and shakers aside, I think you get my point.
In addition, there is barely a stretch of road that doesn’t have at least one billboard flourishing hot dogs, pizza, not-so home cooked meals or even statues of cows promoting “Eat Mor Chikn”. To be perfectly honest I detest billboards! They’re littering up the little landscape we have left. Do we really need six of those monstrosities strewn out over the course of a few miles telling us
“Big Papa’s Pig Fat Bar-B-Q — So Good It’ll Stop Your Heart!” Exit 6 miles
Exit 4 miles
Exit 3 miles
EXIT NOW NOW NOW!!!!
Oh and don’t forget the one just past the exit that says:
“YOU Just Missed The Best PIG Fat Bar-B-Q on the Planet!”
Professional (or not so professional) advertising aside we fall prey to suggestive eating in magazines, on the web and yes even on the blogs we follow.
Who can blame us!! When I see photos of the latest recipes by Sylvie at Gourmande In The Kitchen or Jamie at My Baking Addiction you may as well try to stem the flow of ocean waves than try to stop me from salivating and my stomach from growling for instant gratification.
It’s been made all the worse with my latest addiction to Pinterest.com where EVERYTHING is in pictures. Recipes and food from every corner of the web (does it have corners?) is a virtual smorgasbord for eyes. It’s physicially impossible not to get hungry and sometimes my eyes even threaten to pop from their sockets when I see something truly incredible (which is routinely).
This post has a direct causal relationship to this very phenomena.
I saw banana pudding
I wanted banana pudding.
I craved banana pudding.
I demanded banana pudding.
If you know me from reading some of my posts then you know that “Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding” wasn’t going to fly in my kitchen. I love Mrs. Dean but instant banana pudding has no room in my pantry. The only “instant” it would know would be the instant the oatmeal, flour and sugar kicked it to the floor. I’ve tried to teach them to be nice to the chemicals but they’re not having any part of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge or condemn the use of instant or boxed anything; in our busy rush around lives, these quick things are a necessity for some people, I get that. I’ve just lost my taste for them and try to find ways to work around it.
Being this said,
The other snagglepuss I found myself up against was, even when I found pudding made from scratch, almost all of them were still made using boxed vanilla wafers. What is it about these cookies that they’ve become the arbitrary cornerstone of all banana pudding recipes? Honestly they’re kinda bland, have a paper-type texture if you ask me and added to something creamy tend to turn to mush.
I knew something besides wafers was going to be a requirement. This task took some thinking and about 33 seconds for inspiration to strike. My answer, shortbread cookies. They’re incredibly easy to make, being they consist of three ingredients for a base and are practically boundless in their versatility.
In lieu of wafer or shortbreads, ginger snaps, pecan sandies, cookie bark, sugar cookies even granola would be fabulous replacements.
After finding a recipe I felt good about working with at Ezra Poundcake, I was finally able to put together some really delicious and totally from scratch nanana pudding.
The best part is, I had plenty of shortbread cookies left over for tea and coffee as well.
Oh did I mention I made banana pecan shortbread cookies? Forgot that part huh? I can tell you they’re simply addicting but then I’m also a closet shortbread cookie lover. Maybe because they’re simplistic in a Zen sort of way or, like I mentioned, they’re quite versatile. Oh maybe, just maybe, it’s because their flavor comes from the main ingredient, butter. If you aren’t sure about my obsession with butter, check the title of this blog. I like to think in the heaven I hope to go to there will be rivers of warm flowing butter for me to wade in. So perhaps this has a wee something to do with my secret love of shortbread.
Does it really matter? I am convinced it does not. Make shortbread by the droves and enjoy them, especially in the pudding.
There are a few steps to this recipe but honestly they’re all pretty simply, and the whole thing takes about an hour or so. You can make the cookies ahead of time too.
So are you feeling suggestively manipulated yet? If not I’m sure I could create a billboard. 🙂
Yeah, I’m rotten, you can say it. I won’t hold it against you.
PS: Since the cookies are really their own recipe and you can make them without the pudding, I’ve added them as their own printable/saveable recipe in addition to including them in the pudding recipe. This way you can make the cookies on their own but don’t have to pull out two recipes to make the pudding.
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Creme de Banana liqueur
- ½ cup Finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add Creme de Banana liqueur and incorporate well.
- Stir in flour and pecans & combine well by hand or lowest mixing speed.
- Butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 shallow pan and press the cookie mixture evenly into the pan with your fingertips. If the dough is too sticky, lay a sheet of parchment or wax paper across the top of the mixture before spreading.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pale gold in color.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.
- Before removing from pan and while still warm, cut into desired shapes then let cool in pan for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.