From Cliff Huxtable to the Brown Hornet, Bill Cosby has become one of the greatest pop icons of the last 50 years. Today, July 12, he turns 75.
It's hard to look back on the last 40 or so years of American television culture without Bill Cosby being a part of it – "I Spy," "Kids Say The Darndest Things," "The Electric Company," "The Cosby Show."
Saturday mornings were filled with cartoons like Cosby's "Fat Albert" and commercial breaks featuring Cosby with a cast of quirky kids eating JELL-O pudding pops.
To celebrate this auspicious occasion, and since it is still the middle of summer, I thought pudding pops were in order.
Besides being just "splendiferous," pudding pops are a healthy snack, even with the sugar. You can substitute honey or agave nectar for a healthier recipe. Since this makes such a large quantity of "instant mix," the amount of sugar is small per serving.
Instant Vanilla Mix Recipe:
Makes about 25 servings or five batches of pudding
• 1 cup demerara sugar
• ¾ cup cornstarch
• ¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 whole vanilla beans OR 2 tbs. of vanilla flavoring when making pudding
*For chocolate pudding, add ¼ cup of cocoa powder.
• ½ cup instant pudding mix
• 2 cups of skim milk or unsweetened almond milk
Making the mix:
Whisk all ingredients, except vanilla beans/vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Make sure to add the cocoa if you want chocolate pudding mix.
If you are adding vanilla beans, split the beans and use the back of a knife to scrape out the seeds into the dry mix.
Store mix in an airtight container or glass jar. This mix also makes a great gift idea.
Making the pudding:
Combine the milk with ½ cup of the instant mix you just made in a medium sauce pan.
Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil for about one minute.
Reduce your heat to low and keep whisking until the mixture thickens considerably – about five minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon without running off.
Pour into a cool container, like a glass bowl or plastic storage container. Store in refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container.
Now that you've made the pudding, it's time to make the pudding pops!
Twinkle's DIY Pudding Pops
What you'll need:
• One recipe of DIY vanilla pudding
• 12- 3 oz. cups (Like Dixie cups you use in the bathroom)
• 12 Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors
• Tray for holding pudding pops
For my pudding pops, I split the vanilla pudding I made into two batches. In one I added 3 tbs. of cocoa and whisked until incorporated.
Place the cups onto a small tray to ensure your pops will stay level in the freezer.
With a large dinner spoon, ladle in about half a cup of chocolate pudding into each cup and tap the bottom on the counter to make sure it is evenly distributed into the cup.
Layer in the vanilla pudding in the same amount.
Since the top of the cup is a little wider, you can add another thin layer of chocolate.
*You do not have to layer these, of course. You can do only chocolate or only vanilla. You can add your own flavors, as well, like mint or chocolate chips or even nuts. The pudding is a great base to experiment with flavor.
After you've filled the cups almost to the top, place a Popsicle stick in the center of each one. The pudding should be thick enough that the stick is supported upright without any assistance.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 2-3 hours.
For more on food and for more recipes check out twinklevanwinkle.com.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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