When I was growing up, my mom took care of dessert cravings in a couple of ways. She pretty regularly brought Pepperidge Farms Fruit Turnovers, boxes of chocolate pudding mix and jello. I haven't had a turnover in years (though after typing that, I'm thinking they sound pretty good). I don't eat jello, it's too, um, hoofy. But pudding, that's a different story. I eat it frequently. Only twist on that classic is that I make it from scratch. Guess what. It's easy.
Lately I've been making it several times a week, because those are the weeks I've been having. The boys and Mr. Dog all seem to like it too. Although if you ask Little Dog, he might tell you it's mud, not pudding. He's just strange that way.
Chocolate Pudding, from scratch, for reals.
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Droste Cocoa Powder (my favorite brand, but Hershey's works as will any other)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk (I use skim milk because I have it on hand, but use whatever you like)
2 tbsp. butter
In a saucepan, whisk together your dry ingredients. Make sure you break up any lumps in your cornstarch, well, unless you like lumpy pudding, but I don't. Put saucepan over medium head and whisk in the milk, all at once. Heat over medium heat until the pudding thickens to a creamy, pudding-y consistency. Remove from the burner and stir in the vanilla and the butter.
At this point I start eating it right out of the pan. But if you have manners, or are serving others, feel free to put it into bowls and let it cool slightly.
Say you want a slightly more adult twist, omit the vanilla and add 2 Tbsp of brandy. Yum.
Trust me, you'll never go back to the box. Sorry Mr. Cosby.