Remember when pudding pops were all the rage, made especially popular when advertised by a certain comedian who's kind of controversial now? My sisters and I LOVED them and begged my mom to buy them for us whenever she went to the store. I vaguely remember us trying to convince her that they weren't "really ice cream", just frozen pudding and therefore somehow healthier! Aren't kids the best? Well, now you can revive the kid in you with these nostalgic vanilla pudding pops to which of course I had to add chocolate chips! Creamy frozen vanilla pudding on a stick with little hints of chocolate throughout? What could be better?!!
I have to warn you that with the weather finally turning warmer, I am on a serious popsicle-making kick. All kinds and varieties! Of course you can use paper cups and sticks, but if you don't already own a popsicle mold, I seriously suggest you get one or you may have to contend with severe pangs of envy! It's a long summer season we're coming into...I'm just sayin' . I have one from Prepworks--I'm not getting any sort of kickback for recommending it, so buy whatever you like--there are many great varieties out there. Helpful hint: pick up extra little wooden sticks--we're always running out of them and there's nothing sadder than not have a stick for your popsicle!!
Why make these when I can just easily pick up a package at the store? Good question! Yes, you could just buy these ready made (or something like them, not sure if they actually sell them anymore) or make them using instant pudding, but if you make them from scratch you can control what goes in them and eliminate a lot of artificial stuff you and your loved ones really don't need.
And they're so easy to put together too! Whip up a simple vanilla pudding, and layer it in the popsicle molds with mini-chocolate chips any way you like. Takes just minutes and then an agonizing few hours of waiting for them to freeze!
My other helpful hint? Don't tell anyone that you've made these until they're fully frozen and ready to eat unless you want someone asking you "are the pops ready yet?" every 20 minutes!! Waiting--isn't it always the hardest part?
Vanilla Pudding Pops with Chocolate Chips
Makes about 10 pops
You will need a popsicle mold or paper cups and sticks.
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Freeze Time: Several hours or overnight
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mini-chocolate chips (optional)
1. Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Place the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk together well to blend. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking, until all the ingredients are dissolved. Whisk in the egg yolks.
2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk the mixture continuously until a large bubble or two appears and the mixture starts to thicken. Lower the heat to low and continue to whisk for one more minute. Remove from the heat and strain into the bowl. Whisk in the vanilla.
3. If using the chocolate chips, you may want to drop a few into the bottoms of the mold, so that they appear on top of the pop when you unmold them. You can also layer them throughout the pops or simply put a handful of them on the top of the pops (this will really be the bottom of the pop when unmolded). Or you can leave them plain. They're great any way. Pour the pudding into a pitcher or measuring cup with a spout for better control. Then pour into the molds, layering with the chips or not. The original recipe calls for you to chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 1 hour before inserting the sticks, but I couldn't be bothered and just covered the mold after I'd filled it, inserted the sticks and froze.
4. Once frozen, run the molds under hot water to release the pops. These are capable of lasting 2 weeks in the freezer, but let's be real, please!!
Note: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart. I added the chocolate chips and changed the freezing method somewhat.