Janet's Notebook
Bring Comfort to Your Holiday Table with Nostalgic Pudding Recipes

Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

Pudding? Boring? Never! The varieties are endless... and so easy! Chances are a bowl of pudding served down South is going to be laced with golden slices of banana and a healthy crunch of vanilla cookies. New England cooks make the most of their stellar maple resources by pouring it atop steaming bowls of creamy rice pudding. And the UK... well, I'll save their pudding for another day.

Ask for a bowl of pudding at Maggie May Schill's Jacksonville, FL home and you'll be served a petite ramekin filled with the most decadent of bread puddings! Her recipe for Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding is truly 99% inspiration, 1% perspiration. "My husband's favorite thing in the world is bread pudding," laughs the Blue Ribbon cook. "He was recently gone on a business trip and left me all by myself for almost a week, which got me lonesome! [I] got missing him, so I started thinking about bread pudding - remembering the yummy white chocolate and dark chocolate ganache bread pudding we had on our honeymoon - and then immediately got experimenting!"

Maggie May recalled the sensational "Bitter Blanc" bread pudding she and her new husband shared and set to recreating the dish. She credits her recipe to fond memories and research into traditional French confections. And boy, can you tell! This dish is comforting to the core and oozes French decadence. Like Maggie, you won't soon forget this dish either!

Equally rich is Maureen Gorman's family favorite: Stove Top Rice Pudding! With classic flavors and a straightforward cooking method, I suspect that your family will quickly become fans too. "This recipe was given to me long ago and it has been passed around for years," says the North Benn, VT cook. "All my friends and family love it!! I usually double my ingredients so we can have it again or share." My own daughter-in-law (and Test Kitchen gal), Krissi, is a rice pudding aficionado and she gives this recipe two enthusiastic thumbs-up. If you've never made rice pudding before, this is a great way to start. Great flavor and super easy preparation.

Corn pudding is a Southern delicacy that has its rustic roots in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. A perfect combination of savory and sweet, this yummy side is a fun departure from conventional pudding. Heidi Moyer of Mathias, WV recently won a Blue Ribbon for a delicious recipe passed down from her mom. Her secret ingredients? Creamed corn and cornbread mix! My sweet Aunt Margaret always made amazing corn pudding for our holiday table, and this recipe rates right up there with hers! Heidi sums it up well, "This one is so easy to make and so delicious!"

Rounding out the delicious pudding parade are Betty Graves' amazing Banana Pudding Squares. There are so many wonderfully simple pudding dessert recipes, but this is a Kitchen Crew favorite. It has the substance of traditional Southern banana pudding coupled with the beautiful presentation of banana cream pie. "This is not a diabetic recipe," jokes Betty, a resident of Germantown, TN. "You get the full flavors from all the ingredients. This recipe is a step up from other banana pudding recipes." We heartily second that notion. Adding a pinch of TLC to prepared ingredients like cream cheese, pudding mix and whipped topping, makes Betty's recipe as easy as it is delicious. This is a great dish to use to get your kids involved in the kitchen. If they're anything like the Crew and me, they'll be itching to make it again and again.

With the holidays nearing, it's wonderful to welcome these nostalgic recipes back into the kitchen... and onto our tables. Whether savory or sweet, make room for a little comfort food this season. As these Blue Ribbon cooks tell us, it truly is the substance upon which memories are made. The proof is, well, in the pudding!

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Betty Graves - Nov 15, 2011
Thanks for posting my Banana Pudding Squares in your notebook. I hope everyone that trys this recipe will enjoy it as much as my family has. Thanks again.
joy groomes-boltzj - Nov 15, 2011
Peggy Boyd - Nov 6, 2011
It looks too yummy
Norma DeRemer - Nov 6, 2011
Who doesn't like pudding? These recipes are great.
Alley Martin - Nov 5, 2011
There is always time for pudding recipes.... oh yes!!!
Linda Davis - Nov 5, 2011
YUM... pudding!
Kathleen Nicholson - Nov 5, 2011
Is it too late to send a favorite holiday puddding recipe in????? I haven't been in the JUST A PINCH website for quite awhile and today I saw all the postings for Holiday puddings. The holidays wouldn't be the Holidays without puddings. They are as timely as Scrooge himself. Pls let me know
Peggy Fost - Nov 5, 2011
try food network.com for a cornbread dressing in muffin tins. Rachael Ray has made these on her show before
Kathie Bordelon - Nov 4, 2011
Found it! Thanks so much.
Sheila Curry - Nov 4, 2011
Where is the recipe or Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding? It sounds yummy.
Kathie Bordelon - Nov 2, 2011
O.K., so where's the Bitter Blanc pudding recipe??? Sounds like something I should try!
Jodie Crow - Nov 2, 2011
Can't wait to try it! Do you have a good recipe for Cornbread Dressing in a muffin tin? Want to serve individual servings of dressing by using a muffin tin? HELP!
Maggie May Schill - Nov 1, 2011
Sweet, my pudding! :-D I hope people try it, keep the food-love flowing. I Definitely will be trying some of these others.