December 26, 2008

Leftover holiday ingredients

Here we are, the day after Christmas and this can only mean one thing - Clearance Sales! Woo-hoo!!

Well, ok, it also means that we all probably have a bunch of leftover holiday ingredients in the pantry and refrigerator. I came across some unused gingerbread flavored coffee creamer and a box of little gingerbread cookies and decided to find a creative way to use of these products as the holiday spirit still lingers in the air. The result was this recipe for Gingerbread Banana Pudding.

Aren't those little gingerbread men cute! And with all the holiday flavors, it tasted great. Give it a try with some of your leftover ingredients. The recipe is also flexible and you can easily swap the coffee creamer, cookies and spices with your favorite flavors or with whatever you find in your pantry and fridge!

Gingerbread Banana Pudding

1 cup gingerbread flavored liquid coffee creamer
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 3.4 ounce package instant banana cream pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 13 ounce box gingerbread men, about 2 inch size
3-4 bananas sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
Nutmeg for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, place coffee creamer, 1 cup heavy cream, pudding mix, vanilla extract and ground ginger. Whisk 2 minutes until thickened and set aside. In a large mixer bowl, place remaining heavy cream, mascarpone cheese and confectioners sugar. Whip at medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Fold mixture gently into pudding mixture until well combined. Begin layering pudding by spooning a few tablespoons of pudding mixture into a 2 quart glass serving bowl. Stand several gingerbread men around perimeter of bowl so they can be seen through glass. On top of pudding, place a flat layer of cookies, then a layer of bananas, followed by a pudding layer. Repeat layering process ending with pudding on top. Dust top pudding layer with nutmeg and garnish with additional gingerbread men, if desired. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

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