I have no idea as to the origin of this recipe. I stumbled upon it, quite by accident, crumpled in the back of my recipe box. My guess is that it harkens (just hearing “harken” should tell you it’s old) from the early '80s). A baseball-watching friend of ours has dinner with us once a week to either praise or bemoan the Cardinals (if you’re a sports fan, you know that we are currently bemoaning). He loves peanut butter. He used to bring a peanut butter pie almost weekly until finally we just couldn’t take it anymore. It’s been a year since we’ve had any sort of peanut butter dessert. Finding this recipe, I thought, was a stroke of fate, indicating that it was time to try peanut butter again.
This is a very easy pudding to make. Because of the cornstarch there is absolutely no guesswork involved as far as cooking time is concerned. I like that in a pudding. It is nicely peanut buttery without being overly so, and the level of sweetness is just right, not cloying.
Peanut Butter Pudding
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a saucepan. Stream milk and half-and-half into the saucepan while whisking constantly to dissolve the sugar mixture.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring continually, for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; stir peanut butter and vanilla extract into the milk mixture until smooth.
Divide the mixture into 4 small serving dishes and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Top with dollops of whipped cream and roasted peanuts.
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