These are really cute treats for kids, not to mention pretty tasty. I made my own vanilla pudding, but I’ve also used boxed pudding in the past when I made a large batch for a party. Both tasted and looked great. The following pudding recipe yields about 3 small cups, so adjust accordingly, or used boxed if you’re making a large quantity. A suggestion about decorating the cups: when you’re putting the chocolate face on the side of the cup, put it lower on the side so that you don’t have to fill the entire cup with pudding. I made these for a kids’ Halloween party last year – kids are notorious for taking a few bites then leaving the rest, so if the cups aren’t filled all the way, you’re not wasting as much pudding. Trust me – I learned the hard way…
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups milk (preferably whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 ½ vanilla beans halved
4 egg yolks
Green food coloring - I prefer to use Gel
Small clear plastic cups
Chocolate cookies – I like Trader Joe’s O’s; Oreos will also work
Start with decorating the cups. Put your chocolate chips in a small pan and melt. Take the melted chocolate and make a face on the side of the cup using the opposite end of a spoon or a skewer stick– two slanted lines for eyes, and a squiggly line for the mouth. You can get creative here and make something spooky and unique. When done, put the cup directly into the freezer so the chocolate hardens. Leave them in the freezer until your done with the pudding.
Start the vanilla pudding.
Whisk together the sugar, flour, salt in a bowl and set aside in medium mixing bowl. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the vanilla extract, or beans if using. Add the food coloring until you get a nice bright green. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan - about 5 minutes.
Gradually add the milk to the flour mixture whisking constantly. Transfer back to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, whisking for about 5 minutes. Add 3 egg yolks and continue to whisk. Cook over medium heat until, stirring, until it comes to a boil and thickens – about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat, and if using vanilla beans, remove pods. Put into a bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap to prevent a layer forming on top. Let stand at room temp until cool.
Take the chocolate cookies and smash into a bowl. When the pudding has cooled, remove the cups from the freezer and pour the green pudding into the cup, top with a layer of crushed cookies and they’re ready to be served!
You can use different colors of pudding and chocolate to make Halloween creatures: chocolate pudding with white chocolate for the face; vanilla pudding with a dark chocolate ghost face in a tall cup. Let your kids use their imagination!