I have always been a fan of cookies n’ cream ice cream, where chunks of chocolate, oreo-type cookies are blended into a creamy base. When I have a couple extra cookies on hand and a batch of ice cream or frozen yogurt that needs spicing up, I’ll often chop them up and throw them into the mix. This time I was making a batch of vanilla pudding pops and decided to see how I could incorporate the same technique.
I don’t recall ever seeing a cookies n’ cream popsicle in the freezer section of the grocery store, so when I began I didn’t have a reference as to how the cookies should be suspended in the pudding. I wanted to keep the cookies in fairly large chunks and immediately ruled out trying to stir them into the pudding as it cooked.
I ended up crumbling one cookie into the base of each popsicle mold. As the warm pudding was poured in, the cookie pieces swirled around and evenly distributed themselves in the popsicle, creating a more perfect pop than I could have hoped for. The result was delicious and addictive.
I included corn syrup in the recipe because it helps the pudding pops maintain a nice, smooth texture when frozen, cutting down on the formation of ice crystals that plague homemade popsicles. That said, the pudding pops will still be quite smooth if you don’t use the corn syrup, so it’s not a big deal if you prefer not to use it in your version.
Cookies n’ Cream Pudding Pops
3 cups milk, divided
1 tbsp corn syrup (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
5 tbsp cornstarch
small pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oreo-type cookies
In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 1/2 cups milk, sugar and corn syrup (if using)over medium heat, whisking to dissolve sugar. Bring to a simmer. You will see steam coming from the milk, but no bubbles.
Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup milk, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. When the milk/sugar mixture comes to a simmer again, whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
Whisking frequently, continue to cook for several minutes, until pudding comes to a simmer and begins to thicken (I generally cook it for about 1 more minute at this point, but it depends on the heat of your stove). It should thickly coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla paste (vanilla extract with beans suspended in it; plain extract is fine).
Pour into clean popsicle molds and transfer to freezer.
Freeze until solid, or overnight.
Makes about 8, depending on the size of popsicle molds.
(This recipe can be halved and any kind of milk can be used, though I typically use low fat.)