For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.
Today: Whether you take your coffee black, with cream and sugar, or in ice cream form, this pudding will fulfill your caffeine craving.
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When I try to remember a time before coffee, all I see is darkness. I was a child at some point (there are photographs to prove it) and during that era I am told that I was coffee-free. I am grateful to have no recollection because that sounds like a nightmare.
The affair began in high school. As soon as I was old enough to drive myself, I went to the nearest Starbucks. Coffee seemed romantic and classy, which had something to do with this song but more to do with the smell, which struck me (and still does) as all loveliness and comfort and a scrappy sense of purposefulness. I fell very hard.
Every form of coffee has its time: Black is for work desks and deadline-meeting; milky is for lazy Saturday morning cartoons reading in bed; frozen as an ice cream flavor, it’s ideal for midnight freezer raids; and cold brew, harbinger of sunny weather, is for walks through parks and for picnics, plus brunch and general good living. The coffee-flavored macarons are the best ones in the box. The secret pinch of espresso is what makes a chocolate cake. “Coffee?” is a totally acceptable first sentence of the day. It absolutely includes a verb.
The time for coffee pudding, coincidentally, is right now. Warmer weather means cold desserts are a must, and this one stays just shy of popsicle-style brain freeze temperatures. It’s put-together enough to end a dinner party and simple enough to whip up one night before bed and then snag from the fridge the next day after work, perfectly chilled. Pudding may scare you as a concept if you’re used to the brown bag snack-packs of middle school yore, but this is all grown up: creamy, caffeine-spiked, and totally addiction-feeding.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).