Since we already used them in some cookies, we went a different route and turned a basic chocolate pudding into a Chocolate-Peppermint Pudding for a snack today! This cooked pudding starts out by combining sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt. For a smoother flavor, I prefer to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder, but if you like the edge that the natural has, feel free to use it. A combination of milk and evaporated milk (using this duo gives the pudding a great mouth-feel without the need to use heavy cream) are whisked in and the mixture is brought to a boil. To prevent the bottom from scorching, be sure to be whisking constantly while you wait for it to bubble. Once you see the mixture thicken, the original recipe calls for a couple ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate to be stirred in off heat - this is where we swapped in those peppermint chips.
To make serving easier, we portioned the pudding off into individual cups before refrigerating - I don't care much for the skin that can form as they chill, so I covered the surface of my pudding cups with plastic wrap. Jeff on the other hand loves that, so we left the plastic off of his portions. Texture-wise this pudding was very good - velvety smooth and thick. The flavor? If you love chocolate and peppermint as much as we do, then you won't be disappointed! The peppermint was not so strong that it muddled the deep chocolate flavor, yet it was not too mild either - just minty enough for us.