ISO substitute for banana liquer in this banana pudding recipe
I have made this recipe from Alton Brown before: Refrigerated Banana Pudding.
However, I would like to find a non-alcoholic substitute for the banana liquer used to soften the cookies.
I read the comments on Food Network's website and a few suggested simple syrup with banana extract. I have two problems with this idea. 1st, several commenters said this recipe was too sweet, so I don't want to add any sweetness. When I made it the first time, the sweetness level was OK to me, but I would not want to add any more sugar. 2nd, I do not want to use banana extract. Part of the appeal to this recipe is that everything is from scratch, including the vanilla wafers. I would prefer to avoid using an artificial flavoring.
So, any suggestions or ideas? I feel that avoiding the soaking process will not result in a good consistency.
I just made this pudding tonight, but I simplified it by skipping the vanilla wafers entirely. I don't like store bought and didn't have time to make my own, so I went with the homemade custard and the bananas. I did mash up half a banana and stirred it into the warm custard, and did not wait for the custard to chill before spooning it over the sliced bananas. I also skipped the cream topping. It was absolutely delicious, got raves from my family. I may try the homemade wafers at some point, but I'm pretty sure I'll never use the banana liqueur. There's no reason for it if you add the wafers early enough to soften them in the pudding.
You can skip it altogether. The cookies soften from putting it in the fridge overnight.
This is my gold standard recipe for banana pudding, from the legendary Magnolia bakery in NYC (I've stood in line many a night for a cup of pudding). It's crazy simple and fantastic (and the vanilla wafers always have the right consistency the next day - without any soaking).