How To Make Butterscotch Pudding, With Chef Carl Van Dekker of Village Dog


During the first evening of the Golden Knives Challenge, Chef Carl Van Dekker  (The Village Dog, Tarrytown) finished his three courses with a butterscotch pudding, accompanied by a rosemary shortbread cookie.


The pudding left the entire dining room speechless—mouths full, diners were too busy enjoying the delightful summer treat. Fast forward to a few weeks later, and you can see a shiny gold trophy sitting in the window of The Village Dog.

chef carl van dekker and chef eric korn

The winner of the Golden Knives Challenge invited us into his kitchen to show us how to make butterscotch pudding and rosemary shortbread recipe, as he prepared the treat for Saturday’s Tarrytown Street Fair to thank neighbors for their support.

Chef Carl Van Dekker’s Butterscotch Pudding with Rosemary Shortbread

Caramel Sauce:


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream


Stir 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan. Remove from heat. Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until smooth. Set caramel sauce aside.



  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 Batch Caramel sauce
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Mix brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in caramel sauce.

2. Whisk egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk 1 cup warm caramel mixture into yolks. Gradually whisk yolk mixture back into caramel mixture in saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Gradually whisk in butter, Scotch, and vanilla.

3. Divide pudding among 8 parfait glasses. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Rosemary Sea-Salt Shortbread

Yield: 4.5 dozen cookies



  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 2 Tbs Rosemary
  • 1 Tbs Maldon Salt (Or other course flake Sea Salt


1. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla and beat well.  Beat in the flour and salt until just combined.  Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours or freeze for up to 2 months.

2. Preheat the oven to 300F.  Roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper to 1/4 inch thick (a 9 x 12-inch rectangle).  Using a sharp knife, cut the shortbread into 1 x 2-inch bars and place them 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets (do not re-roll the scraps). With a fork, prick each shortbread five times, then sprinkle with Rosemary and Sea Salt.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bottoms turn lightly golden around the edges.  Cool completely on a wire wrack.


Missed the Golden Knives Challenge? Chef Van Dekker will be teaming up with Chef Eric Korn (Good Life Gourmet, Irvington) for a pop up restaurant event at The Village Dog Tuesday, June 11th from 6 to 10 p.m. The  four course pre-fixe menu is BYO and by reservation only. Tickets are $60. Email to reserve your seating. The menu includes:

House-Made Ricotta Gnudi
Spring Green Pesto

Grilled Lobster with Leek and American Caviar

Duo of Pork
Coffee Rubbed Pork Loin and Braised Belly

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
Amaretti, and Saba


About Author creator Katie Schlientz started her love affair with food after she cooked her first dinner for her family. On the menu? Straight out of the box mac 'n cheese. While her cooking skills and palate have certainly matured since then, she still loves watching people experience good food. To join the Westchester #foodienation, visit

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