Who doesn't love chocolate eclairs? Even the hard-core fruit lovers dig this tasty dessert with enough cream to be light and enough chocolate to be decadent. However, I don't have the skills or patience to make the "real" pastry version, so I opt for the easy way out.
This recipe came to me via an old family friend, Dottie Milhon, and I'm hoping she doesn't mind me sharing my adapted version!
Here's what you need for the main dish:
- 1-2 boxes graham crackers (depending on the shape of your pan)
- 2 small boxes FRENCH vanilla pudding
- 3 cups milk
- 1 8-9 ounce container whipped cream (like Cool Whip)
Here's what you need for the topping:
- 1 stick of margarine
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons light Karo syrup
- 4 squares of Bakers bittersweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons milk
Note: IF you can find Bakers chocolate in pre-melted packets, that's MUCH easier, but I can't ever find them anymore. If you do find them,use two of them for the topping and adjust the margarine down to just 3 Tablespoons.
Spray or grease a 9x13 glass pan. Add a layer of graham crackers on the bottom. Mix together the pudding and milk then fold in the whipped cream.
Put half of the mixture over the crackers and smooth.Add another layer of crackers, then put the remaining cream on top.
Add final layer of crackers. Put them upside down so the smooth part is facing the top.
Take the chocolate squares and melt with the margarine. I usually do this by making a "double boiler," where I boil water in a sauce pan then put my ingredients in a glass bowl on top. This keeps the chocolate from overheating and makes the blending go smoothly.
When the chocolate is melted, add vanilla, syrup, and milk. Then gently sift the powdered sugar into the mix.
Pour the mixture over the top of the crackers and smooth.Refrigerate overnight and the top will harden and the graham crackers will soften and the flavors will all come together nicely.If you're not entirely pleased with how the top looks, sift a little extra powdered sugar and no one will notice!