Monday, January 7, 2013

Square Eclairs

If you love eclairs, but hesitate to expend the effort to make them yourself - this easy dessert is for you.  This would be considered (by food critics) a ‘trash dessert’ - but my kids had this often growing up and they all turned out in spite of it.  This isn’t in the category of ‘beautiful desserts’ - but we love it.

Most of the recipes in my decades-old file have a prefix that is the name of the person who introduced it to me.  This one reads “Annette Findlay’s Eclair Dessert” - but I’ve renamed it for what it reminds me of... square eclairs.  I had never even heard of it until she gave me the recipe almost 15 years ago.  I’m posting this because my kids keep asking for ALL my recipes to be on this blog (they say it’s easier than using the cookbook)

It’s very likely you have everything you need in your refrigerator and pantry already to make this.  That qualifies it as a ‘last minute Sunday morning’ dessert.  Last minute happens a lot at my house - especially now that all my kids have moved away.  Sometimes on Saturday night, or even on Sunday - they call to ask “how I’m doing” (translation... “what’s for dinner, and can we come?”) 

You only need a few hours to get this made and chilled before you serve it.  It’s best chilled overnight (so the graham crackers aren’t quite so crunchy/firm) - but in a pinch, it still works.

Since I was out of milk, this time I made it with soy milk - and nobody noticed.  It you use a standard 9” x 13” pan - you’ll be about 2 rectangles short when you use a 1-lb box of graham crackers (so plan accordingly by ‘shorting’ the bottom two layers a few portions of crackers so you can completely cover the top)

I often have leftover chocolate frosting in my refrigerator, but you can make a batch with the proportions listed - or (gasp!) use canned frosting.  My kids would be totally surprised at me if I were to do that (I’ve only used canned once, and they never let me forget it)

You could also use cook & serve pudding, or even your own homemade recipe - just makes sure it yields about 3-4 cups.  The hardest part of the process is getting your CoolWhip thawed.  My daughter Aryn taught me that you can nuke a tub of CoolWhip in the microwave for 10 seconds on high and then let it stand a few minutes.  Genius!  (When I read the CoolWhip label, microwaving it invokes the same fear I feel when I go to cut off the annoying label from a pillow - “federal law prohibits removal of this tag...” Who writes this stuff?)

For the recipe, go to:

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