I am not a particular fan of the “no bake” dessert. Nor am I a fan of non-dairy toppings or frosting in plastic containers. But in the same way that I do not like either gin or tonic, when the two of them come together with a wedge of lime, it is magic. Such is the case with this assortment of prefab ingredients and the end result.
This is a recipe that my mother used to make, and dates back to the seventies. It was the requested dessert at the birthday dinner that I prepared for my number one son last Friday. Easy to assemble, often with ingredients on hand, it has the added bonus of needing to be made 1-2 days in advance of serving.
My grandson puzzled over the layers.
“How did you do this grandma (and I absolutely love being called “grandma!”)? Is it a Pop Tart, then pudding, then a Pop Tart, then pudding, and chocolate?”
Inasmuch as I cringed at the thought of my dessert tasting like a Pop Tart, the clever boy wasn't far off. It is graham crackers layered with pudding blended with non-dairy topping, twice, and then chocolate frosting. They really do taste like éclairs!
Chocolate Éclair Dessert Squares
Yields 14 servings
2 (3.4-ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 cups whole milk
1 (16-ounce) box graham crackers
1 container dark chocolate frosting
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk until it begins to thicken; set aside. Arrange a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan.
Carefully spread half of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers. Top with another layer of graham crackers and the remaining pudding. Top this with a final layer of graham crackers.
Microwave the can of frosting (lid and foil covering removed) for about 30 seconds on the highest setting until pourable. Pour over graham crackers and, using an offset spatula, spread evenly over the dessert, including corners and edges. Cover and chill for 8-24 hours before serving.