Graham Cracker Éclair Pudding

>This dessert is super simple to make, but tastes as though it took more effort and talent to make it. It’s great for a group dinner or potluck.

PUDDING:

2 small boxes of dry vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 oz.)

3-1/2 cups whole milk

12 oz. Cool Whip

2-3 oz. packages graham crackers

FROSTING:

5 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons milk

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, blend milk and vanilla pudding packets for about 2 minutes.  Fold in Cool Whip.

Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with graham crackers. (You may have to cut some crackers so they fit neatly.)

Spread half of pudding mixture over graham cracker layer. Top with another layer of graham crackers and the remaining pudding. End with a layer of graham crackers that are smooth side up so that the frosting is smooth.

Melt butter in microwave and mix well with milk, cocoa, and powdered sugar to make frosting. (It will be very thin in texture.)

Top all with a final layer of graham crackers bumpy side down. (This will make the top look smooth.)

Finally, pour chocolate frosting on top and spread evenly.

Refrigerate at least four hours before serving to allow the graham crackers to soften.

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CRANBERRY SALAD

I have never liked cranberries—just not my thing. I was at a luncheon at Christmas and some lady had made this jello salad. It was so good, I just had to get the recipe. BTW, I plan on using my little food processor to chop the celery and nuts, so they are barely discernible.

2 three-oz packages cherry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drain and reserve the juice
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Add enough water to the pineapple juice to make 1 cup

Dissolve jello in boiling water

Add cranberry sauce, stir until dissolved.

Add crushed pineapple, lemon juice, celery, and nuts.

Add the cup of pineapple juice.

Place in serving dish and chill for several hours.

Green Pea Salad

Ingredients
1/2 pound bacon, cooked
1 (20 oz.) package frozen peas
1 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped green onions (I just put in the whole bunch of green onions, chopped)
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 (2 oz.) jar pimentos, drained
1/2 c. mayonnaise
3 T. sweet pickle relish
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. seasoned salt (I used regular salt)

Directions
1. Thaw peas by running them under cool water.

2. Combine peas, celery, eggs, green onions, cheddar, and pimientos in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, relish, and seasonings; stir into pea mixture.

3. Cover and refrigerate until serving

Strawberry Shortbread

Use any kind of jam if strawberry isn’t your favorite to make these bars. They are so good.

2-1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts
1 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 cup strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and walnuts.
Then stir in butter and egg until mixture is crumbly. Set aside 2 cups of this mixture and put the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Press gently to form a 9″ square layer.

Spread the preserves over the shorbread.

Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cut into small bars.

ENJOY!!

Chocolate Coconut Bars

As you can probably tell from the listing of cookies, I like to make bar cookies. They go so much faster than making them into cookies. You might want to read all the directions on these cookies before you get started, because you bake the crust first, let it cool, then put the chocolate/peanut butter topping on. So you don’t have to melt the chocolate until about an hour after the crust is baked. This might save you some time.

1/2 cups butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
7 ounces shredded coconut
1 can sweet condensed milk
1/2 cups peanut butter
1 12-oz bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 35o or 325 for glass pans.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Pour into a 13×9 pan.
Add the graham cracker crumbs to the butter and mix.
Cover the bottom of the pan and press the crumbs firmly to make a crust.
Layer the coconut over the graham cracker crumbs.
Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the coconut. Using a spatula, try to spread the milk evenly over the coconut.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cracker/coconut mixture cool for about 1 hour.
Melt the chocolate and the peanut butter together in a small saucepan over a low heat. Be sure not to overheat, as it will burn easily.

Pour over the coconut and spread evenly, like frosting. Cool again in the refrigerator.

Cut into squares and serve.

ENJOY!!!

Chocolate Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cups cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups uncooked quick oats
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mxture.
Add oats and chocolate chips.
1/2 cups chopped walnuts

If dough is too stiff, add 1/4 water.
Form tablespoon-size balls and place on cookie sheet.

Flatten slightly.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Chocolate French Silk Pie

Sometimes you just want to indulge in some decadent chocolate dessert. Well, this is one that is super easy to make and absolutely delicious. Try to imagine it with a cup of hot coffee–mmmmmmmm!

2 cups butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 eggs

1 9″ pie shell

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar

Bake the pie shell according to the directions on your package. I use Pet-Ritz deep dish, but even a store brand works well.

While the pie shell is baking, get started on the filling:

Place the butter in a mixer at medium speed. Slowly pour in the sugar.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. Let cool for a few minutes before adding to the sugar mixture.

Add the vanilla.

Put the mixer speed on medium and add the eggs, one at a time, allowing 5 minutes of mixing between adding each egg.

Pour the filling into the pie shell (make sure it is cool by now).

Refrigerate for about 4 hours.

After the pie has been in the refrigerator for a while, whip the heavy cream together with the sugar. You can decorate the top of the pie with the whipped cream, or store in a bowl and put a dollop on each piece as you serve it.

ENJOY!!