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Decadent dessert isn't hard to make

Eclair Delights are made using instant pudding and canned frosting

Eclair Delights are made using instant pudding and canned frosting

June 03, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Tina Tyler, 44, of Hagerstown, never thought she'd see the day when she ate, liked and passed along a not-from-scratch dessert recipe involving instant pudding and canned frosting.

But her Eclair Delights - made from layers of instant vanilla pudding, graham crackers and canned chocolate icing - are hard to turn down.

"It must be the combination," Tyler said. "Everyone always asks me what's the topping, and I tell them. They never say, 'Ugh, that's canned icing.'"

Tyler enjoys making soups and chili, and she can make a mean gingerbread-peach upside-down cake during the holidays. More evidence of Tyler's cooking prowess: In 2006, her carrot cookie recipe placed in the top 10 of The Herald-Mail's cookie contest.

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But sometimes you want something quick, fast and easy, Tyler said. And the Eclair Delights are a quick indulgence for Tyler, the mother of two and a half kids - Matthew, 20, Ashley, 19, and Samson the dog.

Her husband, Donnie, is a fan of the Eclairs, too, Tyler said.

The appeal? Eclair Delights are the embodiment of low-maintenance.

"The hardest part is making the pudding," Tyler said.

After the pudding is made and cooled, Tyler alternates layers of graham crackers and pudding in a glass cake pan, then tops off the dish with canned chocolate frosting before allowing the entire dish to set in the refrigerator. After it has set, the dish is sliced for serving.

Another plus: They taste like a real eclair, a French confection made from choux pastry and cream.

"Every time I make it, someone asks me for the recipe. and I'm like, 'Oh, it's so easy," Tyler said.

Q&A with Tina Tyler

Q: When do you usually make your Eclair Delights?

A: Usually for church and for picnics.

Q: What are some other things you like to cook?

A: I make a lot of cheesecakes. And chicken corn chowder. It's actually my grandmother's recipe. I would like to pass along the chicken corn chowder to my daughter.

Q: Has any of this cooking rubbed off on your children?

A: My daughter has just started to want to cook, and of course my husband and son - they just like to eat.

Q: Did you grow up cooking?

A: Yeah, I grew up cooking at home. I'm from Pennsylvania - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, about an hour northeast of Harrisburg.

Q: I couldn't help but notice that you have two bags of fortune cookies on the shelf. Cookies with Bible verses in them. What's that all about?

A: (Laughing) At my church (Christ Community Church in Hagerstown) we send (them and other) things off to college students and to the troops.

Eclair Delights

2 large (generally 4 to 6 ounces each) boxes of instant vanilla pudding mix

6 cups whole milk

1 (8-ounce) container of whipped topping (see cook's note)

1 box graham crackers

1 (16-ounce) can of chocolate fudge frosting

Tube of decorative white frosting (optional)

Mix pudding and milk according to the directions on the instant pudding box. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Mix pudding and 8 ounces of whipped topping together.

Put one layer of whole graham crackers on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. Cover with half of the pudding mixture.

Put down another layer of the graham crackers on top of the pudding mixture. Cover with the remaining pudding mixture, and top with another layer of graham crackers.

Melt frosting in the microwave for 40 seconds and pour over the graham crackers.

Drizzle with white frosting (optional).

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Slice before serving.

Cook's note: You will need more whipped topping if you want to add a dollop of whipped topping on top of each slice asa shown in photo above.

Serves about 12.

- Recipe courtesy of Tina Tyler

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