New twist on an old potluck classic! Spicy cinnamon, gooey caramel and velvety-smooth cream filling. Easy and no baking required!
An Old-Time Classic
I pretty much fell in love with the original eclair dessert when I first had it at an office potluck.
The one thing I found that I wanted to change from the original was the topping. Let me say that I like chocolate–I’m not a fanatic, but I like it. However, the amount of chocolate icing/glaze was a bit of a problem for me because so much chocolate seemed to overpower the other flavors.
What I did was simply frost it with whipped topping and drizzle chocolate ganache on top and that reduced the overly chocolatey taste.
The real re-work of this came about 10 years ago when I hosted a party for a well-known spice and pre-packaged food company that a friend sold. I made this, incorporating a couple of their products, the caramel sauce and the cinnamon graham pretzels. That dessert literally evaporated in about 10 minutes. Luckily, I grabbed a bite off one of my friend’s serving and then I could see why it disappeared so quickly.
Better Blend of Flavors
The hint of cinnamon and the blend of just enough chocolate drizzle with the caramel really took this old standby to the next level.
While I don’t buy that company’s grahams nor caramel sauce because it’s way too costly, I use cinnamon grahams and just the average-priced caramel topping you find over by the ice creams in the store.
You can use regular grahams, of course, but if you cannot find the cinnamon ones, just sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the cracker layers.
My suggestion here is you partially freeze this before serving. It’ll be easier to cut that way. Especially if you are serving to company where you’d want a nice presentation. If it’s just the family, it makes no difference. Just grab a spoon and enjoy this!
- 18-22 whole cinnamon grahams -OR- regular/honey grahams (see NOTES)
- 2 tubs (8 oz each) whipped topping
- 1 pkg (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1¾ cups milk
- 1 cup caramel ice cream sauce (reserve about ¼ cup for drizzle)
- Chocolate Ganache:
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 3 tbs heavy cream
- Whisk pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes.
- Fold 1 tub of whipped topping into the pudding; set aside.
- Place 1 layer of graham crackers on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan.
- Pour about ¼ cup of the caramel sauce over the graham crackers.
- Spread half of the pudding mix over the graham crackers.
- Repeat graham crackers, caramel sauce and remaining half of the pudding mixture.
- Place another layer of graham crackers on top.
- Frost with the remaining tub of whipped topping.
- Make ganache by placing the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove and stir until there are no lumps. You may have to nuke for another 10-15 seconds if you still have some lumps after stirring well. FYI--be patient as chocolate should be melted slowly. After the initial 30 seconds, you may have to stir for 2-3 minutes. If you still have lumps after this time, nuke for the additional time stated previously.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the dessert, then drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over the top of the dessert.
- Chill VERY thoroughly. My trick is partially freezing or even totally freezing this until I'm almost ready to serve. If the dessert is completely frozen, thaw for about 30-60 minutes before serving.
If you wish the cinnamon accents but cannot find cinnamon graham crackers, then mix ½ cup sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over each layer of crackers that will be covered by the pudding mixture.