Dessert First

While it may seem contradictory, beginning your Yom Tov preparation with desserts that freeze well makes lots of sense. Some desserts are time consuming and preparing them in advance will ensure you have a show-stopping dessert ready when you need it. Others are quick and easy. Here are a couple of delicious options for you to try.

This dessert takes a little more effort but will be worth it when you hear the accolades!

For serving:

Homemade or store-bought vanilla ice cream and chocolate dessert sauce.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

For the pie crust:

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons margarine, cut up

5–6 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Crust: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in margarine until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Do not knead by hand. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork after each addition. Only add enough water to hold dough together.

Shape dough into a ball. It will be somewhat crumbly, but will hold together. Flatten slightly and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight. Allow the dough to return to room temperature before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350°. On a silpat, roll dough out to a 10-inch circle, rolling from the center outward. Turn dough during rolling to prevent sticking. The surface of the pastry should appear marbled with fat. You can also divide the dough into 6 portions and roll out six 4-inch circles.

Transfer dough to your pie plate, tart pan or individual 3-inch tart pans. Gently ease pastry into pan without stretching. Trim or flute edges. Line the pie shell with a piece of aluminum foil.

Fill the shell with pie weights or beans and bake 15 minutes for a full-sized pie or 7–8 for minis, or until edges are lightly browned. Remove foil and weights from crust and continue to bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool. Leave the oven on.

Filling: Place the oil in a large mixing bowl. With a wire whisk, blend in the brown and granulated sugar. Add the eggs, then the vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the cooled pie shell. Bake 35 minutes for the single pie, 20 minutes for the individuals, until lightly browned and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out moist. Do not overbake. Cool the pie for at least 4 hours before serving.

Before you are ready to serve, reheat the pie in a 325° oven for 10 minutes. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and drizzle with chocolate sauce to serve.

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This dessert is so simple you will want to make it more than once!

Quick and Easy Éclair Cake

1 (1-lb.) box graham crackers

2 pounds Bavarian cream (custard)

8 ounces whipped topping, whipped

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Spray the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch glass pan. Line the whole pan with a layer of graham crackers.

Place custard in a bowl and fold in whipped topping. Spread half the custard mixture over graham crackers. Place another layer of whole graham crackers on top of pudding layer. Pour over remaining half of pudding mixture and cover with another layer of graham crackers.

For glaze, blend together cocoa and confectioners’ sugar. Add oil and 1/3 cup water, mixing well. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Stir until creamy.

Cover cake with glaze and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Serve, or cover and freeze for later.