Oscar-worthy recipe

The 84th Academy Awards take place this Sunday at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, and are said to have a more comfortable feeling about them compared to award shows of the past. With a nine-time returning host (Billy Crystal) and a frontrunner film that is predicted to take home gold (“The Artist”), you can sit back and relax this year, and instead enjoy some comfort food at home.

After-Party Dessert – Midnight in Paris’ Chocolate Eclairs

·         1/2 cup of butter

·         1 cup of water

·         1 cup of all-purpose flour

·         1/4 teaspoon of salt

·         4 eggs

·         1 (5 ounce) package of instant vanilla pudding mix

·         2 1/2 cups of cold milk

·         1 cup of heavy cream

·         1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar

·         1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

·         2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate

·         2 tablespoons of butter

·         1 cup of confectioners' sugar

·         1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

·         3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and grease a cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low, and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely after each addition. With a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a large tip, spoon or pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 1 1/2 x 4 inch strips.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake 20 minutes more, until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling, combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl according to package directions. In a separate bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold whipped cream into pudding. Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.

For the icing, melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and drizzle over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving.

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