Chocolate Pudding Icebox Cake
33/4 cups milk, divided
11/2 cups half-and-half
11/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
41/2 tablespoons cornstarch
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
40 chocolate wafers (such as Famous) or sandwich cookies
Measure 3 cups milk, the half-and-half, 1/2 cup sugar and the salt into a saucepan. Bring to a low boil, stirring, over medium-high heat. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the cocoa, cornstarch and remaining 3/4 cup milk briskly in a bowl. Very gradually pour the hot mixture into the bowl, whisking constantly. Strain mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to cook about 15 seconds, until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat.
Transfer to bowl of an electric mixer. Add chocolate and beat until it has melted. Beat in the vanilla and butter (a thin slice at a time). Continue beating until the mixture has cooled and is thoroughly mixed, about 5 minutes.
Place a layer of wafers on the bottom of an 8-inch-square baking dish. Spoon a third of the pudding mixture on top and smooth to corners. Top with a second layer of cookies, a second layer of pudding mix, then repeat. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Just before serving, top with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls, chopped nuts or jimmies as desired. Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: 426 calories (42 percent from fat), 21 g fat ( 10.8. g saturated, 6.6 g monounsaturated), 150 mg cholesterol, 7.7 g protein, 57 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber, 314 mg sodium.