To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool completely.
To prepare filling, place 1 cup sugar and cream cheeses in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Fold in half of whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture on cooled crust. Cover loosely; refrigerate 1 hour.
Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until pudding is set. Spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining half of thawed whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Cut into 15 pieces.
Nothing very special about this dessert and the "do a layer, chill an hour, do the next layer" approach makes it fairly time consuming. For a really nice upgrade in simplicity and deliciousness, I highly recommend the Chocolate Eclair Cake recipe (also available on MyRecipes).
This is one of my all time favorite desserts. Perfect for a crowd and pleases everyone on a hot summer day. I made mine gluten free, by using a GF flour blend in the crust, and it was YUMMY. As in other reviews, I used all 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I also used a large tub of the lite cool whip.
This is my families top ten desserts, my youngest son and I could eat the whole pan if we could. I don't put cocoa powder on top, I save a few chopped pecans and sprinkle them over the top. I love, love, love this dessert!