one 16-ounce package peanut butter sandwich cookies (like Nutter Butter Cookies), divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
one 3.9-ounce package JELL-O Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix (not sugar-free)
1 1/2 cups cold milk (use cow's milk; pudding won't set up with soy, almond, cashew milk. I used 1% cow's milk)
4 ounces PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, softened (not lite)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (not 'natural')
one 8-ounce tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed and divided
1/4 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To the canister of a food processor, add 24 peanut butter cookies and process on high speed until broken down into very fine crumbs; set aside.
- To a small microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 30 seconds.
- Add the melted butter to the peanut butter cookie crumbs and process on high speed to combine, about 30 seconds.
- Turn mixture out into prepared baking pan and using the back of a spatula, hard-pack the mixture to form a even, flat crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven; set aside to cool. While crust bakes, you can move onto steps 6 and 7.
- Add remaining 8 peanut butter cookies to food processor and pulse to break up cookies into bite-sized chunks, about 10 pulses or as necessary. Reserve cookie chunks in a small covered bowl or ziptop bag for use as a topping.
- To a medium bowl, add the pudding mix, milk, and whisk vigorously for at least 1 minute, making sure powder is fully dissolved and mixture is smooth. Place bowl in fridge to chill.
- To a large bowl, add the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, and beat for about 1 minute using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, or until smooth and combined.
- Add half the tub of COOL WHIP and beat for about 1 minute using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, or until smooth and combined; set aside.
- To the crust (make sure it's cooled), add the pudding (make sure it's thick and set up) in a smooth, even layer.
- Add the cream peanut butter mixture in a smooth, even layer. I find it easiest to add it in golf ball-sized dollops staggered around the pan and then using a spatula, blend the dollops together to create a seamless layer. Take your time so you don't disturb the layers underneath.
- Add the remaining half tub of COOL WHIP in a smooth, even layer.
- Cover and refrigerate pan for at least 2 hours, or until dessert is fully set-up. I made it 4 days before a party and placed dessert in the freezer at this point, and 2 hours before the party, I took it out, garnished with the remaining ingredients, and served.
- Before serving, evenly sprinkle with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and reserved Nutter Butter cookie chunks. Dessert will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months, noting that crust and sprinkled cookies on top may loose crispness as time passes.
Original Recipes visit: Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars @ averiecooks.com