You are going to want to go out to your kitchen and make this as soon as you can. Peanut butter cookies layered in creamy pudding and topped with chocolate frosting is dessert perfection. The only down side is that it needs to be made 24 hours before you plan to eat it. But don’t worry, while it sits in the fridge not only do the cookies soften, but all the calories disappear too. Really. I wouldn’t lead you astray.
This dessert is a variation of the popular Éclair Cake, which uses graham crackers. I decided that using peanut butter sandwich cookies would be even better. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- 1 package of peanut butter sandwich cookies (I used Nutter Butters)
- 2 boxes French vanilla instant pudding mix (3.5 oz each)
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed (8 oz container)
Split all the cookies open using a butter knife. Don’t worry if the icing comes off unevenly. Some cookies will have some icing, all the icing or none. It doesn’t matter.
Beat the milk and pudding mix with an electric mixer until thickened. Fold in the whipped topping with a rubber spatula.
Place a layer of cookies, icing side up on the bottom of a dish. I found that 9×13 was a bit too big, but it can work. I ended up using one that is just smaller, about 8×11. You might also be able to use a 9×9” pan, but make sure it is deep.
Put a layer of cookies on the bottom. Add half the pudding mixture. Place another layer of cookies icing side up over the pudding. Add the rest of the pudding. Place the final layer of cookies, icing side down. Don’t worry if there are gaps between the cookies. It will look like this:
Cover this and refrigerate while you make the frosting. The frosting recipe is an adaptation of Fluffy Chocolate Frosting from The Cake Mix Doctor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted*
- 1/3 cup milk, plus more to get creamy consistency
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Beat the butter and cocoa together with an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add extra milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is very spreadable and creamy, a bit more than you would for a cake.
Carefully frost the top of the dessert, getting as close to the edge as you can. I left a small amount of pudding showing around the edge. You will probably have some frosting left over. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
* I don’t have a sifter any more, so I put the powdered sugar in a bowl and run a fork through it, combing out the clumps. It works fine enough. One of these days I need to buy a new sifter.