Yes, peanut butter is mixed into the pudding and it takes this simple dessert in a whole different direction. The next time I make this variation, I will use chocolate graham crackers (I only had regular ones this time)....you've gotta give this one a try.
(2) 3½ ounce instant vanilla pudding
1 cup creamy style peanut butter
8 ounce Cool Whip thawed
3 cups of milk
1 pound of graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter (melted)
6 tablespoons boiling water
6 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9x13 dish (breaking to fit if necessary). With an electric mixer, beat the instant pudding, peanut butter with 3 cups milk until very smooth (about 2 minutes) then fold in the Cool Whip. Immediately pour half of this mixture over the 1st layer of graham crackers, spreading it out evenly.
Put another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding and then another layer of pudding mixture. Top second layer of pudding with a final layer of graham crackers.
Cover the dish tightly, with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour before you frost it.
After an hour of chilling, whisk together the melted butter, boiling water, cocoa and vanilla until well blended. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Immediately pour the frosting over the chilled pudding dessert and gently smooth it out.
Place dessert (uncovered) in fridge for an hour or so (until the frosting feels dry to the touch),then stretch plastic wrap over the pan(stretching it tightly so that it doesn't sag and touch the frosting)or just snap a lid onto the dish.
Refrigerate overnight (important).
NOTE: After this "cake" has been in the fridge, overnight, it is easy to cut into squares to serve because the graham crackers are soft.