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Southern Special Banana Pudding
By Patty De La Garza
1 large box of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 ounces) soft cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large can of sweetened condensed milk
1 container Cool Whip® whipped topping
2 large boxes of vanilla wafer cookies
6 large bananas sliced
Prepare pudding, according to directions on box, and let set in fridge. Next, in a separate bowl, use a hand blender to blend cream cheese and condensed milk till smooth. Add the chilled and set pudding to the cream cheese mixture and fold together gently until well incorporated. Once well mixed, you are ready to add Cool Whip. You want to fold in the whipped topping, make sure to blend well, but do not overmix. Finally, in an extra-large bowl, layer the bottom with the cookies (I layer up the sides of the bowl as well), then add a layer of sliced bananas, and then gently spread half the pudding mixture on top. Repeat the layers and finish by sprinkling 1/2 cup of crushed wafers on top. Chill for 2 hours. I like to add a little Cool Whip on top when serving.

Note: The longer the pudding sets, the better it tastes and the softer the wafers become!