Grandma's 4-Layer Dream Pie

I have jazzed this up a little bit to make it...well...less Grandma-ish, but it's basically my little peach of a Grandma's dessert that she makes on holidays. It's really delish, and don't let the recipe fool you into thinking it's difficult. It's not.

Layer 1

1 pkg Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix (17.5 oz)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (do not fear the butter...butter is your friend)
1 pkg honey graham crackers, crushed (9-10 whole graham crackers--not the little tiny baby squares that make up the big square)
8 oz walnuts, chopped (or spun in the food processor/blender), save about 2 T to garnish
1/4 C light brown sugar, unpacked

Combine all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl until moistened. The mixture will look crumbly, but should basically be sticking together. Spray a 9" X 13" Pyrex baking dish (or similar...just think "deep baking dish") with cooking spray, then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until the edges are just barely brown. Let this cool completely before moving forward.

Layer 2 In case you missed the first mention...don't make this until the 1st layer is completely cool

24 oz cream cheese (3 regular Philadelphia rectangular jobby's), room temperature
1 C cold milk
2 envelopes Dream Whip (they come in a box with 4 packets, usually in the store next to the ready-made graham cracker pie crusts)
1 T vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (or stand mixer) and beat the crap out of it until it's fluffy and thick. This usually takes about 5 minutes. It's pretty forgiving, so if you beat it for longer than that, it won't call Social Services. If it seems too thick, you can add a little more milk, but you want it to be firm so that your pie isn't a big sloppy mess. Pour this evenly on top of Layer 1 and smooth out.

Layer 3

2 envelopes Dream Whip (the other 2 envelopes from the box you got next to the ready-made graham cracker pie crusts)
2 (regular, not family size) pkgs instant chocolate pudding (I usually use the sugar-free chocolate fudge kind...I have to maintain my girlish figure)
1 1/2 C cold milk

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (or stand mixer), and again...beat the crap out of it. You also want this to be thick, but not like mud. Beat these ingredients for about 5 minutes as well, and then evenly pour and smooth on top of Layer 2.

Layer 4

1 tub of Cool Whip
2 T of chopped walnuts, from above

Evenly spread Cool Whip on top of Layer 3, then sprinkle walnuts on top. Since there are nuts in the first layer, I always put the nuts on top just to warn people that there are nuts in it. Food allergies scare me, and I don't need that on my watch.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and then pig out. Enjoy, and let me know if you liked it. If you do, I'll take credit...if you hate it, lets blame it on my Grandma.

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