For the Crust:
1 c. butter, softened but not to room temperature
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. pecans, chopped in small pieces
For the Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8oz) packages Philadelphia cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
For the Pudding Layer and Topping
2 small packages Jell-O instant lemon pudding mix
3 1/2 c. cold milk
1 (16oz) container Kraft Cool Whip
lemon zest, to garnish (optional)
Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and chopped pecans in a mixing bowl. A fork works really well to get everything mixed together.
Press into a 9×13 baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes at 350°, or until a light golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Beat together cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth. Spread over cooled crust.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to thicken up a little. Spread on top of the cream cheese layer. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Spread whipped topping over the pudding layer. Cut into 18-24 pieces (depending on how large or small you cut them) and garnish with fresh lemon zest.