These cute little puddings are perfect for a birthday party or as after-dinner treats. Change them up a little and customize to your liking (or your pantry's contents): Use crushed chocolate sandwich cookies instead of vanilla wafers, or add a little bit of strawberry jam for a peanut butter and jelly spin!
Whisk together the granulated sugar, 1/3 cup of the milk, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 2/3 cups milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk half into the egg mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk the egg mixture into the milk in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook, continuing to whisk, until the mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and whisk in the peanut butter until melted. Transfer to a medium bowl, and let the pudding cool to room temperature, stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming, about 45 minutes.
Cut the bananas into small chunks. Put an even tablespoon of pudding in the bottom of a 5-ounce paper cup; top with 2 cookies and then 1 tablespoon of bananas. Repeat with another layer of pudding, cookies and bananas. Top with a final layer of pudding. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 8 pudding cups. Cover the cups with plastic wrap, and refrigerate long enough for the cookies to soften, at least 6 hours and (preferably) overnight.
When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until medium-to-stiff peaks form. Top each cup with a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.
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