I swear I’m going to write about chicken, and fish, and soup, and pasta again. Promise. But I figure the holidays aren’t really over until the New Year. And what’s one more pound gained this season in the name of a really great cookie?
This was the first year we introduced Santa Claus to the kids, and while it went right over Trevor’s head, Haley embraced the concept immediately. She wasn’t scared to sit on his lap, wasn’t nervous about telling him what she wished for, and was so excited to help me make cookies on Christmas Eve. As the final batch was done cooling, I left the ultimate decision in her hands of how many cookies to leave out on the Santa plate. She deemed 11 the perfect amount. So, 11 cookies it was.
These are my new favorite – super soft and sort of creamy, just the way I prefer. But what might appear as your basic chocolate chip cookies (yummy), actually have a secret ingredient that sets them apart – vanilla pudding mix (yummier.) Not only could we taste the vanilla pudding, but apparently the other added benefit is that it helps the cookies stay fresh longer. (I wouldn’t know. If anyone can make these last more than three days, I’d like to hear about it.)
I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, which gave it another layer. Next time, I’m going to break into my stash of butterscotch chips. No doubt those will be awesome, too.
Curious what Santa thought about them? Well, all 11 cookies were gone when the kids woke up in the morning. Haley said, “Wow. Santa was hungry.”
Ya, that was it. Santa was hungry.
Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
Makes 42-44 cookies
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook/Cooling time: 20 minutes
• 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
• 2 1/4 cups flour
• 1 box (3.4 ounces) vanilla pudding
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the center.
Prepare two regular sized baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, if using.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet mixture and mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and combine again.
Scoop out tablespoon sized scoops and roll into balls (do not flatten), leaving at least 1.5 inch space between each cookie. (You should be able to have 12 balls per sheet, side by side, so 24 can cook at the same time.)
Bake 8 minutes and remove from the oven. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
(originally from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine)