Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies…for Santa

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by Amy Flanigan on December 27, 2009 · 26 comments

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)

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

PJ December 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm



DebinHawaii January 2, 2010 at 2:05 am

The cookies look delicious–pudding mix is a great idea.


Amy December 31, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Katie – it’s the INSTANT pudding mix. Easy peasy!


Katie December 31, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Is the pudding mix the instant kind or the kind that needs to be cooked?


Jamie December 31, 2009 at 8:43 am

Yum! These look like the perfect chocolate chip cookie, just like I love them. I’d play Santa for these. And I’d eat all 11 of them.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Karine December 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Amazing job with your cookies! With them, the holidays are 365 days a year.

Happy New Year!


Amy December 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Dani – yes, one would think by now all the different ways to make chocolate chip cookies would have been discovered! But, I guess as long as there are bakers and ingredients, then the possibilities are endless. Thank goodness, right?!

Lora – so glad you found me and are enjoying the ride. Likewise with your travel blog. Can’t tell you how much your kind words mean to me. Yes, here’s hoping 2010 finds us back in CA!!


Lora December 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I can see why Santa is so large, with the generosity of Haley and kids everywhere! Maybe one for each of the reindeer and a few to bring home to Mrs. Claus. Anyway, I just had to mention that I love reading your blog, as it always has a story for the food that finds its way onto your table. Have really enjoyed getting to know you and hope to see you in CA this coming year.


Dani December 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm

And here I thought there were no more chocolate chip cookie recipes that I haven’t tried! This sounds like a great cookie to make with my grandkids. Thanks, Amy! Have a great week and a very happy New Year!


Amy December 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Joanne – kids don’t realize that every kind of cookie is probably Santa’s favorite. Peanut butter chips would absolutely be great.

Mom – I love to hear you’re embracing all the goodies this year. Although I can hear you say after every last bite, “I didn’t really need that.”

Dad – LOL. I’m wearing her down…although wait until she sees how much butter is in these cookies. I even have to show restraint.

Dianna – absolutely! There are a few other readers who left comments about using chocolate pudding and I think it’s a great idea. Please let us know how they turn out!


Dianna December 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I wonder if I can replace the vanilla pudding with chocolate pudding and use only white chocolate chips. That’s what I have left in the pantry. Hmmmm… I’ll give it a try later this week and report back. Thanks Amy :)


Mike December 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

Interesting. Can you make them with chocolate pudding too? I’m guessing you can.


Dad December 28, 2009 at 11:47 am

Ten months out of the year, it’s “You can have two,” “I’m not making dessert,” “Don’t eat that, it’ll spoil your dinner.” Then, wham, “You’ve got to try these cookies, bark, cake, and that Amy made and posted on her Web site.” Now, you need a dolly to get me from the front door to the doctor who says something like, “Hmmmmm, put on a little weight I see. I can’t weigh you on the scale. I’ll have to measure displacement!”

So to cap off the year, YOU improve on the chocolate chip cookie! Sharon! Want it. Want it now! I’ll cut back when the century is in its teens.


Mom December 28, 2009 at 11:03 am

I never buy white chocolate chips, but in fact, ended up doing so when I bought all the ingredients for your Praline Crunch Bars and Chocolate Cranberry Bark. Now all I need is the pudding mix. We have never eaten so much cake, candy or cookies as this year and don’t dare get on the scale! But, hey, what’s one more cookie……….


Joanne December 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

I was in a bakery buying cookies for my family to bring to Christmas Eve dinner when a mom walked in with probably her four year old son, who insisted on buying chocolate chip cookies. Because those are Santa’s favorite.

After seeing these, I understand why. I absolutely need to make these. They sound amazing. I love that you used white chocolate AND milk chocolate chips. I bet peanut butter chips would be good also.


Amy December 28, 2009 at 10:18 am

Mike – I bet you could try these with any flavored pudding, but vanilla and definitely chocolate make the most sense. Maybe THAT’S what I’ll do next – chocolate pudding, butterscotch chips, and coconut flakes. Hey, who says you can’t mess with baking?


Amy December 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

Memoria – put a post it note on the refrigerator right now! Thanks for stopping by, hope you come back soon.


Natashya December 28, 2009 at 1:07 am

They do look nice and soft – lucky santa!


nora@ffr December 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm

hehe!! great!! m soo loving the cookies :)


Kathleen December 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm

good god these make complete sense!


Memoria December 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

These look so good. I’ve seen these cookies and even bookmarked them, but I’ve yet to make them because I rarely buy pudding mix and forget to get it. I will have to remind myself to get some mix the next time I go to the store. The photo is fantastic and tempting!


Amy December 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Paul – amazing how fast that first batch disappeared. Ahem.

Kim – aren’t the holidays (actually the entire month of November and December) just wicked with all the baked goods sitting around taunting us? But, they’re all sOOooo goood. Kim, I just adore you…and discovering The Paper Apron was definitely a highlight for me this year.

Cheryl – I love coconut! Maybe the next batch will include that AND the butterscotch chips. Sounds heavenly to me.

Eva – I have a cake recipe like that, too, and yet it never occurred to me to try this trick with cookies. Now we all know.


Eva December 27, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I have a cake recipe that I add chocolate pudding mix to and it makes it so much more moist, so I can see how this would do the same thing to a cookie. Great idea – will need to make these. Santa would have loved them ;-)


Cheryl December 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Awesome recipe and idea adding the pudding! My only secret ingredient to choc chip cookies is coconut! I’ll definitely be trying these:) Enjoy the rest of 2009!


Kim December 27, 2009 at 11:18 am

I have to admit, that two days after Christmas and I’m still scarfing down the cookies, brownies, zucchini bread, muffins and cheesecake. I cannot let a plate of cookies go unloved. And these cookies look so soft and chewy and in need of attention– they wouldn’t last a day around my house, either.

Amy, I hope you and your family had the most wonderful Christmas! I have really enjoyed getting to know you this year. I’m looking forward to reading more stories about your fun household next year.


Paul December 27, 2009 at 10:48 am

Let me guarantee that Santa loved these cookies. He came back for more the next day. They were in the fridge.


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