Far and away my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, the secret ingredient is a package of instant pudding added to the dough. I once likened these cookies to “a regular chocolate chip cookie that went on vacation and came back in a much better mood.”
After publishing three blog posts in as many weeks at the start of 2018, I made a quiet pact with myself to share a blog post every week this year. I did pretty good for that first six weeks, but much to my chagrin, it’s now been nearly a month. Whoops.
Let’s blame it on the distraction of the Olympics. Or the premature taste of spring we had here a few weeks ago that made me want to be anywhere except in front of a computer. And going to Baking Bootcamp over the past four Saturdays.
After a recent comment, “I’m waiting for a blog, LeAndra”, delivered in an exasperated tone and with what I’m pretty sure was the side-eye , I realized I better get to work.
So, here I am, with a recipe for my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I got this recipe from my grandma, and since today is her 90th birthday, it felt fitting to share it today.
I actually shared this recipe in my first month of blogging back in 2011. The recipe has always been great, but those first pictures? Let’s just say they offered nothing to entice you to choose this recipe over any of the other chocolate chip cookie recipes out there.
What makes these cookies special is the package of instant pudding you beat into the dough. I originally described them as “delightfully tender…this chocolate chip cookie is like a regular chocolate chip cookie that went on vacation and came back in a much better mood.” Slightly dramatic, but very much to the point.
Use vanilla for a traditional chocolate chip cookie or chocolate for a, stating the obvious here, chocolate cookie. Over the years, I’ve also played around with French vanilla and butterscotch pudding, but the cookies baked with those mixes never seemed as tender as the cookies made with the regular vanilla and chocolate mixes.
I used milk chocolate chips for the regular cookies and white chocolate chips and walnuts to the chocolate cookies. My father informed me the chocolate cookies would have been better with dark chocolate chunks in place of the white chocolate chips, but hey, to each his own. What I’m saying is you’ve got options for your mix-ins.
As for having my grandma in my life as long as I have, what can I say? I’m lucky. She was there when I bit into an Elephant Ear plant because I thought it was rhubarb (I don’t even know what to say), giving me endless sticks of gum to help me get that nasty, peppery taste out of my mouth. I woke up on her couch that day in third grade when I was sick and home from school and learned our house had caught fire and burnt down (everyone was okay).
She could never read me, or any of her grandkids, a story without falling asleep somewhere in the middle. She makes the best cinnamon rolls and caramel popcorn and maintains an enviable sense of humor. On Christmas day, when my uncle mentioned he got some new underwear from Santa, Grandma did not miss a beat: ” Are you going to model them for us?”
I wouldn’t mind having her head of pretty white hair when I’m older. I’d like to be as kind as she has always been and give back to my community the way she always has. I could have done without the junk knees she passed on to her daughters and that, paying it forward, my mother passed on to me, but you know, you win some, you lose some.
Only I get these memories, but we can all enjoy these cookies. See you next week? Enjoy.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield 3 dozen cookies
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1, 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla (or chocolate) pudding mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
optional: 1 cup walnuts
- Whisk together the flour and baking soda and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the instant pudding mix until well blended.
- Add the vanilla and the eggs, one a time, and continue to mix until well-incorporated.
- Stir in the chocolate chips, and if using, the walnuts. The dough will seem fairly thick.
- Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown.