I think a very common occurrence during the holidays is the baking of cookies and various types of bread. I know for me, growing up, I spent a long evening or two in the kitchen with my dad playing with his mom’s ancient cookie press, making delicious butter cookies and spritzes. It was great when we lived in Hawaii because we had umpteen neighbors who I could deliver a couple dozen to the following day, all neatly wrapped. They were always so appreciative and glad to have their cute kiddo neighbor bring them some delicious holiday cheer. When my parents moved to Nevada (read: when I was in college, so far beyond my cutesy wutesy bow-in-my-hair-and-a-new-Christmas-dress years), my dad and I attempted to keep the tradition alive, but it fizzled out pretty hard. Then I moved away. It’s not something I kept up in the years since I’ve left either, as I’ve never really lived in a situation where I was surrounded by neighbors – or friends – who I felt would appreciate my kitchen-play.
This year, however, I feel like I’m back in a place where I am surrounded by people who would appreciate a kind (tasty) gesture. I mean, The Fellow’s™ sisters baked cookies and gave us a bunch; I had to reciprocate, obviously! Then there’s the fact that I actually have some semblance of friends in my life again. Friends who like baked goods. Friends who like MY baked goods.
The cookies The Fellow’s™ sisters brought over were a mix of fudge, Hershey kiss thumbprints, coconut truffles, and chocolate chip pudding cookies. Pudding cookies? What is this delicious devilry? After having just one, I immediate hopped on Facebook and messaged the oldest of the two for the recipe. In fact, I demanded it, because it was so good. Light and fluffy and the right amount of sweet with a hint of chocolate chip saltiness. You know what I’m talking about. She sent me the recipe and I bookmarked it, with all intentions of making them once I got my hands on some vanilla pudding mix. When I did, I went to work.
My perfect chocolate chip cookie doesn’t include a chock-ton of chocolate chips. Go figure. As someone who prefers sweet and sour flavors to chocolate, chocolate chip cookies get a little lost on me sometimes. Thus, when I do find one I like, I go with it. But it isn’t the chocolate that “makes” this cookie. It’s actually a mistake that The Fellow’s™ sister made – an additional half cup of flour. It gives it the dense, but fluffy texture that I love in a cookie. Based on the photos from the blog the recipe comes from, I can tell those cookies have a little more crunch around the edges. Which still makes for an excellent cookie, but in my opinion, are inferior to what was brought to us on Christmas eve and what I made.
I refer to these as just pudding cookies, because the chocolate chips are sparse, and I’ve also added toffee brickle pieces to give them a tiny bit of a flavorful crunch in the middle.
source: Barefeet in the Kitchen [Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies]
2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Heath’s Bits O Brickle Toffee Bits
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and baking soda.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the vanilla pudding mix until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, combining well. Slowly add the flour and baking soda mixture, a cup at a time so as to not shoot flour everywhere when you turn the mixer on. (It gets pretty full if using a standard size KitchenAid bowl) Finally, add the chocolate chips and brickle bits.
4. Scoop out and form about 1 1/2″ balls. Arrange on the parchment lined baking tray. These don’t spread a great amount, but still do a little, so give the cookies about 2″ of breathing room. Flatten the balls slightly, like hockey pucks. The original recipe says to bake for 11 minutes. Mine took closer to 17 minutes to get nice and golden-brown on the bottom, and lightly brown on the top edges.
I made just oven 5 dozen, of various sizes, with this recipe.