Before retirement my mom was a teacher, and one of my favorite cookie recipes is from the school cook at her elementary school. Pudding cookies are a spin on the regular chocolate chip cookie, but instead of using just the traditional cookie ingredients, a pudding mix is added into the batter to make the cookies EXTRA soft. When the school cook gave this recipe to my mom, she was using vanilla pudding mix and regular chocolate chips, but after my dad got his hands on the recipe, he started to experiment with it. He discovered that this recipe can be incredibly versatile, using any flavor of pudding mixes and any combo of add-ins, to create your perfect cookie. My personal favorite combo is using chocolate fudge pudding mix and adding in peanut butter chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. However, one autumn my dad found a pumpkin flavored pudding, and that was also super good. For the sake of writing this recipe down, I’m going to write the ingredients with my favorites, but don’t be afraid to experiment to find your own favorite combos!
1 ½ cups Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Sugar
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
6 oz Instant Pudding – Chocolate Fudge Flavor (Regular chocolate, or vanilla are the most common substitutions.)
3 Cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Peanut Butter Chips
1. Soften the butter in the microwave. Make sure it is only softened, not melted. This is the key to the perfect fluffy cookie. I like to use the defrost button on my microwave to achieve this, and I only turn it on for 30 second increments so that it doesn’t get overly melty.
2. Use a mixer to cream the butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs together.
3. Add in the pudding mix, flour, and baking soda – stir until the mixture is combined.
Kitchen Tip: The instant pudding mixes come in odd measurements. The small boxes are over 3 oz and the large boxes are over 6 oz. This is completely okay. Either use 2 small boxes or 1 large box. Both formulas will be close enough to 6 oz.
4. Mix in the chocolate and peanut butter chips. Feel free to substitute in M&M’s, nuts, or other flavors of chips!
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and either line cookie sheets with parchment paper, or use stoneware. Use either a small spoon or a cookie scoop to spoon the batter out in dollops on the pans.
Kitchen Tip: I prefer to use a cookie scoop to make sure that all of my cookies are exactly the same size. This means each of my batter dollops are about an inch across. This makes smallish cookies, but it also means the batch makes a lot of cookies – enough to share with friends and neighbors! If you make your cookies larger, make sure to watch your bake time accordingly.
6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. I prefer to use the bottom end of that time because I like my cookies slightly undercooked and gooey. Let the cookies rest on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
I love this recipe since it can be transformed into so many different flavors of cookies. The only limitation is what instant pudding is available at the store, but even my small town grocery store had about 6 different flavors to pick from. This recipe makes up such a huge batch of cookies, that you are guaranteed to make all of your friends and family members happy by giving some of them away! I personally like to freeze them in bulk too. Then, when I am in the mood for a cookie, I simply microwave the frozen cookie for 40 seconds, and it tastes just like it did when it came out of the oven! It is not unusual to come to my house and find a gallon sized ziploc bag filled with cookies in the freezer.