What’s the secret to baking great, homemade soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies? Why, instant pudding mix, of course! I gave this theory a try for the unbelievably adorable Reo Miller’s 2nd birthday celebration, which in actuality became a fabulous excuse for the adult guests to barbecue steak and toast to Reo and his daddy Mark around an outdoor fire pit while the birthday boy dozed in his stroller. I’m not usually crazy about cooking with processed products like instant pudding mix, but this happened to work really well in keeping the cookies decadently chewy. Plus, the My-T-Fine butterscotch pudding mix that I used was gelatin-free, so as not to deter any vegetarian revelers from partaking in the goodness. And, I chopped up a bar of really good Scharffen Berger semi-sweet chocolate to make big, chunky chips, so in my mind the ratio of quality vs. questionable ingredients balanced out somehow (…not really, but that’s besides the point today). At the end of the day, I would argue with all scientific certainty that an individual cannot keep from smiling whilst biting into a gooey, homemade soft chocolate chip cookie, and that works for me.
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 3 oz. package instant butterscotch pudding mix (My-T-Fine worked well)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour and baking soda together into a medium sized bowl, set aside.
- In a large bowl, with an electric hand mixer (or a whisk and some serious elbow grease) cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the instant pudding mix until well blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips until evenly dispersed throughout the dough mixture. With an ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop cookies onto two non-greased, non-stick cookie sheets- give them space, they spread out while baking!
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes- bake time will be longer for larger cookies. Edges will be golden brown when they’re ready to come out of the oven. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving; these cookies will stay chewy for up to a week in an air-tight container. Yields 25-30 cookies.
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