In my mind, it’s darn near impossible to mess up a cookie. Of course there are the huge, throw-away-the-whole-batch screw-ups like adding salt instead of sugar (been there, done that), losing track and measuring out one cup of flour too many (guilty again), or forgetting to set a timer and removing a pan of charred black lumps from the oven 30 minutes later, but all in all cookies are pretty forgiving. Or maybe it’s just the people that eat them. At least in my experience, the wide majority of the cookie-loving population will eat just about anything so long as it’s full of the sugar, white flour, and butter that we all know and love. Crisp, slightly dry cookies that were left in the oven just a bit too long? Don’t worry about it. Pancake-thin cookies that are just a tad too greasy? Still good. I’ve met a handful of cookie snobs in my day, but for the most part, cookies are one of the most fool-proof baked goods out there.
Regardless, even though the people I share my cookies with couldn’t care less if every cookie that passes their lips is flawless, I happen to be inflicted with the perfectionist gene. At least when it comes to certain things. (One look at my bathroom sink or the inside of my purse will claim otherwise.) Which is why I’m always on the lookout for recipes and methods that will produce perfectly soft, round, thick, chewy cookies. Thin, flat cookies may be delicious in their own way, but sometimes they just don’t cut it. Which is where this recipe comes in.
This pudding cookie recipe guarantees the softest, moistest, chewiest, fluffiest cookies every.single.time. None of those greasy little pancakes or dense little rocks. The secret? Dry pudding mix. Granted, I’m not a fan of using artificial ingredients, but the key is moderation in everything. Eating
one five pudding cookies once in a while never hurt anyone, right? One of the best parts of this recipe is how adaptable it is. You can switch up the flavor of pudding mix and experiment with all types of add-ins: different kinds of chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, toffee bits, you name it. I have a Dark Chocolate Coconut version on the blog that’s phenomenal, and I’ve tried various other combinations including chocolate pudding mix with butterscotch chips and toffee bits, butterscotch pudding mix with chopped pecans, and vanilla pudding mix with classic semisweet chocolate chips.
All the variations I’ve tried are delicious, but this one is my very favorite. Soft, lemony dough is loaded with white chocolate chips and sweet shredded coconut and baked to perfection. I made these last year as part of a care-package for a family friend who was up fishing in Alaska, and he deemed them the “best cookies he’d ever eaten.” They’re great to send or give away as gifts because they stay perfectly soft and moist for days upon end, and the flavors just seem to intensify over time.
If you’ve never given pudding cookies a try, do so now! Use the Lemon-Coconut-White Chocolate combo as seen below or experiment with your favorite flavors. You can’t go wrong with these.
Lemon-Coconut-White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
Yield: about 4 dozen cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3.4-oz package instant lemon pudding mix
2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Beat in the pudding mix until well-combined.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips and the shredded coconut.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are slightly golden and tops are set. Be sure not to over-bake! Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)