Saturday, November 20, 2010

There’s Always Room for Jell-O (Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies)

My husband is very particular about chocolate chip cookies. Make that desserts in general. Make that things in general.

But I digress. It’s cookies I’m talking about, isn’t it?

Chocolate chip cookies have to be soft but chewy. They have to have nuts. Walnuts are the best. And, of course, they have to have lots of chocolate chips. He’ll eat a whole batch himself. Maybe not all at one sitting, but they would only last, hmmmm, maybe a day and a half.

When we were first getting to know each other and each other’s eating habits and quirks, I learned pretty quickly about his love of chocolate chip cookies. So, of course, I made them. I had always trusted the recipe on the back of the Nestlé’s bag of chocolate chips. Always worked for me. Since I was a teenager, the recipe worked just fine. And the dough? More than edible. A meal.

But he didn’t swoon over them. They were okay. They were good right out of the oven, but then they got too dry, too quickly. So I tried one of the tricks one of his sisters taught me: Stick a piece of bread in with covered cookies and they’ll stay moister. Yes, that worked. But the cookies themselves were still not to die for.

So I interrogated the bakers whose cookies he admired. His sister Lynn. His sister Pam. His sister Lori’s mother-in-law. And the recipe I tried next came form Lynn. And the secret ingredient? Dry vanilla pudding mix. And -- for the first time -- my husband mumbled through the cookie crumbs on his lips, “Now this is what I’m talking about!” (Or “Iff if fwhat im fwawking afouft!”)

Several days ago, I found a blog post from The Meaning of Pie  about chocolate chip cookies. Kelly said that these were her perfected cookies. So, I’m bookmarking them and making a mental note that I’ll try her version, which she said was an adaptation of a Martha cookie. But first, and as what I thought was a special treat, I’ll make a batch of my tried-and-true recipe for my husband.

“How are the cookies?” I ask.

“They’re good. Not quite doughy enough, though,” says he.

“What!?!? I thought these were the ones you liked!”

“Well, they’re the best you’ve made so far. But they’re not the best.”

Guess I’ll be trying a new recipe. In the meantime, here’s the one I have trusted for umpteen years. One caution, though: the raw dough isn’t quite as good as the original Tollhouse c.c. cookie dough.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 package (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 12-oz package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (not optional)

Mix flour with baking soda. Combine the butter, the sugars, vanilla and pudding mix in large mixer bowl; beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; then stir in chips and nuts, if using. (Batter will be stiff.)

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake ay 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 7 dozen.

for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, use Chocolate Flavor instant pudding mix. (Although I've never tried it.)


  1. WE have an entire receipe book devoted to chocolate chip cookies, I let you borrow it. DZ

  2. Hi Rosemary...I guess that some things are worth being picky about...and chocolate chip cookies can be AMAZING if you can get them just right! This recipe sounds pretty good, but I know you will find your winner soon! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a great week!

  3. Dan -- I'll be taking you up on that loan!

    Monet -- Thanks for the encouragement! I'll keep plugging! Have a great Thanksgiving week yourself!

  4. I personally think this recipe is THE BEST. But I'll never turn down a chocolate chip cookie, or chocolate for that matter!

  5. I made chocolate chip cookies this week. One batch with salted land o lakes butter. One with unsalted land o lakes butter. Guess which one made the better tasting cookie?

  6. Krista -- I guess they're blessed by you-know-who fresh from the oven. My mistake was freezing the dough. (What a discerning palate!)

    Anonymous -- I'm betting it was unsalted, but I'm dying to know your verdict!


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