The perfect chocolate chip cookies recipe. These pillows of joy are perfectly golden on the outside and chewy on the inside, with the help of a secret ingredient!
I came across this recipe completely by chance. When I studied in Israel, I stayed in an apartment with other girls in my classes (so much fun!), and girls were always coming and going. It was always sad to see roommates leave, but one plus side was an ever-growing pantry of food that they left behind! I loved rummaging through to see what new ingredients I could use.
One of the things I found was a ton of vanilla pudding mix. I made a beautiful layered fruit trifle with the pudding mix, and then I was fresh out of ideas. So I looked online for inspiration, of course! I honestly cannot imagine how people ever cooked without the internet. I LOVE browsing for recipes online…probably even a little more than I love cooking recipes. And that’s saying a lot.
While browsing, one of the recipes I found was a chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses vanilla pudding mix. Sounds a little weird, right? But I researched more, and it turns out that starch in the vanilla pudding helps give the cookies amazing lift and a soft, buttery chewiness. Who knew that we have such a cookie miracle-worker hiding in the corner of our pantries! Throw it in your cookies like I did. You will never turn back, I promise.
What makes these cookies so perfect is the irresistible texture, which is all about that magic pudding mix. They are so moist and chewy and luscious on the inside, while having the perfect amount of a slightly golden crispness on the outside. In other words– they still have good cookie structure on the outside while staying completely soft and chewy on the inside. Who could ask for better?! They are the epitome of a perfect chocolate chip cookie if there ever was one.
And making them is simple! You basically mix the ingredients in stages with a hand mixer, roll them, and bake! After making this particular cookie recipe many times, I have picked up on a few baking secrets along the way:
- Chill your dough in the fridge for 30-45 minutes. Otherwise, the butter will cook too quickly and leave you with flat, sad cookies. Baking the dough at refrigerated temperature will ensure that your cookies keep their thickness and lift.
- Because these cookies remain nice and tall and thick from the pudding mix (and chilling in the fridge), I roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls instead of my typical 1 inch. They won’t spread out as much as a normal cookie in the oven (hence the beautiful thickness), so I find that a larger dough ball makes for a perfectly sized cookie.
- Take them out of the oven when you see the edges start to turn golden brown. You have to trust me on this one. The insides of the cookies are going to look pale and puffy and underdone, but the heat of the cookie sheet will continue to cook the cookies for the next 5-10 minutes after you take them out of the oven. This is the big secret for how to obtain that perfectly soft and chewy texture. Don’t overbake! When you see the golden edges, that’s your queue to take them out.
- For beautiful cookies, press chocolate chips onto the surface as soon as they come out of the oven. I love this trick! It really makes your cookies look extra special. I still mix a normal amount of chocolate chips into the batter, so my cookies end up with a few extra chocolate chips. Nobody has complained so far Right when you take them out of the oven, lightly press chocolate chips onto the top of each cookie.
Now you know all the secrets to making the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies. Whether you share your secrets (and your cookies) with your friends or not is a tough choice. Enjoy!
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup butter (or margarine), room temperature
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with an electric hand mixer until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the instant pudding mix and beat until combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat until combined and a uniform batter forms. Stir or beat in 2 cups of the chocolate chips, reserving the rest for after they bake.
- Let the cookie dough chill in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
- To form cookies, roll 1½ inch balls of dough with your hands and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. You could also use a cookie scoop. Between batches, place remaining cookie dough in the fridge and take out when it’s time to roll the next batch.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are a light golden brown. The cookies will not look done in the middle when you take them out of the oven (they will look pale and puffy), but trust the golden edges! They will continue to bake as they sit and cool. For perfectly chewy cookies, you don’t want to overbake. Cool on the cookie sheet for as long as you can last without eating one. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Award-Winning Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies.