Sometimes, one just gets a hankering for good ol’ soft chocolate chip cookies. This occurs quite often at my house. When I try a funky or offbeat dessert, my husband will often comment, “Have you heard of chocolate chip cookies???” If he had to choose one dessert to eat for the rest of his life, it would be the chocolate chip cookie. I bet I’ve tested over 25 recipes and only a few stand out. This is one of those recipes!
I was wary when I first read through the ingredients for these cookies. There was an unusual addition. A box of instant vanilla pudding! I rarely use packaged mixes, fearing some off-putting artificial flavoring might ruin the outcome. In this case, my concerns were way off base. The pudding only amplified the vanilla flavor as well as the moisture, making for soft, chewy, and tasty cookies.
Tips for Chewy Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
- As with most baking recipes, use room temperature eggs and butter for the best results. Be careful not to let your butter get too soft (if it does, you’ll notice an oily appearance).
- If your kitchen is warm, you may want to park your dough in the fridge for an hour before scooping and baking. This helps keep the cookies from spreading too much. In fact, chilling your dough is always a good idea if you have time. I’ve chilled up to 72 hours and some magic chemistry happens including the gluten relaxing and the dough developing a more complex caramelly flavor. But usually, I’m too impatient to go longer than an hour or two.
- Make sure baking sheets are cool before adding more dough.
- Measure your flour properly. I scoop out of my flour bin, then swipe the top with a bench scraper. You don’t want to pack the flour or you’ll have too much.
- There is a science to baking. Make sure you measure everything carefully and check that your baking soda (or powder) is fresh. I replace mine before the expiration date.
- Use a combination of brown sugar and white sugar for a chewier cookie. All white sugar will make a crisper cookie.
- Do not overbake. I pull mine out of the oven when the centers are barely set. The cookies will continue baking on the hot cookie sheet.
- Add instant pudding (and use this recipe, of course!).
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 (3.4-ounce package) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (or discs)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF or 180°C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugars.
- Beat in the pudding mix, then stir in the eggs and vanilla.
- Blend in the flour, baking soda and salt.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop up tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into balls. They should be approximately 1 inch in diameter.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until barely golden brown.
More of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes:
- Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies – thick and fabulous cookies from Thomas Keller with dark brown sugar and a dose of molasses!
- Layered Chocolate Chip Cookies – an unusual technique makes these unforgettable.
- Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies – made famous by Jacques Torres after being shared in the New York Times.