Holidays | Food

Holiday Treat Recipe: Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolatechip_vanilla_cookies_1All weekend long I planned on pulling out the Christmas creativity in a batch of treats for neighbors and friends. I was going to find something clever, holiday-ish, and packed with peppermint chips, egg nog, or red and green candies. There was going to be frosting to make, festive and chocolate-y bark to smash up, and chill time needed in the fridge.

None of this happened.

Sure, I can give you all of the small and unnecessary reasons behind why these fancy holiday treats weren't made, but what it really comes down to is the fact that the holidays are crazy-busy for us this year and I didn't have the time. There were holiday parties to attend, last-minute Christmas shopping to be worked in, housecleaning to be finished before family rolls into town... It all can simply make your head spin.

So instead of spending an entire day devoting my time to Christmas treats (as hoped for), I wanted (and needed) something equally delicious and easy. Something that everyone would love, and something that would be comforting during this time of complete and utter organized Christmas chaos. Chocolate chip cookies couldn't have sounded better.

Instead of using my hand-me-down, go-to recipe that I inherited from my mother in my 20s, I still wanted to venture just a little bit out of the box, even if it meant only using a new recipe or one with a different twist. I first found a recipe for vanilla and cherry chocolate chip cookies, but the cherries didn't appeal. I hadn't ever heard of vanilla chocolate chip cookies, but I figgered that there had to be a good recipe out there, and after a ten-second Google search, I met my match with this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod.

I felt downright lucky to have found this idea, considering this is a blog I already truly love and trust -- and believe me, these cookies may be simple, but they are nothing short of amazing... And so far, they've been greeted with plenty of smiles, despite the lack of de rigueur holiday peppermint chips or red and green candies. I also have a feeling that Santa won't complain when he finds them waiting on the coffee table for his arrival soon, but then again, they might already be gone.

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies
As seen on Two Peas & Their Pod

Yield: 3 dozen cookies; Cook time: 10-12 minutes

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.

2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slight golden and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

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