I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. When it seems that I just can’t escape talk of love and romance, all I can think of is how obnoxious this must be to those who aren’t all coupled-and-loving-it. On the other hand, I do have a soft spot for the color pink, and I will jump at any reason to make cute cookies. So, just to be clear, this post is not in honor of Valentine’s Day. This post is in honor of cute cookies.
Just look at these:
When I saw these Valentine’s Day M&Ms, I had one thought: I have to make cookies with these.
I used the same cookie recipe that I always use. I found this recipe when I was in college, and it was the first time I ever made chocolate-chip cookies from scratch. And let me tell you something—I may not have known how to pick a man in college, but I sure knew how to pick a cookie recipe. These are awesome. Every time I make them, without fail, somebody asks what’s in them. People can sense that these are no ordinary cookie. There must be something in them, they think, that makes them taste so good. And they’re right.
My mom asked me for the recipe years ago, and I almost didn’t tell her. The recipe of course is not mine, but I was the only person I knew who could make them, and I guarded that role jealously. But, eventually, I gave my mom the recipe and revealed the secret ingredient. And now, dear reader, I’ll reveal it to you, too.
It’s a box of instant vanilla pudding mix.
This stuff makes the best cookies! These are incredibly soft, moist, cakey cookies. And now they have M&Ms. Pink M&Ms, no less.
Here’s the M&M-ified recipe, and it makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies. You can do tons with this recipe—change the flavor of the pudding, add walnuts or pecans or cashews, stir in some coconut. I’ve done it all, and it’s all been delicious.
adapted from Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 3.4-oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 14-oz bag M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
Sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla until blended. In two or three batches, fold in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the M&Ms until just distributed.
Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven or until edges are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.