Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lemon Pudding Cookies

In my last post, I shared my tale of woe trying to create a cookie using prepared lemon pie filling. It didn't go well to say the least! However, as I mentioned at the end of that post, I do have a tasty cookie recipe that uses an instant pudding mix that works quite well!

I came across the original recipe almost 20 years ago when I first got my hands on one of my all time fave cookbooks - "The Search For The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie" by Gwen Steege.

This cookbook was first published in 1988 and republished in 1994. My 1994 edition of this book is falling apart, dog eared and filled with post-it notes of what I liked/disliked or what I did differently for many recipes! There is another, more recent title by the same author called "101 Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies". Though I haven't purchased this title, it appears to be almost the same book with a new name - at least that is my assumption after scanning the "look inside" feature on the Amazon page and comparing it to my tattered hardcover. The index, intro info etc are almost identical.

Anyways, the recipe that I used to create my Lemon Pudding Cookies, was called "Milk Chocolate Chip Delights (page 81). The original called for a vanilla pudding mix. It was a good cookie, but I felt it had more potential to switch up the flavours. I have tried it with a chocolate pudding mix but frankly have tasted better double chocolate chip cookies. I haven't tried using butterscotch, pistachio or some of the other pudding flavours that are available, but they may also work well. You could also try adding some extracts other than vanilla to add more flavour.
I've made my lemon version MANY times over the years! I've tweaked it even more by using a mixture of all purpose and whole wheat flour, adding a bit of lemon extract and zest of a lemon!

The baking temp of 375F may seem a bit high however, I've found cooking them at a lower temp takes longer and will also dry out the cookie more. Just set the timer and keep an eye on them - they can go from perfection to almost burnt very quickly!

Hopefully, you'll enjoy these as much as my friends and family have!

Lemon Pudding Cookies
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 85g/4 serving size instant lemon pudding (not light version!)
1 cup block margarine, softened to room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
zest of one lemon
2 large eggs, room temp
2 - 2 1/2 cups mini dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the white sugar, brown sugar and pudding powder just to mix. (I just use a fork for this part rather than turning on the mixer). Add the margarine and mix with the beater on the stand mixer till light and creamy. Add the eggs, extracts and zest. Mix till smooth and creamy.

Gradually add in the dry ingredients - stirring to thoroughly combine. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to combine. Dough will be stiff!

Roll into small balls or drop by teaspoonful's and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly. These do not spread very much.

Bake in preheated 375F oven for 8 - 10 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE!! Cool on pan for a couple of minutes then transfer to rack to finish cooling. The cookies will harden a bit as they cool. You can warm them for a few seconds in a microwave to soften just before serving.

These cookies freeze well. Makes 6-7 dozen. 


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