The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you know me at all, then you know I’m a big fan of cookies. Any type, shape, size – I love them all. But nothing beats a good chocolate chip cookie.

Years ago, I stumbled upon this recipe and it’s not only become my go-to for chocolate chip cookies, but it’s also become one of the things I’m known for. I’m not kidding, anyone who knows me well will tell you I make the best chocolate chip cookies and that’s a reputation I take very seriously. I bring these cookies to every office party, potluck, holiday event, birthday party or literally anything where it’s somewhat appropriate to bring a giant plate of cookies.

Now, to be fair, I know there are a lot of really good chocolate chip cookie recipes out there and I’ve tried a ton of them. I love experimenting and trying new recipes and I’ve found some real winners. But, so far, nothing beats these cookies (but  feel free to challenge that statement by sending me your best recipes – I’d love to try them!). This recipe has a few surprising ingredients, but it makes the most incredible cookies that are perfectly soft, rich in flavor and, of course, oozing with delicious chocolate!

Seriously, this recipe can’t be beat and, over the years, it has become so close to my heart. These cookies have been part of countless celebrations, holidays, life’s big moments and life’s not so great moments. They’ve become a tradition of girls’ nights, been a taste of home when I lived abroad and a stress reliever when life just sucks (okay, I know it’s not the healthiest stress reliever, but I also know I’m not the only one who stress bakes!).

A lot of people have asked for this recipe over the years and I feel like everyone can use some more chocolate chip cookies in their lives (especially during this pandemic). So here it is – let me know how they turn out!

Ingredients

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  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 package French Vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 package chocolate chips
  • Dash of sea salt (optional)

Note: In the pictures I’m making a half batch. I live alone and ya girl does not need to be eating two dozen cookies (although I absolutely could, probably all at once too, because they are just that good). A half batch requires careful measuring, but it can easily be done, which makes this recipe even more versatile and perfect for those of you solo quarantining, like me!

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350° F or 180° C. Don’t be like me and forget to do this step. The worst is when your cookies are ready to go in the oven and you realize it’s not even on.

Step 2

Beat together brown sugar, sugar, shortening, butter, French Vanilla instant pudding mix, vanilla and almond extract until well incorporated. It should look light and fluffy with no clumps.

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Just to note, I like to use French vanilla instant pudding, but you can definitely use the regular vanilla instant pudding as well. I’ve used both (depending on what I can find at the grocery store), but I think the French vanilla pudding is a bit richer, which is why I prefer to use it over good ole’ regular vanilla.

Step 3

In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs and then add to the above mixture. Once added, beat until well incorporated. You can also add the eggs directly to the mixture, but beating them separately first makes it easier to incorporate.

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Step 4

Slowly add flour and baking soda and beat until just incorporated. Don’t worry about sifting or anything fancy like that, just be careful not to over mix.

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Step 5

Add the whole package of chocolate chips of your choosing. Yes, the WHOLE package! I mean, I guess if you have something against chocolate chips then you can add less, but I like my cookies oozing with chocolate and they are already unhealthy enough, so why not go big with the whole package? I often opt for semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, but you can use whatever you want. I’ve even tried adding white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and it turned out great! This recipe is super versatile, allowing you to make whatever type of cookie your heart desires.

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Step 6

Spoon dough onto a greased oven pan. I usually aim for spoonfuls about 1 inch in diameter, but obviously it depends on how large or small you want your cookies to be. You can roll them into little balls if you want the cookies to be nice and round and uniform, but I like the texture that comes with an imperfect scoop of dough.

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Step 7

Bake for about 9-12 minutes (give or take, it depends on your oven, of course, and the size of cookies you are making). Regardless, the key is to keep a close eye on them and remove them from the oven when they juuuust start browning on the top and edges. The cookies will look a little underdone in the center and that’s okay – they are supposed to look like that if you want them to be nice and soft. I recommend setting your oven timer for 9 minutes and then check on them every minute or so until they are just right.

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Step 8

Remove cookies from the oven and let them sit on the hot pan for 5-10 minutes. The cookies will continue to bake on the hot pan, so this is a really important step! If you want, you can add a dash of sea salt for a perfectly balanced sweet and salty taste.

Step 9

Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Or, better yet, eat them while they are still warm and gooey and perfect. It’s up to you, but if you don’t eat them all right away, store the cooled cookies in an airtight container. They stay fresh for several days and you can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to recreate that fresh-out-of-the-oven taste! Enjoy!

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