A few friends have recently asked for this recipe, so I thought I'd better add my most recent improvements to the recipe (salt and size of cookies, for those who already have the original) since the last time I posted it. It's even better than before.
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Generous 1/2 tsp. salt
Large splash of vanilla
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 1/2 C. flour
In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer, beat it for a couple minutes to let it get really nice and fluffy. Add sugars, salt, and baking soda and beat again for several minutes--you want all of the ingredients to get cozy with one another and be evenly incorporated. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in dry pudding mix and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour and chocolate chips.
And then you really have to refrigerate the dough for at least three hours. More if you have the patience.
Form golfball-size globs of dough on your cookie sheet (I've tried all kinds of different pans and even baking stones, but I think those baked on an AirBake pan turn out the best). It is important to make the cookies this large. It allows them to be wonderfully crispy on the outer edges, but still chewy and fabulous in the center. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until nicely browned on top. But, don't let them get too brown--then you'll miss the chewy fabulousness in the center.
The extra vanilla and the pudding and the salt are what make all the difference. Don't be afraid of them! I love this recipe and kind of feel that they are the best cookies, but am open to alterations, so if you have anything that you do for your cookies that makes them extra special--please share!
Also, I recommend doubling this recipe. I freeze half (if it makes it that far) and then I have ready dough for those times when we have unexpected company, or a friend just really needs some homemade cookies. Sometimes I'm that friend.