Vanilla pudding M cookies are a delightful twist on classic cookies, perfect for any dessert craving. These tasty treats combine the smooth flavor of vanilla pudding with the crunch of colorful M candies, creating a mouth-watering and crowd-pleasing dessert.
In this article, you’ll discover the simple yet delicious recipe to make your own batch of vanilla pudding M cookies. We’ll guide you through the ingredients, the ideal baking time, and even a few customization options to make these cookies a personalized addition to your dessert repertoire. Get ready to indulge in one of the best cookie recipes you’ve ever experienced, where the magic of vanilla pudding meets the fun of M candies.
Whether you’re looking to try something new or seeking an upgraded take on a classic, this remarkable vanilla pudding M cookie recipe is just what you need to make dessert-time even more enjoyable. Remember, experimenting with flavor combinations and customizing your cookies is part of the fun, so don’t hesitate to get creative!
Vanilla Pudding Mix Cookies Basics
Choosing the Right Ingredients
When making vanilla pudding mix cookies, it is crucial to choose the appropriate ingredients. You’ll need the following:
- Vanilla pudding mix: Opt for instant vanilla pudding mix rather than cooked, as it blends easily and incorporates well into the dough.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter to control the salt content in your cookies.
- All-purpose flour: This flour type is versatile and provides a tender crumb and light texture to your cookies.
- Eggs: Enhances the overall structure of the cookies, making them bind well.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract gives the cookies their characteristic flavor.
- Salt: A small amount of salt adds contrast to the sweetness and enhances the flavor.
- Baking soda: Acts as a leavening agent, which helps the cookies rise and achieve a soft, chewy texture.
The Role of Vanilla in Baking
Vanilla plays a significant role in baking, and specifically when creating vanilla pudding mix cookies. It provides a rich, deep flavor that pairs incredibly well with the sweetness of the cookies, elevating their taste. The utilization of high-quality, pure vanilla extract in your recipe can make a noticeable difference in the overall flavor profile.
Preparing the Dough
Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to prepare the vanilla pudding mix cookie dough.
- Cream together butter and sugar: In a large mixing bowl, combine softened unsalted butter and sugar. Mix until it becomes smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract: Incorporate one egg at a time, followed by the pure vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
- Mixing dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, instant vanilla pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients: Gradually incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixture, combining until a uniform dough forms.
- Add-ins: Fold in any desired add-ins, such as M&Ms or chocolate chips.
- Chill the dough: Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop and ensure that the cookies maintain their shape during baking.
Step-by-Step Baking Guide
Combining the Ingredients
To make delicious vanilla pudding M&M cookies, start by gathering all the necessary ingredients:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini M&Ms
First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt; set this mixture aside. Next, in a separate large bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar using an electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute or until the mixture is fluffy. Add in the dry pudding mix, and continue beating the mixture. Then, slowly add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Lastly, mix in the vanilla extract.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, ensuring that they are well combined. Next, gently fold in the chocolate chips and mini M&Ms, taking care not to overmix the dough.
Shaping the Cookies
Before shaping the cookies, prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. This step will prevent the cookies from sticking to the sheet and ensure that they bake evenly.
Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the cookie dough into balls, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place each dough ball onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart to prevent them from merging during the baking process.
Baking to Perfection
Place the prepared baking sheet with the cookies into the preheated oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden brown. Keep an eye on them to ensure that they don’t overbake.
Once the cookies are baked to perfection, remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Make sure to allow them to cool slightly before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Now you can enjoy your freshly baked vanilla pudding M&M cookies and share them with your loved ones.
Customization and Variations
Incorporating Chocolate and M&M’s
You can easily customize your vanilla pudding M&M cookies by incorporating different types of chocolate chips and M&M’s. Adding a combination of semi-sweet, milk, and white chocolate chips enhances the flavor and texture of the cookies. You can also experiment with various M&M’s, such as peanut butter, pretzel, or caramel, to create that perfect contrast of flavors. For a festive touch, consider incorporating sprinkles into the dough or using M&M’s in specific color combinations.
Alternative Pudding Flavors
While vanilla pudding mix is commonly used in M&M cookies, you have the option to try alternative pudding flavors for a unique twist. Some exciting flavors to consider:
- Chocolate pudding for a more indulgent, chocolaty cookie
- Butterscotch pudding to add a rich, caramel-like flavor
- Cookies and cream pudding for a fun variation on the classic cookie
Make sure to choose a flavor that complements the M&M’s you’re using. Note, however, that not all pudding flavors may work well – for instance, lemon pudding mix might not be the best choice.
Adding Nuts and Candy
Nuts and candy can instantly elevate the taste and texture of your vanilla pudding M&M cookies. Here are some suggestions to add more variety:
- Nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts
- Candy: toffee bits, mini peanut butter cups, or crushed candy bars
Feel free to mix and match, finding the perfect combination that suits your taste buds! Remember that incorporating these additional ingredients can create an enjoyable crunch and complexity in every bite.
Nutritional Information and Dietary Adjustments
Understanding Cookie Nutrition
When considering the nutritional information for vanilla pudding M&M cookies, it is important to take note of a few key factors in the ingredients list:
- Calories: The addition of M&M candies, pudding mix, and sugar will increase the calorie count of each cookie.
- Protein: While cookies are not a significant source of protein, you will find small amounts from the eggs and flour.
- Fat: These cookies contain both saturated fat and trans fat, primarily from the butter and chocolate candies.
- Cholesterol & Sodium: Eggs and butter contribute cholesterol and sodium to the cookie recipe.
- Fiber and Potassium: These cookies offer limited amounts of fiber and potassium, which usually come from whole grains and fruits.
- Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron: The presence of these nutrients may be minimal within this dessert.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar and brown sugar, along with the sugar in M&M candies, contribute to the overall sweetness of the cookies.
Making Healthier Substitutions
If you are looking to make a healthier version of vanilla pudding M&M cookies, consider the following substitutions:
- Reducing sugar: You can try reducing the granulated sugar and/or brown sugar by 25% to cut down on the overall sweetness without compromising texture.
- Whole wheat flour: Substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to increase fiber content.
- Egg substitute: To lower cholesterol, consider using an egg substitute or an additional egg white instead of a whole egg.
- Butter substitute: Swap half the butter with unsweetened applesauce to reduce saturated fat content.
- Dark chocolate candies: Replace M&M candies with dark chocolate chips or a sugar-free alternative to lower sugar and increase antioxidant content.
- Add-ins: Introduce nuts, seeds, or dried fruits to add more fiber, healthy fats, and essential nutrients to your cookies.
Remember to keep moderation in mind when enjoying these cookies, as they should be treated as an occasional indulgence. By making these suggested substitutions, you can create a more nutritious version of the classic vanilla pudding M&M cookie without sacrificing flavor.
Storing and Keeping Cookies Fresh
Best Practices for Storing
To keep your vanilla pudding M&M cookies fresh, store them at room temperature in an airtight container. Organize the cookies in a single layer and separate each layer with parchment paper to maintain their soft and chewy texture. Ensure that the container is completely sealed to prevent exposure to air or moisture.
In case you don’t have an airtight container, you can also use resealable plastic bags such as Ziploc bags.
- For Chewy Cookies: Keep a small piece of bread or a slice of apple in the container. This will help retain moisture and maintain the chewy texture.
- For Crispy Cookies: Use a slice of white bread to control the humidity inside the container, and replace it as it becomes stale.
Freezing and Thawing Tips
If you want to enjoy your cookies later, you can freeze them without losing their flavor or texture. Before freezing, separate each cookie with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking to each other. You can freeze them in an airtight container or in resealable plastic bags.
You can also freeze cookie dough to make fresh cookies when desired. Follow these steps:
- Shape the cookie dough into balls
- Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Freeze the dough balls until solid
- Transfer the frozen dough balls to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag
Freeze cookies or cookie dough for a maximum of 3 months. To thaw, place the cookies on a plate at room temperature for a few hours. Cookie dough can be baked straight from the freezer. Just remember to add a couple of minutes to the baking time.
By following these storing and freezing tips, you can ensure that your vanilla pudding M&M cookies stay fresh and delicious!