This summer, I’ve been relying heavily on a few things to keep me from turning into a total stress case: late night leisure reading, snuggles with my favorite fuzz nugget, and regular doses of chocolate and peanut butter. The first two, however, are somewhat less reliable. I tend to gravitate towards mystery or suspense novels, but the good ones often leave me jumpy and a tad sleep deprived (I have a hard time putting them down, even in the wee hours of the morning), and the bad ones are just plain disappointing. As for Phoebe, she’s a cuddlebug by nature but there are times when she can’t be bothered to deviate from her busy schedule of sunbathing and guarding against the threat of invasion by UPS or FedEx personnel. Luckily, chocolate and peanut butter are solidly dependable. It’s hard to go wrong when you put the two of them together! So when I found a box of chocolate pudding mix in the pantry (left over from making chocolate tiramisu last fall), I decided it was time to try making pudding cookies—and adding peanut butter was pretty much a no-brainer.
Have you ever made pudding cookies? I’ve been drooling over them for quite some time but this was the first time I’ve made them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea, the pudding mix (which is added in its powdered form, directly from the box) makes for incredibly soft and chewy cookies that remain soft and chewy for days. I was a little bit surprised by the dough, which wasn’t as sticky as most that I’ve worked with—some of the candy pieces even fell out and I had to press them back in—but the end result was delicious nonetheless.
These chocolate peanut butter pudding cookies are basically a cookie version of peanut butter cups, which are basically a candy form of pure happiness, so if you’re feeling stressed (or even if you’re not), I highly recommend taking a few minutes and whipping up a batch of these cookies! They pair nicely with a good book and a fuzzy sidekick, if you’ve got those handy 😉
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 small box (3.4 ounces) chocolate pudding mix
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup peanut butter candies, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional, see note)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and water and mix until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, pudding mix (note: ONLY add the contents of the box – do not prepare the mix according to the package instructions), baking soda, and salt. Add these ingredients to the mixer bowl and stir until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add 3/4 cup peanut butter candies and the chopped peanuts (if using) and mix until combined.
- Scoop the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Press the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter candies on top of the cookies. Flatten each cookie with a spatula or the palm of your hand.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes (the cookies should no longer have a shiny appearance). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container.
- Makes 24-30 cookies.
- Feel free to use either creamy or crunchy peanut butter. I typically buy creamy peanut butter, so I add 1/4 cup chopped peanuts for additional texture; if you use crunchy peanut butter, you may not need the additional peanuts.