Today’s cookies resulted from an attempt to use up half a box of lemon flavored instant pudding mix. I made a half batch of lemon pudding cookies using the 1.7 oz of remaining pudding mix and liked the cookies so much I went to the store for more lemon pudding mix! I can’t wait to serve these to my “tasting panel” aka our neighborhood baseball team and parents who have kindly stepped up to the task.
Using a mixture of butter and shortening is key to the texture and thickness, so if you try substituting butter you won’t get the same cookie. I tested with Spectrum butter flavored and regular Crisco and both shortenings worked well. The cornstarch in the pudding makes them crisp around the edges, but still soft in the center, and the added lemon oil (Boyajian) gives them a good lemon flavor. But be careful: if you use a lesser quality lemon oil or extract, the flavor might be more like Lemon Pledge. On the other hand, actual lemon zest would almost certainly work well. I’ve only used the Boyajian so I can’t say how much lemon zest would be needed, but I’d probably go with 2-3 teaspoons. For the white chocolate chunks, I used Baker’s White Chocolate. I like how it holds its shape when baked into cookies, as opposed to some fancier brands which melt a little more.
White Chocolate Chunk Lemon Pudding Cookies
- 2 1/3 cups to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 12 ounces by weight**
- 1 tablespoon baking soda that’s right – 1 tablespoon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup 3.4 oz butter flavored non-hydrogenated shortening or regular Crisco shortening
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar tightly packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 box instant lemon pudding 3.4 oz
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon lemon oil Boyajian or use 2-3 teaspoons of fresh lemon zest (or more)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 to 8 oz of white baking chocolate cut into small chunks
- Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening until creamy. Beat in both sugars, then add pudding mix and beat until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until mixed.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring by hand until mixed. If you’re using a stand mixer with paddle, you can mix with the paddle on low speed. Personally, like to use a hand-held mixer for the creaming process, then stir the flour in by hand. I'm always a little paranoid that the friction from a hand-held mixer might overdevelop the gluten.
- Stir in the white chocolate chunks.
- Using a generous tablespoon, scoop up about 34 rounds of dough and arrange them on a foil lined baking sheet. Chill dough rounds for several hours, then put in a zipper bag and bake as needed at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
- You can also bake right after mixing the dough, in which case you just scoop up the dough by tablespoons and bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 375 for about 10 minutes.
- I recommend scooping the dough into rounds and chilling them, as they will have a better shape as they bake.