Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

I hope you guys are enjoying this gorgeous summer weather! I know that this past week has been absolutely incredible for me. My family and I made our way up to the Berklee College of Music to participate in a week long program for the Mark O’Connor Alternatives Strings camp. This was certainly not our first time attending this week long festival, but this was our first time at the Berklee location. Oh my gosh, this has to be one of the best weeks that I ever remeber having. Along with taking classes with some legendary fiddlers, I made so many new friends from all over the United States, and seeing some old friends for our annual week together.

On top of hanging out and jamming with my friends, my dad was kind enough to run over to one of our family’s favorite places to visit up in Boston- the Flour bakery. He would go over there during the day and bring back sticky buns the size of my head, which was an amazing treat to have during the middle of the week. The gooey pecans combined with the slight sweetness of the dough and the irresistible sticky glaze made this a treat that was hard to forget.

Now that I’m already drooling over those sticky buns, let me tell you about these cookies. Despite the fact that cookies are one of my favorite things to make, I don’t have a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe up on here. But Rayna, you’ll say, how can you have a baking blog and not have chocolate chip cookies? Well, no need to wait anymore, although I can’t say that these are your standard chocolate chip cookies. When I first saw this recipe over on Two Peas and Their Pod, I must admit that I was a little skeptical. Pudding mix in a cookie? Don’t make the same mistake that I made, because these cookies are delicious. The pudding mix adds a nice vanilla-y (I’ve decided that is a word) flavor and makes the cookie hard to get away from. These would make a perfect addition to any July 4th brunch, or for a wonderful weekday treat. Enjoy!

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3.4 oz. package vanilla instantpudding mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
  2. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3.  Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slight golden and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

What are you waiting for?

-Rayna 🙂

 

 

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

My Saturday mornings are spent playing away at classical viola, so I don’t have time for a nice leisurely weekend breakfast. Pancakes and waffles rarely make an appearance on a weekend morning, but certainly freshly baked goods are available!

I love cranberries. Adore cranberries. I think they are one of the best all time things to bake with in the entire planet. They offset the sweetness of cookies and cakes and offer just the right amount of tartness to pair along with it. Not to mention that they don’t expire quickly, leaving time for lots of goods to be baked :). This coffee cake will blow your mind. I’m actually not the biggest fan of (eating) a 8 layer cake, just because they tend to be a little sweet for me, but this coffee cake is just the perfect balance. It was loosely based on the Smitten Kitchen, but I changed up the recipe to what would work what I had on hand and it turned out great! It’s a great recipe for the holidays once you’ve polished off all of the chocolate peppermint cookies. 😉

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

Makes 2 9 inch cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, cut in half (6 ounces, I used fresh)
  • 2 cups and 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick and 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray 2 circular 9 inch by 1 inch cake trays.
  2. Combine the sugar and the seeds from the vanilla bean (just scrape it with the back of a knife) until fully incorporated. You can also just use vanilla sugar if available.
  3. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of the vanilla sugar. When light and fluffy, beat in the eggs.
  4. Add in the flour and the milk, alternating between them until just combined.
  5. Add half of the batter to each cake tray and cover with the cranberries and turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

This will be gone from your breakfast table faster than you can say “Happy Holidays!”

-Rayna 🙂