extra fudgy dark chocolate chip cookies

Fudgy, rich, soft and chewy dark chocolate chip cookies, with a touch of heat and a secret ingredient...  perfect with an ice cold glass of milk!

Instant pudding mix.  That's the secret ingredient!

I'm not normally a 'mix' girl, but I have been seeing a few 'pudding mix' cookies around lately and I just had to see what all the hype was about.

I just so happened to have a random box of chocolate fudge instant pudding sitting in my cupboard (that I don't even remember buying!), and this seemed like the perfect use for it.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with these cookies.  They are very soft, chewy, and packed full of flavor.  I can't wait to experiment making cookies with some funkier flavors of pudding mixes!

Please don't be afraid of the cayenne and cinnamon if you've never had spiced chocolate.  It's just a tiny hint in the cookies, but it makes a world of difference.  And your kids won't even notice...  if you're even gonna share with them, that is!

Extra Fudgy Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
inspired by two peas & their pod
makes about 7 dozen (depending on how much dough you eat!)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 6 (dry) ingredients;  set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the pudding mix, eggs and vanilla until smooth.

Mix in the dry ingredients until just well combined and then stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop with a small scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are just set and no longer shiny looking.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely before storing in tupperware in the freezer.

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