The Great Cookie Experiment – Pudding Sugar Cookies
I messed up on this recipe. The recipe calls for a box of instant pudding (lemon flavored in this case), and I was rushing through the grocery store grabbing groceries before I had to be home to meet someone who was coming over. I grabbed the first box of lemon pudding on the shelf, and threw it in the cart, and didn’t look at it again, until I pulled it off the shelf to make the cookies and read that it was COOKED pudding.
Now…The difference between cooked pudding and instant pudding is the thickener used. Cooked puddings use a traditional cornstarch which thickens as it’s heated and cooled. It works well, but, of course, has a cornstarchy taste to it. The thickener in instant pudding is a modified food starch. It’s made from a waxy corn and lets you thicken without cooking at all. It also retains moisture, so when you add it to your cookie recipes, the cookies come out soft and lovely- all of the soft baked cookies on the grocery store shelves contain modified food starch of some sort or another. Cornstarch, the kind in cooked puddings doesn’t do that the same way.
I am a lucky girl to be friends with Jana (Ed note: Hi there!) and Cornabys because they make Ultra Gel, which is an instant cornstarch made for regular folks to buy. And yes, you can make your own instant pudding mixes with it if you want. I always have some in my kitchen, so instead of running back to the grocery store, I simply added the cooked pudding mix, and a couple of Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to the cookie dough. Problem solved. The cookies came out moist and chewy like the pudding is supposed to do, had a wonderful lemony taste, and were a BIG HIT with my family- especially my husband who loves lemon cookies. The cooked pudding did leave a bit of a cornstarchy taste to the cookies, but it was barely noticeable.
I would make these again, with the right pudding next time. I would also try different flavors, if I could convince my family to want something besides lemon. Pistachio could be pretty cool! Ultra Gel is available online with the Cornabys website, or at local Utah stores in the canning sections.
Pudding Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant lemone pudding mix or instant pudding mix of your choice
4 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
In a large bowl., cream the butter, oil, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and dry pudding mix. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Drop by Tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Maks about 7 dozen.