These cream cheese pudding cookies with chocolate chips and red velvet M&Ms have been getting rave reviews. I made some early Valentine deliveries and everyone that’s tasted them loves them. I can’t keep my family out of them! I am so glad that I decided to make them. I’ve been hearing a lot about pudding cookies lately but I’ve always been on the fence about them. After seeing these pictures (are you drooling yet?), I finally caved in and had to give them a try. When I spotted a bag of Valentine red velvet M&Ms, I knew they would be the perfect addition to my cookies. Since cream cheese frosting always pairs nicely with red velvet, I substituted a little cream cheese for part of the butter and used cheesecake pudding rather than vanilla. While they don’t taste very cheesecake-y, I have to say they turned out fabulous. If cheesecake isn’t your thing, don’t worry about it, because they didn’t take on that flavor. If you love it, don’t expect that kind of flavor. In fact, you could probably use regular vanilla or even white chocolate pudding if that’s what you had on hand and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. What you will notice is how soft, chocolatey, rich, and delicious your cookies turn out! I think the cream cheese adds a little extra richness that blends perfectly with the butter. They remind me a little of soft batch cookies. The red velvet M&Ms add a festive punch of color that make these the perfect Valentine’s Day treat! I am thinking I’d better get to the store to buy some extra M&Ms so that I freeze them to keep on hand for future batches. My husband’s already requested another batch. Yep, I think I’d better build up that stash.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth add butter and beat until incorporated. Add the sugars, egg, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until creamed for around 4 minutes.
Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, for around 1 minute.
Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the chocolate chips, about 3/4 cup M&Ms, and beat on low speed until combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, or about 1/4-cup measure, form equal-sized mounds of dough rolling them into balls, and flattening slightly. Top each cookie with 3 or 4 M&Ms.
Place mounds on a large plate or tray and covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but no longer than 5 days. If you bake with unchilled dough you risk your cookies baking thinner, flatter, and spreading out more.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set. They may look slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center but they will firm up as they cool. Allow them to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. You won’t need a wire wrack.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can freeze them for up to 6 months. You can also leave unbaked cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, which means you can bake only as many cookies as you need saving the remaining dough to bake whenever the moment calls. Fresh baked cookies after school? Or in the middle of a mom moment? Or simply because you want them… Yes, please!
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