Your new go-to cookie recipe for the holidays and beyond

It’s November, and you know what that means: It’s potluck season. In between planning lavish holiday parties, you will be asked to spend lots of time slaving away in the kitchen in the name of seasonal celebrations. And unlike those corporate events, family gatherings, “friendsgivings,” and cookie exchanges usually scorn catered or store-bought options.

As someone who likes to bake, I always fall back on bringing desserts to pretty much any and all potlucks. My go-to? Chocolate chip cookies. Nearly everyone loves them, and because they’re not specific to the holidays, I can keep the ingredients handy in my cupboard year-round. The recipe I use always gets rave reviews — it produces deliciously sweet cookies that don’t flatten out and stay soft for days.

Lucky for you, it’s no secret recipe: My grandmother found it in a magazine years ago, and I’ve been making these treats since high school. So as my early holiday present to you, here is my easy but always tasty chocolate cookie recipe, which benefits from the addition of instant pudding mix. Whip up a batch for any upcoming potluck event, and I guarantee you success!

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 4-serving package of vanilla instant pudding mix (like this)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2½ cups flour
1 12-ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips (give or take)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the butter, sugars, pudding mix, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and combine. Then add the baking soda and flour and stir until it forms a stiff dough. Add a little extra flour if the dough seems too soft. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough on a cookie sheet in small, rounded spoonfuls. I prefer to use a small cookie scoop, so the cookies come out about 2 inches or so in diameter — perfect for just a few bites.

Bake them for eight to 10 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to get brown. Cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

When I use the small cookie scoop, each batch makes about 60 to 70 cookies. I have also been known to mix up the mix-ins — try peanut butter chips or holiday-colored M&M’s.

Happy baking!

(Top photo by

Hannah Prince

Hannah Prince

Hannah joined Cvent after more than a decade in the journalism world. As a passionate editor, she's always willing to discuss the merits of the Oxford comma, the use of who vs. whom, or the definition of a dangling modifier. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, taking her dog to happy hour, and buying even more shoes.

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