I combined several of my favorite things plus one very special ingredient to make these amazing cookies. A chocolate chip cookie base + almond extract + dark chocolate chips + cherry M&M’s + Almond Joy Instant Pudding! I hope you like chocolate, cherry and almond flavors….if you don’t, well….there may be no hope for you.
I found the Almond Joy instant pudding mix (along with Mounds instant pudding mix) at Wal Mart a few weeks ago, and had been pondering what exactly to do with them since then. When the Valentine’s Day M&M’s started showing up on shelves, specifically the cherry kind, I knew what had to be done.
I started with a pudding cookie base, and substituted almond extract in for vanilla, and my Almond Joy extract for the basic vanilla that the recipe called for. I had to use dark chocolate chips, of course, because the combo of cherry, almonds and dark chocolate is simply irresistible.
Dark Chocolate Almond Cherry M&M Cookies:
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup splenda (or sugar)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup Almond Joy Instant Pudding Mix
- 1 tsp baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup cherry M&M’s
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry mix to wet mix and beat until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and M&M’s by hand, or beat on low speed for 30 seconds.
Chill dough for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
Scoop into tablespoon sized balls, and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake for 11 minutes. Let sit on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 25-30 cookies.
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks