Welcome to the 12th Day of Christmas recipe! Only I would share my last Christmas recipe 6 days after Christmas. In all fairness, Christmas with my in-laws was on the 29th and I am sure we were not the only family to have a delayed holiday party. Plus, we can blame it on my Indian Standard Time (yes, I'm Sri Lankan, but it still works)...and yes, I did say that and yes, that is so a real thing :) I really wanted to post this recipe before the year ended because each December (and by each the last two years my blog as been "alive") the hubby and I pick our favorite recipes of the year. Well...spoiler alert...this recipe was on the hubby's list and it would be really awkward to have a recipe on his list that I did not even post yet. Sadly I have yet to post my Thanksgiving recipes, but I'll just have to do a Thanksgiving recap in 2014...I ask that you still love me.
And since I am still in holiday mode, I wanted to share two extra holiday gifts I got. The first was from Ashely. She was so sweet and got me things I could use for baking and blogging. I got these adorable penguin measuring cups and a penguin spatula :) I love, love, love penguins. For one they are adorable...they are like black and white sea otters. Second, they remind me of Stephanie. In high school she used to do this adorable penguin impression by flapping her arms which used to crack Paulina and I up. Ashely also got me cookie tins for next year's 12 days of Christmas countdown. I'm excited! The second gift I got, was this gorgeous hand, knitted blanket that my grandmother-in-law got me. It was perfect, because the weather just got really cold, and by cold -- I mean Texas cold. So now I have this warm blanket to cuddle up with Ninja....okay and the hubby ;)
These cookies are so holiday yet so everyday. The hubby describes them as eating a cinna-bun, topped with pecans. And who doesn't love cinna-buns -- which you can also eat anytime of the year. Since the hubby loved them so much, I picked up some extra cinnamon chips during the after Christmas holiday sale at the grocery store. The hubby was like a cookie pusher at the party with my in-laws getting everyone to try these cookies, because he loved them so much. It was great because my in-law all really loved it, which made me smile :) They also thought it tasted like cinna-buns. They are soft with delicious bursts of cinnamon and a wonderful pecan crunch. Plus, cookies are always so easy to whip up and I am convinced that there is now way to ruin a pudding cookie...NO WAY...
Preheat Oven to 350F Degrees
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 (3.4-3.56 oz) box of vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 stick of butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. of cinnamon chips + extra for garnish
1 c. chopped pecans + extra for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, vanilla pudding, and cinnamon- set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream together (on medium speed) butter and both sugars until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Then add eggs, one at time, followed by vanilla. Scrape down sides. Then reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients. Combine until just incorporated. Remove from stand mixer and fold in 1 c. of cinnamon chips and 1 c. of pecans (use the remaining cinnamon chips and pecans to press into the top of the cookie dough balls).
Line baking sheet with baking mat, aluminum foil, parchment or wax paper. Scoop out 1 1/2-2 inch, cookie dough balls onto sheet (roll between the palm of your hands for a nice round shape). Space the cookies 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the cookies using the palm of your hand. Press remaining cinnamon chips and pecans onto the top of the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.