I tried to get all the posts done by Christmas but somehow the night has crept into December 26th and so I need to wish my favorite cousin who is just like a sister to me a very Happy Birthday! From little kids who hated each other (I mean we HATED each other) to being ridiculously close -- I probably text her 100 times a day. Horrible, I know. I hope this year brings you happiness, growth, joy, laughter and memories of a lifetime. I love you! :) You are an amazing person and I cannot wait to see what this year holds for you! And if you were here, I would totally take you to Grub Burger since you loved it...and with that I leave you this picture...
You know I can't do a countdown without a pudding cookie recipe. I mean would it really be a For the Love of Dessert without a pudding cookie recipe? Of course not! I mean I did share with you my Pudding Cookie-Exchange post which included all the awesome pudding cookie recipes I have made so far, but now I have one more to add. You were probably just waiting for it to pop up! Well you can now relax...because here it is :) A few things. First, Jello does make Gingerbread pudding but I could not find it. But I did have an extra box of Pumpkin Spice pudding from when I made the Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies and since gingerbread has pumpkin pie spice...I knew I could use that as a base...and it came out perfect.
I wanted to make a gingerbread pudding cookie so that I could pair it with these gingerbread M&Ms I stumbled upon. The hubby read that these M&Ms don't taste very gingerbread like BUT I completely disagree. These M&Ms are filled with a strong gingerbread taste. And I am assuming since you are looking at this post, that you are a gingerbread fan because otherwise you would not be looking at it :) It's a nice way to enjoy a gingerbread cookie without feeling like a mass murder biting off those cute little gingerbread mens' head off :/ I mean that's not the way you want to spend your Christmas!
Preheat Oven to 350F Degrees
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour*
2 tsp. baking soda
1 (3.4-3.56 oz) box of pumpkin spice pudding (dry)**
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 stick of butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey
9.9 oz bag of Gingerbread M&Ms
*If dough is sticky add an extra 1/4 c. of flour
** If you find the Jello Gingerbread pudding you can use that. Omit the ginger/cinnamon add ins
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice pudding mix, ginger 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 and honey. Scrape down sides. Then reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients. Combine until just incorporated. Remove from stand mixer and fold in 3/4 of the M&M (use the remaining M&Ms 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 M&Ms onto the top of the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.