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Chocolate Chip Texas Cookies

chocolate chip Texas cookies

I love that I live in a state that’s so proud that one can easily find cookie cutters shaped like it.

Every Texan has a pride issue. Most of us Texans are fully aware of it, but a select few are just too proud to admit it. If you aren’t Texan but have ever met one, you’re fully aware of the boastful confidence we have in our once-was-its-own-country state.

One time I asked my husband (who, mind you, fulfilled his lifelong dream from childhood of being a “soldier man” by serving in the U.S. Army and who also teaches U.S. history, government, and economics), “If Texas wasn’t part of the United States, would you rather live in Texas or America?” To which he unhesitatingly responded, “Texas,” with a capital T.

“Really? Why is that?” I asked.

I really love America (and for the record, so does he), but his answer made sense: “Because I’d never want to live in an America without a Texas.”

Dear Lone Star State, we love you to the moon and back. We love you from one end of the state to the other. (Which, in all reality, is about the same distance. Those of you who’ve driven from one end of the state to the other know just how true that really is.) By the way, did you know the first words spoken on the moon were spoken to a radio in Texas?

Ok, back to the cookies. Not only are they shaped like Texas, they’re just like Texas: awesome. There are a few great things about these Texas chocolate chip cookies: they’re moist, delicious, and super easy to make. But really, the best thing about them are the in-betweens.

What are in-betweens? Pieces of deliciousness that reside between one cookie and the next. And the best thing about in-betweens? They’re calorie-free because they’re not actually cookies.*

*Not really.

chocolate chip Texas cookies in-betweens

But don’t worry, they’re calories you won’t regret consuming. I mean, just look at this mound of yumminess!

chocolate chip Texas cookies in-betweens on a plate

Before we can enjoy the in-betweens, we have to make the shaped cookies. Let me show you how to get perfectly shaped cutouts of these cookies, and then we can indulge in those delightful residual pieces! In-betweens give a whole new meaning to the term, “leftovers.”

Once you mix the cookie dough (recipe below), you’ll put a bunch of dough lumps onto a non-stick cookie pan (you don’t need to grease it if it’s non-stick). The pan I use is about 17″ x 12″.

Your lumps of dough will look a little bit like the map of the world.

chocolate chip Texas cookies lumps of dough on cookie pan
Then, use your hands or a spatula to evenly press the dough across the pan. It’s ok if you don’t reach the edges of the pan with the dough; when it bakes, the dough will even out and cover the entire pan. Once your dough globe looks more like Pangaea (or Cookie Pan-gaea, if you will), you’re ready to put the pan in the oven.

chocolate chip Texas cookies dough flattened and spread out on pan

Separate out your M&Ms into the red & blue pile and the reject pile. My taste buds rejoice in the reject pile, because I get to eat it while the cookie dough bakes.

chocolate chip texas cookies with m&ms separated by color

Yes, that’s an adorable towel with Texas shapes on it in the background. Thank you, Aunt Cheryl!

Evenly distribute the red & blue M&Ms onto the dough and lightly press down on them like so:

chocolate chip texas cookie dough with m&ms pressed on dough

Bake the dough until it’s slightly golden brown (about 10 minutes on 350) and looks like this:

chocolate chip Texas cookie dough fresh out of the oven

Let the dough cool for about 5-10 minutes before you begin cutting out the Texas shapes. It’ll come out of the oven feeling like July in Texas. Wait until the dough feels more like September or October.

Then, you’ll press the cookie cutter into the dough to start cutting your shapes. If the cookies are still rather doughy and don’t easily separate when you cut them, wait a bit before you try to move the shape from the cookie pan to the cooling rack. Sometimes they’ll come right out with the cookie cutter.

using a cookie cutter to cut the Texas shape out of the chocolate chip cookie dough

chocolate chip Texas cookies on cooling rack

These cookies are just too fun!

chocolate chip Texas cookies on a plate

Once you’ve finished cutting out all of your cookies, you can sit back and enjoy the rejects (if you didn’t already eat them while impatiently waiting for the cookies to bake) & the in-betweens!

chocolate chip Texas cookie in-betweens and reject m&ms

Of course, you can enjoy the Texas cookies, too, but there’s just something about those in-betweens that make us leap for joy.

Chocolate Chip Texas Cookies

Chocolate Chip Texas Cookies

Yield: Approx. 18 Texas Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (room temperature)
  • 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3.4oz package instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using either a stand or electric beater, cream the butter and add the sugars until they're thoroughly blended. Add the vanilla and then crack the eggs in one at a time.
  • Slowly incorporate the flour, soda, salt, and pudding. Mix until all ingredients are fully blended together.
  • Fold in chocolate chips (I add mine in and turn the mixer on for a few more seconds).
  • Place dough in lumps on non-stick cookie pan (mine is about 17"x12") and evenly spread with hands or a spatula to cover most of the pan with the dough.
  • Place dough in oven for about 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, check to see if the dough is turning slightly golden. If not, leave in for a couple more minutes. Do not over bake!
  • Remove pan from oven and allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Begin cutting cookies with Texas cookie cutter - if the dough is sticking well to the cutter, you can transfer the cookies straight from the cookie cutter. If not, then use the cutter to cut the shapes out of the dough, but remove the shapes with a spatula once the cookies have cooled a bit more. (I usually don't have any issues getting the shapes from the pan to a cooling rack, but it's occasionally easier to remove the in-between pieces before transferring the Texas shapes to the cooling rack).

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    3 Comments

    1. I made these for my soccer team for a reward after an intense workout (1 mile run, 100 sit ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run…yes my girls are beasts!). Our theme has been begin with the end in mind, and for us the end of every season we hope to go to the State Tournament. Luckily, this was a very cool visual as I pulled out a big Texas shaped cookie and said “Begin with the end in mind.” I even made some as sugar cookies and put our crest on them with icing. They loved it! Cool way to end the school year. Thanks for the great idea!

      1. I can still picture Ellen with her hands in the air saying, “IN-BE-TWEENS!” Definitely the best part.

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