3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1-1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
one 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
one-12 ounce bag (2 cups) milk chocolate chips or chunks (I chopped up a bar of Trader Joe's milk chocolate into good-sized chunks)
1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the chocolate chips; beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
4. Using a large cookie scoop or 1/4-cup measure, form approximately 14 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don't overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving.
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