This past Sunday, my guy actually excitedly agreed to attend another Oakland A’s baseball game with me. (Yes, the man who avoids baseball!) As the one and only time the Yankees scheduled a visit, I really didn’t want to miss that matchup. With their big rivalry—half of it due to the teams’ opposite payroll extremes—any Yankees series always draws a huge crowd, and this one easily sold out weeks in advance. Derek Jeter, one of the greatest and most famous players of this era, plans on retiring after this season, so this was the last time for most of us West Coasters to watch him play.
If you aren’t a huge baseball fan, you just need to know two things today…
1) Fans either love or hate the Yankees. There’s no middle apathetic ground, minus one teensy tiny exception. When the Yankees play a team in your division—for me, that’d be the Angels, Rangers, or Mariners—Yankee haters secretly root for them to win so their own team gains an advantage in the division against the other teams’ records.
It’s like when you wanted chocolate cake for dessert as a kid, but your mom mandated that you needed to eat your carrots first. Then your dad chimed in and gave you the option of chowing down on peas instead. You may have hated both veggies, but you opted for the one you disliked just a little bit less. In my Oakland A’s baseball case, the carrots were the Yankees and the peas the Rangers.
2) Fans always want star players to do well when watching a game in person. Even if those phenomenal athletes wear the opposing team’s jersey. There’s something magical about a firsthand experience of seeing the player’s diving catch with their faded mitt outstretched for the ball, seeing him sprint around the base paths with speed you only dream about, or seeing him crush the pitch over the outfield wall and salute his lucky stars as he crossed home plate.
As long as the score stays in your team’s favor, you’ll love the show those athletes put on.
Both of those little fan facts came into play on Sunday. Although I hate the Yankees, I still wanted Jeter to do well in his last game in Oakland. After the first four innings, everything was going according to my plan. The A’s settled into their comfortable 10-0 lead, and the Yankees only managed a few harmless base runners.
But later in the game, my plan started unraveling… The Yankees somehow loaded the bases, just before Jeter slowly walked to the plate. My original gray area—Jeter should get some hits but the A’s should still walk away with the win—immediately shifted to a crystal clear black and white.
“Get Jeter out, get outta this inning, and close the game with a victory.”
My black and white prayer wasn’t entirely answered—Jeter hit into a force out, but a run scored in the process—yet since my A’s still finished the afternoon with a win, it was a very sweet end to my weekend!
Just like the ball game, these Cookies ’n Cream Pudding Cookies are black and white and irresistibly sweet! With their decadent chocolate chunks and rich vanilla flavor, they taste just like Oreos—only bigger, softer, and better. Plus they’re low fat and low calorie, a true cookie miracle!
This recipe is super simple to make; you don’t even need a mixer! And almost all of the ingredients are really predictable, except for one: instant pudding mix. It contains cornstarch, which makes the cookies incredibly soft. The cornstarch absorbs moisture in the dough, similar to how it absorbs liquids to thicken soups and stews, and prevents the cookies from drying out.
These are honestly the softest, thickest cookies you’ll ever taste!
To make them healthier, I removed the cream centers of the Oreos. The chocolate cookies themselves aren’t too unhealthy, and the instant pudding mix provides the cream filling flavor for a fraction of the fat and calories. It’s a fun little trick that makes these treats taste just like the classic ice cream flavor!
With very little butter and all that pudding mix, these cookies do NOT spread in the oven. You must flatten the cookie dough before baking. Press down on the cookie dough balls until they form circles, and remember that the diameter will be the same both before and after baking. If you squash them to be less than ½” thick, you may need to reduce the bake time by a minute or two.
When you remove the cookies from the oven, they should look and feel underdone. That’s okay! It’s my secret to extra soft cookies. The centers continue to cook through on the warm baking sheet as they cool without the outsides turning crisp and crunchy from too much time in the oven. If baked that way, the cookies will stay soft for an entire week—if they last that long!
With their tender texture and familiar flavors, these skinny Cookies ’n Cream Pudding Cookies basically taste like Mega-Stuf Oreos—lots of creamy vanilla with the perfect balance of dark chocolate chunks. They’re awesome for birthday parties, backyard barbeques, or kids’ (and even your) lunchtime dessert!
I brought a batch of these to my guy’s event on Saturday too, and they disappeared only a few minutes after the caramel apple cookies. And my guy, the dessert-hater, was actually sad that he forgot to try one!
So pour a glass of milk and bake a batch of these cookies!