This is a modified version of the NFSC that I have tweaked for my own use with a lot of success. Some troubles I was having with the regular NFSC recipe was a lot of spreading and the cookies were too crisp and kind of dry IMO. So I tweaked the recipe and the result is a sturdy cookie that is very moist and chewy in texture and has very little spreading.
- 2 sticks of butterr
- 1 cup veg. shortening
- 3-4 cups white sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract (optional)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1-4 oz. box of instant pudding (any flavor)
- 6 cups of all-purpose flour
- Cream butter, shortening, and sugar together until light in color and fluffy in texture. Add eggs and extracts and mix to combine. In a separate small bowl combine the box of instant pudding mix (dry powder), 1 cup of flour, and the pinch of salt (use a whisk to ensure they’re distributed evenly). Add this to your butter mixture. Continue to add flour 1 cup at a time stirring well to combine after each addition. Depending on the humidity you may only need to use 5 cups of the flour. You want to continue adding four until the dough begins to come together as a solid mass. At this point, let it rest for about 5 minutes, if you can push your finger into the dough and it doesn’t stick to your finger, it is done. If it does stick, add some extra flour 1/2 c. at a time.
This dough will remain on the soft side and may seem sticky before you’ve allowed it to rest. The pudding in the dough will make the dough thicker and not as sticky as it rests. I roll this dough out between 2 sheets of waxed paper, and then refrigerate the sheet of dough before cutting out. Once I’ve made my impressions with my cutter, I pop the whole sheet of dough into the freezer leaving all of the cookies intact in the sheet of dough. Once frozen solid, I remove them and break away the excess dough, leaving me with a perfectly shaped cut out with no distortion from moving the soft dough around.
I then transfer my frozen cut out cookies onto a parchment lined, room temperature, cookie sheet and put them into a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes for a 4″ cookie. You want to bake the cookies until the tops are no longer shiny and when you see the edges just barely starting to brown.
Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, do NOT move them while hot or they will break. Once cooled the cookies are very sturdy and can be used in a cookie bouquet with no troubles, and will remain soft and chewy once bitten into for up to a week or two if stored in a ziploc bag. I have kept undecorated, baked cookies stacked and wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for 3 months with no change in flavor or texture.