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.


Luchin Says... 8 Jan 2010 , 10:25am

I will try it to see if I can finally bake some good cookies. Thanks for sharing.

pinkchef1217 Says... 19 Jan 2010 , 6:46pm

are these cookies good for decorating? do they hold up well like the nfsc recipe when u put them in individual bags?? thanks cant wait to try!

mom23kids Says... 5 Feb 2010 , 12:02pm

Does anyone know if the amount of butter is correct or should it read 2 CUPS of butter? Thanks

MarnieG Says... 6 Feb 2010 , 10:04am

Hey mom23kids two sticks of butter is equal to 1 cup of butter.

mom23kids Says... 6 Feb 2010 , 10:10am

Thanks MarnieG...I know that but was just wondering if in this recipe the amount was correct...I looked at similiar recipes that called for 2 cups..sorry for the confusion.

mcjrix Says... 7 Feb 2010 , 9:59am

Just made them today and they are so yummy! They turned out great!

auntiecake Says... 7 Feb 2010 , 11:06am

The 1 cup of vegetable shortening makes up for the other cup of butter that other recipes are showing.

sugarjones Says... 9 Feb 2010 , 12:05am

How many normal-sized (4") cookies does this recipe make?

Jeannie21 Says... 9 Feb 2010 , 11:51am

Does anyone know if I could use all butter instead of half shrtening? Or will it make the cookies more breakable? Im wanting to do a cookie bouquet. Also when do I put the lollipop sticks in the cookies?

lovescake1 Says... 11 Feb 2010 , 1:55am

is there a way to make these in chocolate is it o.k. to use chocolate pudding to make them chocolate or will they be light in color

bitnyre Says... 21 Feb 2010 , 5:42pm

Good very different than any other sugar cookie. It's chewy. I would go with the 5 cups flour. The dough was starting to be crumbly with 5 1/2. Used 3 1/2 sugar.

KHalstead Says... 26 Feb 2010 , 10:32am

sorry guys, didn't even realize the recipe had posted yet. let me try to answer all questions posted!

pinkchef1217-they're definitely good for decorating, they don't spread much and they're very sturdy, I use them on sticks for cookie bouquets as well.

mom23kids- the amount is correct, 2 sticks of butter (it's equal parts butter and shortening)

sugarjones-I get approx. 40-50 4" cookies out of one recipe (the exact number depends on the exact shape...I always get at least 40 though, and I roll to 1/4" thickness, using dowel rods as my guide.

Jeannie21-the NFSC had all butter, this was one of the things I tweaked (because I got a lot of spreading), shortening melts at a higher temp. allowing the cookie to crust over on the outside, before the shortening melted and makes the cookie spread. You could use all butter, but you will be getting more spreading with your shapes. I use the recipe as is for cookie bouquets all the time! I insert my sticks before baking and always have had good success.

lovescake1-you can make them in chocolate by adding cocoa powder (I sub 1 c. of the flour for cocoa powder) in addition to chocolate pudding mix. However I have another choc. cookie recipe that I found online that is TO DIE FOR and tastes like brownies and so generally I don't stray from it, pm me if you want it!

bitnyre-yes, that's what I like a chewy cookie but yet it's firm enough to handle being in a cookie bouquet (that's why I tweaked) I felt like the regular NFSC were too crisp and I LOVE chewy's very important not to overbake if you like a chewy cookie though, as soon as you see the slightest bit of browning on the edges, pull them out....there is carry over cook time while they rest on the cookie sheet!

KHalstead Says... 27 Feb 2010 , 10:29am

just in case others read this and want the choc. recipe here it is (hopefully I'm allowed to do this)

2SchnauzerLady Says... 2 Mar 2010 , 5:43pm

Do these freeze well after baking (wrapped well)? I have a few weeks to go before I need them, but I need to bake them now and then decorate them just before I need them - I also plan to use the chocolate version you posted. I'm using them for my fundraising, but I have to spread the work out since I work full time.

KHalstead Says... 14 Mar 2010 , 1:06pm

I have decorated them with antonia74's royal icing and frozen them with great results. I put a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet, a layer of cookies, another sheet of parchment, another layer of cookies, etc. and then wrapped the whole sheet pan in plastic wrap and froze for 3 weeks. When it was time to thaw I just left them wrapped and put them on the counter the day before I needed to package them. They were absolutely perfect. In fact here are the cookies after freezing!

monet1895 Says... 15 Mar 2010 , 12:48pm

Great cookies!! Sturdy, moist, chewy, delicious! Made my first batch last week, and I'm getting ready to make a second. Thanks for your work on this recipe!

bunnywiser Says... 20 Mar 2010 , 2:44pm

I agree with everyone else-these are wonderful! I didn't need all the flour, or use as much sugar, and they turned out great. Thanks KHalstead for sharing all your hard work with us! (I also tried the chocolate ones you suggested above-they were a big hit as well!)

Phyllis52 Says... 29 Mar 2010 , 8:13am

I made them and they are just delicious! One question Khalstead: did you try not freezing them first? What about the spreading? Sometimes I don't have much freezer room to work with. Thanks.

Wesha Says... 31 Mar 2010 , 11:20am

I baked these cookies this morning. The taste great. Just the right sweetness and they are soft. This will be my go to receipe from here on out for roll out cookies. Thanks KHalstead, you are the best!!!

RoseCitySugarcraft Says... 21 Apr 2010 , 6:37pm

KHalsted, thanks for the recipe! It tastes delicious!! I am only having one problem with baking, and that's with spreading. My cookies (rolled a bit thicker than your 1/4"), have nearly a 1/4" spread all the way around. :( Am I doing something wrong? Temp checks out, and I followed the recipe to the letter, having only about 1/2 cup of flour left over from the total 6. Any suggestions??? Thanks again in advance! :) Scott

kittykat416 Says... 16 May 2010 , 8:15pm

I had my first go at this recipe tonight, and I have to admit, it was a disaster! I think my problem was that I opted for the 4 cups of sugar and it was too much for the dough - it didn't occur to me until afterwards that the instant pudding mix is mostly sugar, so there is more than enough with just 3 cups of granulated sugar. After chilling in the fridge for 2 hours, the dough was too crumbly to roll out (even though I had barely used 5 cups of flour). When I tried to "fix" it by adding a little more shortening and egg, it wound up too greasy. Sadly, I think I'm going to have to throw the whole batch of dough in the garbage....

Kimberlyp123 Says... 24 May 2010 , 9:56am

Wow!! The best sugar cookie that I ever had!! The only negative that I can think that I ate several of them!

sweet56pooh Says... 27 May 2010 , 11:22pm

Thank you for this recipe!! I was looking for a good roll-out cookie for my daughter's first birthday party favors, and I think I found it! The taste was really good. I used all butter, so 2 cups of butter, and 2 1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup of powder sugar and 5 cups of flour. I think I have to bake it a couple more minutes longer next time, maybe 10-12 minutes. A little bit of spreading, but they came out great!

KHalstead Says... 31 May 2010 , 1:23pm

I've found that if they're rolled any thicker than 1/4" they tend to lose their shape! It's not necessary to have them "super thick" to have them stay soft and chewy (the pudding mix does that for you). I've even rolled them very thin (using lollipop sticks as a guide) and they still come out chewy and soft to the bite!

cole10 Says... 19 Jun 2010 , 6:30am

I am in the processing of making these cookies. They smell great already, I used chocolate instant pudding because I'm not a huge fan of sugar cookies. This is my first time experimenting with cookies and am worried that I did something wrong. I have finished mixing the dough, let it rest for 5 min, but the dough seems really crumbly. I went ahead and rolled it out anyway and it's in the refridgerator. Any suggestions, does that sound right? Thanks for any help!!

Stacybugg75 Says... 27 Jun 2010 , 10:48am

Is it possible to get good results with this recipe WITHOUT freezing the dough...? I have a side by side fridge/freezer and could never get a cookie sheet in it!! Anyone tried it...?

letsgetcaking Says... 15 Jul 2010 , 8:39pm

I'm excited to try these. I read about someone making them using butterscotch pudding, and it sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing, Khalstead.

Melmarie Says... 22 Jul 2010 , 2:19pm

I made this and the texture is fabulous! Good sturdy cookie. I made mine 1/4 inch thick. Next time I might cut back on the sugar - I did have a small amount of spreading even freezing them first but everyone in my family preferred these over the regular NSFC.

makeke Says... 1 Aug 2010 , 6:16pm

i made them today, and they taste great. i let mine cook a little bit longer and the were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. great recipe:)

BakerMama21 Says... 23 Aug 2010 , 9:24am

What does it do if you don't use the pudding mix? I don't have any on hand and don't feel like going to the store today! :) Also, how many 3" cookies will this recipe yield?

boilerchick Says... 12 Nov 2010 , 6:25pm

I just tried this recipe and the cookies were very good! I absolutely love the chewy texture. The only problem I noticed was that there was about a 1/4 inch spread when they baked. I, however, did not freeze them solid before I baked them. I probably had them in the freezer for only about 10 minutes. Next time I'll try leaving them in the freezer for 30 minutes. (I was just impatient - couldn't wait to sample them. :-) ) Also I rolled them to a little less than half an inch of thickness. Next time I might try to go a little thinner to see if that helps with the spread.

felin Says... 18 Nov 2010 , 6:24pm

Hello, I plan on using this recipe to make both a cookie bouquet and a platter of cookies for my daughter's baby shower. However, I'd like to ask about the 1/4 in. thing. I know that KHalstead suggested not going any bigger than this, but what about doing the cookie pops. Don't they generally need to be a little closer to 5/8 in. thick (especially since I am a beginner - ha)? Would you suggest a different recipe, perhaps, if using to make cookie pops with?


kita04 Says... 6 Dec 2010 , 9:51am

I made these cookies over the weekend. Delicious ! I cut out several sheets of parchment paper and rolled the dough between the sheets, each were a little bigger than 9" rounds. I stacked them in the fridge on top of each other. When I became bored with that, I took the bottom one out and made the impressions on them and then layed them on a cookie sheet in my freezer for alittle while until hard. I made about 35 cookies and finished them off with 1 batch on Antonio74's royal icing.

KYMommy Says... 14 Dec 2010 , 2:56pm

This is the best cookie recipe I have tried! The cookies were moist and chewy and not too sweet! Perfect with a cookie glaze icing. I do not like the royal icing at all! I didn't freeze the cookies after cutting them out, however, I did put the dough in the freezer a bit before rolling out the dough. This is definitely my favorite!

kdbohm Says... 25 Jan 2011 , 4:06pm

I tried these this morning and followed the recipe exactly, including the directions. The cookies tasted great, but I had huge issues with spreading and flattening out. The cookies spread almost 1/2" all the way around and since they spread so much, they turned out 1/2 the thickness that I rolled. They almost had a pancake look to them. I let them cool on the pan for 10 min as stated. They were very greasy on the bottom.

Was very bummed out that they didn't work as I wasn't a big fan of the NFSC either.

isuswimmom Says... 2 May 2011 , 9:14am

I mixed up a batch this morning to bake and only used 5 cups of flour and I ended up with a bowl of crumbs that won't stick together?? Any suggestions? Is there anything I can add so I don't have to throw the batch away? Thanks!!

SweetcakesCT Says... 2 Sep 2011 , 5:30am

I made these cookies the other day, but halved the recipe. Used 2 eggs, butterscotch pudding, 1 t. butter vanilla, 1/2 t. vanilla butternut, and butter-flavored Crisco. The smell as the cookies were baking was awesome, and the taste, amazing. They are softer inside than other recipes I've tried. I found the dough to just be a tad crumbly, but I was definitely able to roll and cut it. As most of my cookies do, they spread a little in the oven, but went back into shape as they cooled. I'm going to try pistachio today! Thank you soooooo much for this awesome recipe.

Sheri_e Says... 27 Oct 2011 , 12:06pm

Can you re-roll the dough once its broken away (after frozen)?

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