These toasted reindeer tracks cookies have a thick and rich peanut butter pudding cookie base that have been stuffed with marshmallow fluff. Top them with extra chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, then toast them until golden brown.
Each year I host a pudding cookie contest at the beginning of December. Each person who enters has to put a holiday twist on my viral pudding cookies.
This year's winner submitted these toasted reindeer tracks pudding cookies. Reader, Hannah Lacy, created them, so we all have her to thank for these wonderful cookies!
They start with a rich and fudgy peanut butter pudding cookie base. The base of the cookie alone is worthy of baking, but then we stuff them with marshmallow fluff. But that's not all. Finish them off with mini marshmallows and toast them to golden perfection.
This post will be your guide to make sure these peanut butter pudding cookies turn out just like the photos!
This year's contest is also sponsored by one of my long-time partners, the Ohio Poultry Association. Eggs are one of the most important ingredients in holiday cooking and baking, and all year long! They add moisture, color, flavor and nutritional value to recipes.
How to Make Toasted Reindeer Tracks Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies
Here are the basic steps, with images, for these peanut butter pudding cookies. Skip down to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe.
Cream the butter and sugar: Beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugar for 2-3 minutes.
Success tip: this introduces air into the batter and helps the cookies rise. Skipping the full creaming time will result in flatter cookies.
Wet ingredients: Add the vanilla pudding, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
Combine the dough: Stir in the dry ingredients on medium-low speed until combined.
Add the chocolate chips: Stir in about 1 cup of the chocolate chips, saving some to put on the top of the cookies after they're baked.
Fill with marshmallow fluff (creme): Use a heaping medium cookie scoop (2 Tablespoons) to scoop out the dough. Press an indent into the center of half of the cookies and fill them with a heaping teaspoon of marshmallow.
Success tip: Run the spoon under hot water to help the marshmallow easily come off the spoon.
Roll the cookie dough: Top the marshmallow with another piece of cookie dough and roll into a big ball.
Success tip: Allow som of the marshmallow to seep out of the tops so they ooze out when it bakes.
Bake: bake them for 9-12 minutes. Press mini marshmallows and chocolate chips into the tops when they come out of the oven.
Success tip: If the marshmallows melt out of the side of the cookie, use a large-mouth cup to swirl the cookie around and reshape it when it's hot.
5 Tips for Perfect Cookies
I've gathered several tips so they turn out just as good for you!
- Use room temperature butter and eggs. Many don't know that room temp butter is actually slightly firm and cool to the touch (about 60°F). Let your butter sit out for 1-2 hours and that's it. This is the single most important tip for thick cookies that don't spread.
- Use room temperature eggs. Set eggs out about 30 minutes ahead to safely bring them to room temperature for easy mixing into batter or dough.
- Measure the flour correctly or use a scale to weight it. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
- Use fresh baking soda. Toss it and get new if it's been longer than a year.
- Use large eggs in holiday baking! Using a different size egg, without making an adjustment, will affect texture, flavor and consistency. If you don’t have large eggs, use this conversion chart to see how to substitute different sizes.
Looking for a holiday breakfast? Start your holiday mornings with eggs in this savory bread pudding! They're a protein powerhouse and packed full of nutrients such as choline, vitamin D, and essential fatty acids.
More Cookie Recipes
- Peppermint bark cookies
- Creme brulee cookies
- Soft gingerbread cookies
- Buckeye cookies
- Brown butter chocolate chip cookies
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
Toasted Reindeer Tracks Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks; 170g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature (Note 1)
- ¾ cup (185g) creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 (3.4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups (281g) all purpose flour spooned and leveled (gluten-free works too) (Note 2)
- ½ cup (128g) marshmallow creme (fluff)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teapoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups (225g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- Mini marshmallows for topping
- Stand Mixer or Electric Mixer
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter for 2-3 minutes. Do not skip this step.
- Add the eggs, vanilla pudding mix, and vanilla extract. Beat again for 1-2 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix the cookie dough on medium-low speed until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips using a rubber spatula. Scoop immediately or cover and chill for up to 3 days.
- Use a heaping medium cookie scoop (2 Tablespoons) to scoop out the dough and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet. You should have about 32 pieces of cookie dough. You’ll press them together so you need to end up with an even amount of cookie dough balls.
- Press a small indent into the center of half of the cookies using the back of a spoon or teaspoon. Fill them with a heaping teaspoon of marshmallow creme. Run the spoon under hot water and dry it well to help the marshmallow easily come off the spoon.
- Place the other half of the cookie dough on top of the marshmallow and press down, pinching the seems. Roll the cookie dough into large balls. i like to have some of the marshmallow seeping out of the top of the cookie dough (see photo in blog post) because it gives you the lines of marshmallow cream on the top of the cookies.
- Arrange 4-6 cookie dough balls on the second baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges and tops of just set. If some of the edges of the cookies spread due to the marshmallow, swirl a wide-mouth cup or large cookie/biscuit cutter around the cookie to re-shape it when it’s hot.
- Immediately press mini marshmallows into the tops of the cookies followed extra chocolate chips. The cookies may crack slightly when you do this, that’s ok. To toast the tops, use a kitchen torch on the lowest setting to to toast the marshmallows. Alternately, broil the cookies in the oven on the top rack for a minute, watching very closely so they don’t burn.
- Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy warm or allow the cookies and chocolate chips to set before stacking and storing.