Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugars, butter and Crisco until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract. Add pudding mix; stir until incorporated.
In a small bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour with the baking soda and salt. Slowly blend into the egg mixture.
Add additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour, if needed. The dough should be somewhat like the consistency of pie crust dough...not sticky. I use a total of 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour, depending on the humidity level of the day.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop spoonfuls of dough on cookie sheet. (To achieve a more round, cleaner look, roll the balls of cookie dough in your hand instead of just dropping on the cookie sheet.) Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are JUST starting to turn golden, rotating baking sheets halfway through. The cookies may not look done, but that is the trick to keeping them puffy and soft. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet on top of wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and cool completely on the cooling racks.
*Recipe Note: Make sure your baking soda is not expired. Test this by combining a little with vinegar and water. If not bubbly, get new baking soda or you will have flat cookies.
Source: Inspired by Erin Rood and Carol Elliott, friends of Pennies on a Platter