With the holiday season beginning, ok, let me stop right here for a moment. It is October, main holidays are Columbus Day (October 14) (even though everyone knows the Vikings actually discovered America), Samhain (October 31st) and Halloween (October 31st). Why our local Family Dollar had Halloween candy displayed since the end of July, I do not know. Think about it, that is 3 months the candy is sitting on the shelves, waiting to be purchased and given out to children trick or treating. Glancing down one aisle, Thanksgiving decorations (sorry, the harvest themed decor is geared towards turkey day); which means Yule and Christmas decor should be available in about 1-2 weeks. Ridiculous! This is why many people get stressed out from October to January; the seasonal holidays are being rammed down our throats daily, and all at once! Tell me, who actually has the time to welcome in the New Year after all that chaos! Thank you for letting me rant, now back to baking and today's post on cookies,
Fall season has begun, the temperatures are cooling, leaves dropping or turning bright colors before doing so. For me, this means experimenting with cookie recipes. Each year I like to make little gift plates for those businesses I deal with often. It's just a little thank you and holiday cheer to those workers dealing with all kinds of customers daily. One advantage of being on Facebook is all the recipes, with photos, that pop up in advertising, or are shared by those on my Friends list. One recipe I definitely decided to try out was making cookies out of cake mix; not due to being lazy, but it sounded intriguing. Three main ingredients plus add-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, dried fruits; too good to be true, and how tasty were the cookies really.
I let my hubby, Roy, pick out the flavor of the cake mix for my first attempt, and he choose Red Velvet. In case you didn't know, red velvet is basically chocolate cake with a dump load of red food coloring. I have made it from scratch, but remember, I was looking for easy. Oh, I did find a recipe for these cookies which claimed they were "made from scratch". Going over the recipe, I would rename it, "Semi-homemade", as boxed cake mix is still a main ingredient plus the addition of instant pudding. It was a complicated, many ingredient recipe which resulted in only 20 cookies at completion; simply not worth my time when I was looking for fast and easy.
Here is the basic recipe for Cake Batter Cookies (using a boxed cake mix) which I found listed on the internet many, many times.
Cake Batter Cookies
1 box cake mix (15.25 oz./16.25 oz./18.25 oz.)
**oil (personally use a vegetable/canola oil blend)
** 1/3 cup is for 15.25 oz. + one ounce of flour, or 16.25 oz. total.
1/2 cup is for 18.25 oz.
If you live in a high altitude area, like myself, add the appropriate amount of flour listed on the cake mix box. I shifted the mix + flour, added the oil for the size mix used, and the 2 eggs; it all came together perfectly.
Additions: 1/2 cup for chips - mint, vanilla, semi-sweet, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, cinnamon or toffee.
1/2 cup for nuts and dried fruits; large nuts and fruits should be chopped.
1/4 cup for sprinkles - they are tiny, so a little will go a long way.
Preheat oven to 350F; line jelly roll pans or cookie sheets with parchment paper (keeps the cookies from sticking and burning).
In a medium bowl, mix together cake mix, oil, eggs and any additions. I used a heavy duty rubber spatula and it blended together without any issues. A ball of dough will form (it can be wrapped in plastic wrap, refrigerated for use after an hour, in case several different flavors are going to be baked up).
Use a teaspoon to measure out the dough, roll into a ball with fingers and place onto parchment paper. These cookies do not spread out wide, so the dough can be pressed down slightly and a crinkle effect will be created as they bake.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, let cool slightly before removing and plating. Sprinkle powdered sugar to enhance the crinkles, or leave as is.
Makes 3 dozen cookies if using a teaspoon to measure out. Want larger cookies, double the teaspoon amount, or use a tablespoon to measure out the dough.
Basically, I had 3 dozen delicious red velvet cookies, with semi-sweet chocolate chips, baked and plated. I sprinkled half with powdered sugar, and the other half were left as is. The whole process took 45 minutes as I had only have two racks in my oven; if I had a third, the time would have been 30 minutes.
Hint: if you cannot decide what flavors of cake mix to purchase, stock up on "White", then you can add cocoa powder to create chocolate; vanilla, lemon, peppermint or other flavors of extract as well. Consider the white cake mix to be a blank canvass, you're the artist, now create!