With the holiday season now in full swing, time to begin thinking about, and experimenting with, cookie recipes. Each year I like to make little gift plates for those businesses I deal with often. It is 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, and dried fruits. Too good to be true, and how tasty were the cookies really?
Asking my hubby, Roy, to pick out the flavor of the cake mix for my first attempt, he choose Red Velvet. In case you did not know, red velvet is basically chocolate cake with a dump load of red food coloring, or beet juice. Making the cookies using a “scratch” recipe sort of defeats the purpose of easiness though. Looking through various recipes, I found one recipe for these cake mix cookies which claimed they were "made from scratch". Going over the recipe, it should be renamed, "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 (vegetable, canola or a blend of both)
** 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. Better yet, use a 1-inch diameter ice cream scoop!
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 are the artist, now create!
It has been a lot of fun playing with other flavors of cake mix, and added ingredients. Chocolate Fudge with chopped walnuts, dark chocolate and mint chips were my absolute favorite. Roy enjoyed the Spice with chopped fresh apple, chopped walnuts and cinnamon chips.
|Chocolate Fudge with chopped walnuts, dark chocolate & mint chips.|
|Red Velvet with & without powdered sugar|
|Spice with chopped apple, chopped walnuts & cinnamon chips.|
But, I had to do it, I had to see what would happen if I used a made from scratch recipe. No, not a cake recipe; a cookie recipe that would convert the flat, crunchy cookies into thicker, cakier cookies…Chocolate Chip! Now don’t I sound like a mad scientist working in a lab?
Taking a basic recipe for, made from scratch, chocolate chip cookies, I simply added three extra tablespoons of flour and used a Stevia baking blend instead of pure cane sugar. Instead of spreading out flatly and becoming crisp while baking, the cookies only flattered slightly. The bottoms were lightly crisp, but the overall texture was like any cookies that had used a boxed cake mix. Due to the Stevia baking blend, they were not as sugary sweet, but the milk chocolate chips (instead of semi-sweet) made up for that.
Now that these experiments have been a tasty success, time to begin playing with pumpkin!
Have fun baking!