You might think it’s a new idea, but actually – it’s been around a long time! I found at least one cake mix cookie recipe dating back to the early 1970s.
Maybe it’s that everything old is new again—or maybe, more likely, it’s because of the Internet—you can find virtually everything you are looking for on Google or Bing. I typed in “cake mix cookie recipes” on Google and got over three million hits. I went to Bing and typed in the same search information and was rewarded with over eleven million hits.
Well, we don’t need that many recipes (although my family & friends would swear that I am out to collect a few million recipes). I have no idea, anymore, how many cookbooks I have, let alone how many recipes – thousands are in 3 ring binders and there are over 50 of those. I have over 200 recipe boxes, all filled (My favorites are boxes we find with someone else’s recipe collection inside). That’s a treasure, almost as good as finding someone’s manuscript cookbook. My girlfriend, Mary Jaynne, was here a few days ago and brought me four filled recipe boxes she had found. Two were from an estate sale and it’s plain to see that the previous owner treasured her collection; all are carefully indexed. Ok, so I have a lot of recipes – but the one you want is often the one you can’t find. But back in 1991, my close friend, Connie, gave me a red-check blank recipe book. I didn’t do anything with it at first – and then had one of those “aha!” moments and began writing all of my favorite Christmas recipes inside the book. Then someone gave me two more of these very same red-check blank recipe books (it reads I’M WRITING MY OWN COOKBOOK” on the cover, and now I have three of these filled. Two are all different kinds of Christmas recipes and one is entirely cookies).
Well, I really started taking off with cake mix cookies a few years ago, when making large cookies for the grandkids to decorate. The white or yellow cake mixes are really good for this—whether it’s making oversize Christmas tree cookies or egg shapes for Easter. The cookies do tend to spread a little but that’s not a problem with cookies that small fry are going to spread with frosting and decorate lavishly, to their heart’s content.
So, I am going to share with you some of my favorite cake mix cookie recipes. By the way, no one ever guesses your secret—that a cake mix and a few other ingredients can produce so many different and tasty cookies.
First, let me share with you A BASIC CAKE MIX COOKIE RECIPE—
1 box, (18.25 oz) any flavor cake mix (I prefer the Betty Crocker cake mixes but any kind will work)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or solid stick margarine, melted and cooled
2 TBSP milk (I like using evaporated milk for this)
Mix together all ingredients. Divide the dough into several balls and pack it into zip lock bags. Chill overnight or as long as you need—the dough will keep for at least a month. Now you are ready to roll the dough out for cutout cookies, or shape into balls. You can roll the balls into finely chopped nuts or glaze them after they’ve baked.
Next, is Chocolate Fudge Cookies – you can use any kind of chocolate cake mix with this recipe and you can change it around a bit by using white chocolate chips instead of semi sweet chocolate chips. To make Chocolate Fudge Cookies you will need:
1 PACKAGE (18.25 OZ) chocolate cake mix or devil’s food cake mix
½ cup vegetable oil or melted and cooled butter (1 stick = ½ cup)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.
In a medium size bowl, stir together the cake mix, eggs, and oil until well blended. Then mix in the chocolate chips. Shape the dough into walnut-size balls; place the cookie dough 2” apart on the cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the cookies look more Christmassy, make up a thin glaze out of powdered sugar and a little water – drizzle over the cookies on the wire racks.
KEARA’S FAVORITE CRISP LITTLE LEMON COOKIES
To make Keara’s Favorite Crisp Little Lemon cookies you will need:
1 package lemon cake mix (18.25 oz)
1 cup rice krispies cereal
½ cup margarine or butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp lemon extract or lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl; mix well. Shape into 1” balls and place 2” apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven 350 degrees 9-12 minutes. Cool 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool.
If you make up a lemon glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice, and drizzle it over the cookies, you will have a more festive cookie. I like to add a little lemon peel to the cookie batter, too.
RED VELVET CHRISTMAS COOKIES
1 box (18.25) Red Velvet cake mix
½ cup cooking oil
2 TBSP evaporated milk
1 12-oz bag white chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop by tablespoonful on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. A white glaze is nice with these.
CHCOLATE CARAMEL BROWNIES
1 PKG (18.25 oz) chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup evaporated milk, divided
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
35 (10 oz pkg) caramels, unwrapped
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
Combine cake mix and nuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter (batter will be thick). Spread half of the batter into ungreased 13×9” baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Heat caramels and remaining evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted. Sprinkled morsels over brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture. Drop remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over caramel mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut in 24 squares.
LEMON CRUMB BARS
1 (18.25 OZ) package lemon or yellow cake mix
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups finely crushed saltine crackers
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
½ cup lemon juice
3 egg yolks
Combine cake mix, butter, and 1 egg with mixer until crumbly. Stir in cracker crumbs. Reserve 2 cups crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture on bottom of 13×9” greased baking pan.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. With mixer or wire whisk, beat condensed milk, lemon juice and 3 egg yolks. Spread over prepared crust. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 20 minutes longer or until set and top is golden. Cool. Cut into bars. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
QUICK & EASY CAKE MIX COOKIES
1 (18-1/2 OZ your favorite flavor cake mix (Funfetti is a good one to make with kids)
1 egg, beaten
8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
½ cup powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients except powdered sugar; form into 1” balls. Roll in powdered sugar; place on ungreased baking sheets (or parchment lined cookie sheets!) bake at 350 degrees 12-15 minutes. Cool. Makes about 6 dozen.
Now you know how to make cake mix cookies. I stock up on the boxes of cake mix when they are on sale.
Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!