Y’all know I like to bake. And I take things to our LifeGroup, share stuff with friends, and post recipes here from time to time. But that’s usually the extent of my baking influence. (And I use the term “influence” extremely loosely.)
But a few weeks ago, one of the ladies with our Women’s Ministry called and asked me to do something completely out of my comfort zone and a little (ok, maybe a lot) scary for me.
She asked me to do a baking demo. For about 100 women.
Public speaking and/or teaching are nowhere in my area of giftedness. Excel spreadsheets? I’m in. Editing something with my favorite red pen? Love it. Administrating…stuff? I’m down. Standing in front of people and talking? Not so much.
But still, I was determined to share a fun, inexpensive, easy recipe with these ladies. And I did. I shared it, I mean. Which is to say, I got through the entire presentation, I didn’t spill anything, trip on the stage, blow anything up, or make a complete idiot of myself. And the guy who ran sound for us told one of our Women’s Ministry ladies that he thought he could make my recipe. I think that means it was a success.
My friend Kendy took this picture for me. I’m thankful she didn’t video.
I know you’re dying to know what I made. Cake Mix Cookies. I’ve shared the recipe before here, but I’ll put it below, too, since I’ve tweaked it a tiny bit. I love making Cake Mix Cookies. They’re fast, they’re easy, and they’re like a good pair of jeans – you can dress them up or down and be completely comfortable either way.
For the ladies to sample, I made: Plain vanilla (white cake mix), Vanilla with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting, Devil’s Food with Peppermint (almost a substitute for Thin Mints, but not quite), and Dark Chocolate with Cranberries, Pecans, and White Chocolate Chips.
As with my Chocolate Chip Cookies, I often freeze this dough instead of baking the whole batch right away. It not only hits the spot when you need a cookie dough fix during desperate times, but you can take them from freezer to oven and have warm cookies in the time it takes to preheat the oven and bake!
The ladies were all very sweet and said they enjoyed my demo – and the cookies. But there’s a reason I don’t have a cooking show, and I’m happy to continue cooking in my own kitchen. Go make some of these cookies in yours!
Cake Mix Cookies
1 boxed cake mix, any flavor
1 stick butter, softened
3-4 tsp water, as needed
1/2 tsp – 1 tsp flavoring (like Almond Extract, Peppermint Extract, etc. if desired)
Up to 2 cups of mix-ins (if desired)
Soften the butter, and add the egg. Beat 3 minutes or until the egg and butter are fluffy and light yellow. (You don’t have to do this step, but if you do, the cookies will be fluffier.)
Add the cake mix and mix until just combined.
Add flavoring (if desired), and water 1 tsp at a time until the dough reaches the consistency you’d like.* It should be stiff but not dry.
If you want to add anything special (nuts, chocolate chips, etc.), do it now and mix until combined.
Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. DO NOT BE FOOLED – the cookies will not look done, and they will be pretty squishy. (If you are using a light-colored cake mix like white or yellow, watch for browning. Once you see the slightest bit of brown on the cookies, take them out of the oven immediately.) Let them sit on the hot pan for several minutes before carefully moving to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
The above cooking time is for a soft, chewy cookie. If you prefer more crispy cookies, bake a little longer.
These are great alone, frosted, or made into double doosies. The possibilities are endless!
*Every cake mix is different, depending on brand and flavor. No two mix up the same! Chocolate seems to need more water than a white cake mix for some reason. Also, white cookies seem to spread more and come out thinner, the chocolate spreads less and is a little more puffy. If you have refrigerated your chocolate dough, it spreads a little more if you let it set out a few minutes before baking.