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So it’s school vacation and the kids are bored. Maybe you’re bored, or want something sweet to eat. Maybe your spouse has a sweet tooth tonight. You look in the kitchen cabinets and find a box of cake mix. A cake -- even a sheet cake -- is just too much trouble. What to do? How about making a batch of cake mix cookies? These are easy cookies that are mixed up in just a few minutes, making them a great choice when the kids want to help out in the kitchen.
Obviously, cake mix cookies start with cake mix. In general, the cake mixes that use oil rather than butter tend to work better for this recipe. Put the dry cake mix into a bowl, removing about three tablespoons of the batter mix. Stir in 1/3 cup oil (71 milliliters) and two eggs. Mix well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Drop the batter by the teaspoonful on to a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Do not overbake. That’s it! The recipe using one box of cake mix will make roughly 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
Cake mix cookies can be customized to the individual tastes of the family. A vanilla and chocolate mix can be swirled together for marble cookies, for instance. Or, the cook can add nuts, chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, flaked coconut, raisins or any other desired cookie-enhancing ingredient to the mix. The options are limited only by the cook’s imagination. The cookies may be frosted or decorated, as well, for additional interest.
Cake mix cookies are wonderful for beginning cooks, who might find the usual method of creaming butter and sugar to be a bit beyond their skills. However, even children can help stir together this batter, break the eggs and drop the cookies onto the baking sheet. They can also help decorate or frost the cookies. These cookies are also great for a last-minute potluck dish when time and ingredients are in short supply. Since they are nearly foolproof, they are easily made up even by an inexperienced cook, and taste just as good as any from a package.
These cookies, like cake mixes themselves, had their genesis in the kitchens of the 1950s and 1960s, when homemakers didn’t always have time to make cakes, but wanted to have something sweet in the house. This recipe was a practical and inspired way to make the most of what was available.
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