Baking is a pain in the ass! There, I said it. I know you were thinking it, but just didn’t have the courage to scream it out loud. My mom has the baking gene and it clearly skipped a generation. Do I do it? Yes. Do I enjoy it? Sometimes. But I am the first to admit that my baking skills are sorely lacking and baking in no way relaxes me. I do enjoy the results (yum) and sometimes I really impress myself with what I can make (like this Guinness cake). But baking cookies might be the ultimate mind numbing activity, and a dishwashing nightmare, for me. That being said…I’ve got a couple Christmas cookies coming up this month. This chocolate cookie recipe today is one that I actually enjoyed making almost as much as I’ve enjoyed eating. (A highly unusual feat.)
Here’s the deal…cake mix isn’t just for making cakes. YOU CAN MAKE COOKIES USING CAKE MIX! Really, I would not lie about such a thing.
Yeah, I know I’m breaking all kinds of quasi blogger rules by using a mix of any kind…but I’m a rebel like that. While this won’t really work too well with a vegan mix (there’s an egg in this recipe) it will still work with those gluten free mixes that seem to be everywhere now.
This is one of those easy cookie recipes you need to keep handy for when your kid comes home and declares that you need to bake cookies for something and he/she needs them for tonight or the next day. (I may have done that once or twice in my youth. In my defense…I was a really busy kid.) It’s also one of the best cookie recipes to have when you get invited to the dreaded Christmas cookies swap and it’s an invitation you can’t get out of no matter how hard you try. Because this is so easy to make, you can actually spend a little extra time making them pretty too, if you want.
I love how “forgiving” this dough is. I like to toss a bunch of stuff in my cookies (like in these oatmeal cookies), almost to the point where the dough almost can’t hold itself together (think clown car stuffed). To go with the rich chocolate cookie base, I also added dark chocolate chunks (since when is more chocolate a bad thing) and a little bit of festive cheer with some Hershey’s peppermint kisses. This stuff held together no problem.
The dough is pretty firm, so it doesn’t spread all over the place, and the cookies bake up with a nice dark chocolatey color. They’re pretty much good to go when they come out of the oven. Since it’s Christmas and you can’t possibly overdecorate anything (can you) I thought that I needed to add a bit more festivey doo dads to the cookies. Am I right?
You could coat these Christmas cookies with the usual slather of icing and colored sprinkles or silver balls (dragees). They’re already chocolatey with a bit of mint flavor, but I thought they could use a bit more of both flavors. I made up a small batch of chocolate ganache (in the microwave no less) and bashed up some candy canes to sprinkle on top. Yes, this was definitely the crowning touch for these easy cookies. And let’s be honest, these last two additions didn’t take much time to make or clean up.
So suck it up and make a batch of these cookies and tell me that this isn’t one of the easiest cookie recipes you’ve ever made. Plus, with variations like cake mix flavor and mix-ins you can do a lot of different things with this one. Have fun!
- 1 18.25 Ounce Box Devil's Food Cake Mix
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil
- 34 Peppermint Hershey Kisses (roughly chopped)
- 1¼ Cups Dark Chocolate Chunks or Mini Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet or milk will work too)
- For the Topping
- ½ Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
- 3-4 Peppermint Candy Canes (crushed)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl add the cake mix, butter, egg and oil.
- Mix, or beat, until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chopped peppermint kisses and chocolate chunks. (This is a pretty sticky dough.)
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spoon out dough in 1 tablespoon balls.
- Slightly flatten the dough before baking (this dough does not really spread when it bakes).
- Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. The dough will look dried on top when it's thoroughly baked.
- Remove from oven and let cookies cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.
- Let cool completely before topping with ganache and candy canes.
- For the Topping
- Pour chocolate chips into small microwave safe bowl and pour in the cream.
- Heat on high for 30 seconds and let rest, in the microwave for a minute or two.
- Remove from oven and stir to thoroughly combine chocolate and cream.
- Spread on cookie tops then sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
- Let sit until ganache firms up before putting into containers or bags.
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