I am very lucky this week to have Carol back as my guest poster. She is an excellent cook and baker and has posted the Blueberry Cheesecake Twists and Banana Nut Twists. Thanks so much Carol. It's always a treat to have you grace the blog with your fantastic photo and recipe.
Linda and I are both crazy about cookie baking. I can't tell you how many times we've chatted it up about cookie recipes. They're one of my favorite things to bake-along with bread.
I love making cookies from scratch, but every once in a while I don't mind taking help from the store to make a cookie recipe that goes together quickly. A cake mix is a great base for cookies-I use them for that rather than making cakes.
I'm always on the lookout for the limited edition flavors some of the cake mix manufacturers come out with during the year. Fall always brings the wonderful flavors of pumpkin and apple cake mixes to the store shelves. This year a few new flavors were added to the autumn limited edition collection by Pillsbury. I was at Target a few weeks ago and spotted Maple Brown Sugar cake mix. Boy did that sound good...and my thoughts immediately went to cookies.
We were going to Robin's one day on Bob's vacation to visit and I always like taking my 2 grandsons, Stephen and Nicholas, a container of cookies or something to have after school and to pack in their lunches for a treat. I had been cooking all afternoon, making applesauce and homemade soup so a quick cookie recipe was in order. Why not try this new cake mix out? Decision made....time to create!
As I'm sure you all know, the 3 main cake mix companies have all downsized their mixes by 1 3/4-3 ounces. MADDENING!! I found an upsizer mix recipe that I make up and keep in a Mason jar in my baking cabinet. I use my digital kitchen scale to weigh the appropriate amount of upsizer to add to the dry cake mix to give me the 18.25 ounces of dry mix that the cake mixes used to be. The extra 3 ounces I add to the 15.25 ounce cake mixes gives me exactly 2 dozen cookies....just like the old size cake mixes used to...and allows me to use my old stand-by recipes.
I prefer using melted butter rather than vegetable oil in basic cake mix cookies....I like the richness in flavor it adds. To bump up the flavor in these cookies, I decided to add 1 teaspoon of maple extract and 1 teaspoon of Watkins Vanilla Nut extract (found at Super Walmart in the baking aisle). If you don't have Vanilla nut extract, regular vanilla extract will work just fine.
I prefer baking these on parchment paper, but they can go directly onto an ungreased cookie sheet if you prefer. When I use parchment paper on cookie sheets, I give the 4 corners of the cookie sheet a iight spritz of nonstick cooking spray, then lay the parchment paper down, making sure the 4 corners adhere. That saves a disaster when rotating cookie sheets in the oven or removing the pans and having the parchment paper slide off the cookie sheet and onto the oven door......yeah, ask me how I know THAT? Ugh......
In no time at all, I had 2 dozen amazingly delicious cookies. They're soft and chewy with the perfect hint of maple and brown sugar. The boys loved them....Bob loved them....I loved them...who could ask for more than that?
I'm heading back to Target this week to grab a few more of the cake mixes before they disappear off the store shelves. I've learned the hard way to stock up when I see them-they don't last in the stores for long. I put the mixes in resealable freezer bags and into the freezer they go. That way I can grab one when I want a quick-to-bake treat.
If you love maple and brown sugar-do yourselves a favor, head over to your local Target and grab a few boxes of this cake mix....these cookies are wonderful!
Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Linda. I'll meet you in the kitchen~let's make some cookies! :)
QUICK AND EASY MAPLE BROWN SUGAR COOKIES
1 (15.25 oz.) pkg. Pillsbury Maple Brown Sugar cake mix (found @ Target)
3 oz. Cake Mix Upsizer-about 8 level measuring tablespoons plus 1 level measuring teaspoon-weighing the mix is more accurate (see recipe for upsizer below)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla-nut OR pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. maple extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use ungreased baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. Set the pans aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry cake mix and the cake mix upsizer until well mixed.
Stir in the melted butter, eggs, vanilla and maple extracts until the dough is well mixed. The dough will be stiff.
Roll the dough into 24 balls. Place them on the prepared baking pans. Flatten each dough ball slightly.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes or until the cookies are set and very light brown around the edges.
I slide the parchment paper off the baking sheets and onto wire racks and allow the cookies to cool on the paper. You can also remove the cookies after they've sat for 3-5 minutes to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container. Makes 2 dozen.
THREE OUNCE CAKE MIX "UPSIZER"
(Source: Jill Cataldo-post found HERE-adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book white and yellow cake recipes)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Whisk all dry ingredients together and store in a clean mason jar. Always be sure to stir or whisk the mixture before weighing, or measuring it to add to a dry cake mix.
I use this upsizer with the downsized cake mixes in any cake mix cookie recipe calling for an 18.25 ounce cake mix.
FOR BETTY CROCKER AND PILLSBURY CAKE MIXES AND ANY OTHER BRANDS THAT WEIGH 15.25 OUNCES.: Use 3 ounces of mix weighed on a kitchen scale OR 8 level Tablespoons plus 1 level measuring teaspoon of cake mix upsizer.
FOR DUNCAN HINES CAKE MIXES AND ANY OTHER BRANDS THAT WEIGH 16.5 OUNCES.: Use 1.75 ounces weighed on a kitchen scale OR 5 level Tablespoons of cake mix upsizer.