23 February 2015

Eats: chocolate chip cake cookies

As you might remember, Baby P was extremely prompt and made his appearance on his due date last December. That also happened to be the day of our neighborhood progressive dinner, a fun and swanky affair that sometimes involves ice sculptures. We’d RSVP’d as a “maybe” to the invitation, but when I woke up on his due date still pregnant, I decided I’d better go ahead and make the cake that I volunteered to bring that evening. I’d already planned to keep it simple and make this easy-peasy layer cake. And just as I added the chocolate chips to the cake mix, my water broke.

Two days later when I got home from the hospital, I dumped the mix and chips in a gallon-sized bag, crammed it back in the box, and stuck it in the pantry for later. Waste not, want not!

I suppose I could’ve saved it until our birthdays to make cake then, but it was taking up space in my pantry and generally annoying me long before that. So rather than make a whole layer cake for just the two of us before the official birthday cake season, I decided to try to make these cookies. Easier for a first time mom on maternity leave, and perfect for that mid-afternoon snack a nursing mom craves!

Start, as I did, by mixing 6 oz. of chocolate chips (half a bag) into a box of chocolate cake mix. Stir that together to coat the chips well.

Leaving that on your counter for two days while you go to the hospital and have a baby is an optional step.

Then you add two eggs, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and a teaspoon of vanilla (or, as I usually add, a small slosh). I wanted to add a teaspoon of almond extract too, but I was out. Sad face.

Oh well. Mix into a dough! That’s it!

The resulting dough is pretty sticky, which is a good news/bad news situation. Bad news is that you need to refrigerate the dough for about an hour so you can work with it. Good news is that sugar will stick to it!

I used my small cookie scoop to measure out the dough balls and rolled them in a quarter-cup of sugar to coat. Then I placed them on a greased cookie sheet – no need to place them this far apart, as they don’t spread a lot.

Then bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for ten minutes or so. Done!

I admit, I wasn’t expecting a lot – not only are they made from cake mix, but cake mix not even used for its intended purpose. Worse, cake mix that sat on my counter for several days, opened, and then in my pantry for another month. I figured they’d be good for a chocolate fix, the end.

But! These were surprisingly good for what they are! A bit crispy on the outside, super gooey and soft on the inside, sort of a brownie-cookie hybrid. They’re not a classic chocolate cookie, but I think that’s part of their charm!

The best part is, I’m sure this could work for any other ol’ cake mix lying around. Spice cake with butterscotch chips and cinnamon-sugar on the outside, maybe? Or strawberry with white chocolate chunks? If these can be tasty with cake mix that sat on my counter while I went and had a baby, I’m sure it would be tasty with whatever you want to clean out of your pantry. Enjoy!


Tina said...

Ron keeps bringing home cake mix - "Duncan Hines was on sale... I bought you some." Gah. Like we need more cake. The shelf is full, the freezer is full - and we definitely do not need more cake. But cookies? They transport easily to other people's houses, too. And with the simple addition of the rolling in sugar step, they don't necessarily look like lazy-cook-that-I-am cake mix cookies either. People will eat these! Yay!

The optional step of going to the hospital to have a baby after step 1... forget that. hahahaha!

Janice said...

I have made these for years. They are very fast to make and the whole batch can be done in less than 45 min or so. I skip the "roll in sugar" step. Still takes good. Additional options: Mix in white choco. chips to a Devils Food cake mix. Try peanut butter chips in chocolate cake mix as well. If you like black forest cake, I have a recipe that you'll go crazy for. Could NOT be easier to make and receives rave reviews every time I make it.