Sometimes, just sometimes, even the most gourmet cooks must take a break. For some, that means going out to eat at a restaurant or refraining from having guests for a week or two. But for others it means taking a short cut and making items that cheat a little. You know, like Duck Sauce Chicken, or Good Seasons Italian Dressing or store bought dessert.
This week, I have a few cheater cookie recipes for you that will remain in your repertoire whether you have all the time in the world or just a few short minutes to pull something together. The cookies taste like they are from scratch but each starts with a little help from a cake mix. Don’t throw tomatoes at me for sharing these with all of you proud cooks! Just try them and then you will appreciate it and use the extra time for other things you enjoy.
Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder
- 1 box Dark Chocolate Premium Brownie Mix
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1½ cups dark chocolate pieces, semi sweet chocolate pieces and/or white chocolate pieces (combined into the 1½ cups)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a small bowl combine water and espresso powder, stir until dissolved; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine brownie mix, egg, oil, cinnamon, and the espresso mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, scraping sides.
Stir in chocolate pieces by hand, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Drop dough by rounded tsp. onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake about 6-8 minutes or until edges are just set. (Centers may appear doughy). Do not overbake. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. If desired place a chocolate candy kiss or a caramel chocolate candy kiss into center of cookie immediately after removing from oven as a garnish.
Luscious Lemon Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (zest from about 1 lemon)
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon extract and lemon zest until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll them around until they're lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 6 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. They should look crackled on top and moist in the center.
Chocolate Raspberry Bars with Almonds and Icing
Makes 16 bars
- 2/3 cup raspberry jam
- 1 (21-ounce) box Chewy Fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped salted almonds or other nuts of your choice
Position a baking rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
In a small saucepan, stir the jam constantly over low heat until pourable, about 1 minute. Set aside.
In a large bowl, blend together the brownie mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Using an electric hand mixer beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the jam over the top of the brownie batter. Using a small spatula, swirl jam into the brownie batter. Bake for 27 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted about 1-inch from the edge of the pan comes out clean. Spread with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with salted almonds. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
Cut into 16 bars and store airtight in a plastic container for up to 1 week.
Anything In the Pantry Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
- 1 box cake mix (I use yellow), any flavor
- 8 ounces pareve or dairy cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons margarine, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chocolate chips, or other chips or nuts or dried fruit (or coconut, butterscotch chips, M&M’s, pretzels, or anything crunchy and yummy for cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixer beat cream cheese and margarine until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until well blended.Stir in cake mix a little at a time until it’s all blended and then add any chips, candy or nuts, as you like.
Spoon large tablespoons full of dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until edges are brown.