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Chef's Hat: Turn a cake into a plateful of cookies

If you have kids begging to help make cookies, cake cookies are the perfect solution since they can be made with just a few ingredients and usually require just one bowl to mix and one cookie sheet for baking - so very little cleanup! Photo Illustration

For an easy and fast homemade cookie, nothing beats taking a cake mix, adding a couple of ingredients, throwing it all in the oven, and pulling out extremely moist and delicious cookies.

Cake mix cookies can be made with as few as three ingredients - the cake mix, eggs and oil. It really doesn't get much easier than that. The fun thing about cake mix cookies is you can use any type of cake mix, and flavor it with chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles or dried fruit.

Cake mixes vary in their size, usually between 15 to 16 ounces. If a larger size cake mix is used and the dough is a bit too dry, that is easily remedied by adding a tablespoon or two of milk. For ease of handling, put the dough in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before shaping into cookies.

But if you are in a hurry, the dough does not have to be refrigerated. If the dough is a bit "gooey," shape the balls with an ice cream scoop before placing them onto a cookie sheet.

If you have kids begging to help make cookies, cake cookies are the perfect solution since they can be made with just a few ingredients and usually require just one bowl to mix and one cookie sheet for baking - so very little cleanup!

Although these cookies are a small cake, they don't have to be frosted. But if desired, frosting can be spread over the tops of the cookies and they can also be decorated with sprinkles.

The cookies do have a cake-like flavor to them. They must be stored in an airtight container to keep them fresh and moist. Some people suggest storing them in the refrigerator to keep the cookies moist.

There's nothing like a fast, easy dessert. Break out the cake mix and you'll have a treat the whole family enjoys. Happy Eating!

Chocolate Chip Cake Cookies

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (for variety, use white chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Combine cake mix, chocolate chips, oil, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Use a large spoon and scoop up a generous amount of the mixture and round into a ball with your fingers. Place onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes. Cookies should be slightly browned. Remove from oven, place onto a wire rack or plate to cool.

Cake Mix Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from bettycrocker.com

  • 1 devil's food cake mix
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar

In a large bowl, mix cake mix, oil, vanilla and eggs with a spoon until ingredients start forming a large, dough-like ball. Make sure most of the cake mix is mixed into the ball.

Place in refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes to make the dough easier to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the sugar on a plate. Roll dough into 2-inch balls, roll in the sugar and then put onto the cooking sheet, placing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes, just until cookies are set; they will be slightly firm. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling racks or plates to cool. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.

M&M Cake Mix Cookies Recipe

Adapted from www.best-ever-cookie-collection.com

  • 1 package (18.25 ounces works best) yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups M&Ms (keep 1/2 cup to place on the tops of the cookies)

In a large mixing bowl, blend together half of the dry cake mix, butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed.

Stir in the remaining cake mix and 1 1/2 cups of M&Ms. Use a wooden spoon and stir just until all ingredients are combined and moistened.

Place in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 2 cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Use a tablespoon and scoop up about a 1 ½-inch ball of dough and place onto the cookie sheet. Gently press several additional M&Ms into the top of each cookie, which will slightly flatten out the dough.

Bake one cookie sheet at a time on the middle rack of the oven. Bake 10 to 13 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden and the centers are just barely set when lightly touched with your fingertip.

Remove cookie sheet from the oven and cool cookies on the cookie sheet for 1 minute and then transfer the cookies with a thin metal spatula to wire racks to cool completely.