I interrupt life’s craziness to bring you a bit of eye candy…in the form of holiday cookies! Today was Cathi’s Annual Cookie Exchange Party, a much anticipated event!
You are to bring 5 dozen cookies, a dozen for the “tasting table” and the rest for everyone to take home. There are two prizes: “Best Tasting” and “Most Creative”. I’ve won a couple of times for “Best Tasting” so I always feel the pressure. This year I brought Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 2 -21/2 dozen)
Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 and 1/4 cup yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix (you just need the DRY mix)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I used a combination of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup sprinkles
1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed.
3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3-4 days. This step is mandatory. The dough is fairly sticky, so chilling the dough is required in order to avoid the cookies from spreading too much. If you chill longer than 2 hours, make sure you roll the cookie dough into balls after the 2 hour mark. Place dough balls on a plate, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You may also freeze the balls at this point for up to 3 months. (Then bake as directed adding 1 minute to the bake time without thawing.)
4. Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (always recommended for cookies).
5. Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, use about 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Shape your cookie dough balls to be “taller” than they are wide, as pictured here. Press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the cookie dough balls, if desired. That makes a pretty cookie. Make sure to keep dough chilled when working in batches.
6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. You can also press a few more chips into the tops of the cookies at this point (the chips will melt down and stick from the warm cookies).
7. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well - up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well - up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.
Miss Cathi and all the gorgeous cookies!!
Because one cannot live on cookies alone, Cathi always puts out other savory treats:
The promised eye candy!
Everyone was to taste each cookie and vote for the winners.
The winner for “Most Creative” was Kira’s cookies:
And the winner for “Best Tasting” was Diana K’s cookie:
Then everyone gets to a few of each cookie to take home. This is my kids’ favorite part, of course!
Always a fabulous party, Cathi!!! Let the holidays begin!