Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Opposite of Cookie Cake

I always knew what kind of cake there would be at birthday parties growing up. Every friend had her own favorite, and that would be the type of cake everyone would make sure she had. It is difficult for me to remember what my friends' favorite cakes were (not to mention tastes have changed), but there is one friend's favorite I will always remember: Becky likes cookie cake. I know some other favorites included funfettie (vanilla cake with sprinkles baked in)and ice cream cake, but Becky always had a cookie cake for her birthday. It was the one time a year I could count on encountering one. A cookie cake is a huge, thick cookie in cake form, also called a "cakie". The store-bought ones always beat the homemade ones to me, but maybe someday someone can change my mind.

This recipe is not about cookie cake; it is about the opposite, cake cookies, which I suppose can also be called "cakies". They are cake in the shape and form of cookies. They are for cake lovers because you do not need a special reason to eat a cookie. This cake cookie is made with store-bought cake mix. I am still experiementing, but I believe you can use any flavor you like.

Yesterday was the 4th of July. Some of my best friends in the world are in town for the weekend, and it has been a great one so far. I am not going to attribute all of the good times we are having to these cookies, but I will say they have certainly had an impact.

Even cookie cake lovers like Becky can appreciate them:

My favorite thing about these cookies (besides the fact that they are so easy to make) is the way you can decorate them to reflect a special occasion (even though of course you don't need one). I like to put M&M's on top of them, but you can really use whatever you want. Chocolate chips work well (white chocolate on a chocolate cookie would be nice). You could also try using funfettie cake mix for a colorful cookie. I have also considered decorating with icing to really give it a cake-like feel, but I think M&M's are a good start for your first batch. I used only red and blue M&M's for the ones I made for Independence Day, and for Christmas I used red and green. I have only ever used yellow cake mix (they taste like cold stone cake batter ice cream) and dark chocolate cake mix (these taste almost like brownies), but I certainly plan on trying some new cake mix flavors like strawberry (decorating with white chocolate chips), red velvet (also decorating with white chocolate chips), maybe carrot (decorating with walnuts and maybe raisins?), and chocolate (decorating with mint chips or maybe just chunks of Andes mints. I recommend starting out with something simple and then experimenting. You could get very creative with this. It is hard to assign a name to these cookies because they will be completely different depending on how you make them by just substituting your own cake mix flavor and topping when following this basic recipe:


1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (use this with any flavor, even chocolate)
3 tablespoons cold water
M&M's (or anything you want to experiment with)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a large bowl, mix the came mix, egg, oil, vanilla extract, and water to make the dough and form into balls. If you prefer a more gooey textured cookie, use a hand mixer for about 45 seconds at the highest speed to mix the dough. Otherwise, just mix with a large spoon (and maybe your hands) until blended.

Press M&M's into the dough (I do about 5 per cookie). Try to keep the dough in the shape of a ball (do not smash them down because they bake down more evenly than if you flatten them). Bake on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, or until they start to turn golden.

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