Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Ultimate Mix & Match Cookie


Raise your hand if you gobbled 'til you wobbled on Thanksgiving?

Did you go to bed so full that you promised yourself you wouldn't eat another bite of anything rich & indulgent until Christmas?

Did you then wake up the next day and have a slice of leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast?

{It's ok, I won't tell.}

We've been trying to eat healthily in preparation for, well... more eating for the holidays.

Especially because you know that over the next few weeks, there will be plenty of candy, cookies, cakes, cocktails, and Christmas parties to get your belly to jolly old St. Nick status. {Um, why do all the delicious things start with the letter "C" for "chubby"?}

I'm going to try to share some of my healthier recipes with you during the next few weeks so that eating things like this won't make you feel so bad... but for now, we're also going to practice a little will power.

As in, do not allow yourself to run to your kitchen and make these immediately.

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Do not try out 10 different versions, even though that's part of the magic of these babies.

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Do not package these up "as gifts" and then tear into said box with wreckless abandon in need of a chocolate fix.

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This is THE ULTIMATE Mix & Match Cookie.

They are perfect for so many reasons: Their soft, chewy texture. Their ease of preparation. Their endless variations. The fact that they're made with Jell-O Pudding mix, which is almost never hard to come by.

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In testing out the recipes for this post, I halved the recipe and was still able to make 5 different types of cookies {at least 3 of each for quality control} in under 45 minutes. Think about how many desserts you'll be asked to bring to holiday parties over the next few weeks and how quickly you'll be able to crank out several varieties of these to present to each host or hostess.

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You're welcome. I love you, too.

The possibilities for these are endless {did I mention you can use different flavored pudding mix for the base, too? I know. Mind. Blown.}, but since I can't stay home and bake cookies all day {and I have limited counter space}, I'll share the five I made today and maybe share a few each week to add to your collection!

Easy Mix & Match Pudding Cookies
adapted from Kraft

1 {2 sticks} cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 {3.9 oz} package Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour

For Base Recipe:

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add pudding mix and baking soda and mix until combined.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.

4. Slowly add in flour until just incorporated.

**At this point, you can add in any mix-ins {see below} and stir until distributed throughout dough. If plain cookies are desired, continue to step 5.

5. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cookies are set. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes {they will be soft and hard to move if they're too hot}. Transfer to cooling racks.

Variations

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Chocolate & Sea Salt Cookies

Follow Steps 1-5. After scooping onto baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt, then bake as directed.



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Mexican Chocolate Chili Cookies

Follow Steps 1-3. Sift together flour, 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.  Continue with steps 4 through 6.



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Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Follow Steps 1-4. Add 1 cup Heath Bits 'o' Brickle Toffee Chips to dough and mix until just incorporated. Continue with steps 5 through 6.


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Chocolate Mocha Glazed Cookies

Follow Steps 1-4. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder to dough and mix until just incorporated. Continue with steps 4 through 6.

After cookies are cooled, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee and stir until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cookies and let set.



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"Hot Chocolate" Cookies

Follow Steps 1-4. Add 1 cup Vanilla Mallow Bits {if you can't find these, you can use the mini-marshmallow packets from Marshmallow Lovers hot chocolate} to dough and mix until just incorporated.  Continue with steps 5, then press a few extra marshmallows into tops of each cookie. Bake as directed.

2 comments:

Jess @ On Sugar Mountain said...

MAKE ALL THE COOKIES!

Sorry, just had to get that out there. I love this - 10 different variations one awesome cookie?? Thank you thank you thank you!!

Dianna M. said...

Jess - HAHA! That cracked me up. :) Let's be real, I'm pretty sure I'll make a few more versions of these... they're just way too easy {and good!} not to!

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