March 13, 2010

Nunu Cookies

Nunu is one of my dearest friends, and she absolutely LOVES peppermint. So for her birthday I chose to honor her obsession with some home baked goodies. The only other catch is that Nunu does not like cake, so that was out. I've already mentioned my love for cake mix in other applications so I decided to go with it. With a chocolate cookie, I was looking for visual and flavor contrast with the white morsels because I personally can have too much chocolate. In addition to the peppermint extract, I wanted to add a candy element. I've read some baking blogs that advise against baking with candy pieces because they essentially melt and dissolve into the batter, but why wouldn't you want that? The candy pieces I used were not necessarily visible, but they melted a little while baking and created chewy to crunchy pockets of yum in my cookies. For the candy I used I couldn't find starlight mints (the white and red stripy hard candies), but I did have some boring-looking red peppermint sucking candies that I had actually bought with Nunu in mind months ago, they did the trick. The cookies will be VERY soft when they first come out of the oven, especially if you add the extra water. I even left mine in the off oven for about 10-15 minutes, but they do get at least handle-able when they cool. There are a lot of recipes for cake mix cookies out there, and I think using butter instead of all or some of the oil may help the cookies set up more solidly. I brought the cookies to her birthday party and they were a hit! But I kinda knew they would be because I may or may not have been snacking on them for the few days between baking and gifting.

1 box devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/3+ cup vegetable oil
2-4 Tbsp water
1 tsp peppermint extract
~8 peppermint candies, crushed with a hammer
~1 cup white morsels (white chocolate chips)

Mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, and peppermint extract. If the batter looks wet enough to hold onto the morsels and candy chunks, go ahead and add them. If it's too dry, add some water 1-2 TBSP at a time, then add the mix-ins. Roll little balls and place on a lined baking sheet (or 2). I got about 3 dozen cookies out of the recipe.

Bake at 350 F for 8-9 minutes

Remove from oven and let cool.

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