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Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Ive seen so many people put avocados in pudding then finally I tried it. Turns out your pudding is so smooth and you can’t taste avocado at all.  This is a great way to add avocados to your kids plates without them know it. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Avocado Pudding

serves: 2

prep time: 10 MINUTES

cook time: 3 HOUR CHILL TIME

total time: 3 HOURS 10 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Raspberries, for garnish

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in blender for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
  2. Pour in little ramekins and chill in the fridge for 3 hours.

I would call this recipe more of a mexican chocolate pudding because of the cinnamon. I might try it next time with out it to see if it makes a difference. But if mexican hot chocolate is your favorite then leave this recipes as is.

Lemon French Macaroons

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French Macaroons are finicky and tricky little suckers but when they turn out correct they can be oh so good. I have made it my mission lately to figure them out and try to perfect them. The first time I made them 1/2 my batch got feet, the other half didn’t and some cracker :( so I was not going to allow that to be my only try. Since then I have tried a few times, my 2nd attempt was a fail, barely any got feet, they tasted ok but they weren’t as pretty as they were suppose to by. With Easter right around the corner I knew that it was a perfect time to try again, and this time was a success and quite delicious I might add. So if you have never made them before, give this recipe a shot because it is fairly easy compared to some I’ve seen and if you follow the tips you should have success.

I was making lemon cupcakes with lemon and raspberry buttercream so I figured that I would stick to those 2 flavors for my macaroon filling. The raspberry ones I added sprinkles to the outside so you could tell the difference. The lemon ones were divine with the addition of lemon curd!!

What is your favorite flavor macaroon and do you have any special tips?

 

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Lemon French Macaroons

Makes 24 completed sandwich cookies

INGREDIENTS
3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar

LEMON BUTTER CREAM
1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T Fresh Lemon Juice

Store bought Lemon Curd (or you make your own)

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 300F degrees

Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins. TIP: #1 egg whites should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.

Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Think Seattle Space needle.

Then add the food coloring. TIP#2 Color does fade as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.

TIP#3 Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on :) You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.

Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. TIP#4 This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macaroons will be flat and won’t have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. In my experience 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag.

Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

TIP#5: tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.

TIP#6 Let them sit out for 30-60 minutes. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be “tacky” to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can’t spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That’s what creates the feet!

Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.

Meanwhile mix the buttercream. Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar. Then add 1T Lemon juice or whatever flavor you want!

Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ ” in diameter)

Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Add a dollop of lemon curd. Lastly top with the other shell and Voila!

If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.

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For my Raspberry Buttercream Recipe visit here

 

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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream and Raspberry Buttercream

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In honor of today being my husbands birthday I figured I’d share a cupcake recipe that I made a few weeks ago for Easter!! Perfect cupcake recipe or any occasion!!

I am a major sucker for anything lemon. I don’t know if I love the sweet and the tart combined or what but when I see lemon I am instantly drawn to check it out. In Spring time lemon is the perfect dessert or addition to any meal. I think for the most part, most people like a little citrus in the sun so why not make a dessert that gives everyone a light and fresh feel.

For Easter I always get assigned dessert and I get so excited to hunt down a new delicious recipe. I have been eyeing a lemon raspberry cupcake and thought that it sounded like the perfect Spring/Easter recipe. I was also making french macaroons so I decided to make 2 different buttercream frostings to give a variety of flavors in the cookie and cupcakes. These did not disappoint.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor and frosting combination?

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Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 Duncan Hines Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 3.4oz box Instant Lemon Pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Water

Directions for Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with baking liners.
  2. Mix all ingredients in large bowl, until combined.
  3. Pour 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  4. Cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (more or less to your desired consistency)
  • 1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 cup raspberry preserves (jam or jelly)

Directions for Buttercream

  1. Mix all ingredients until you have reached your desired consistency.
  2. I used a Wilton 1M tip to decorate my cupcakes. I start from the inside and work my way out.
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French Macaroons, Fool Proof Method

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RECIPE FOR BETH’S FOOLPROOF FRENCH MACAROONS
Makes 24 completed sandwich cookies

INGREDIENTS
3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar

RASPBERRY BUTTER CREAM
1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T Raspberry Jam

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 300F degrees

Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins. TIP: #1 egg whites should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.

Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Think Seattle Space needle.

Then add the food coloring. TIP#2 Color does fade as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.

TIP#3 Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on :) You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.

Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. TIP#4 This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macaroons will be flat and won’t have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. In my experience 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time. But again, it can be tricky, depends on how strong you are, Ha! So it can take a few tries to get it right. But when you do, the trumpets will blare and you will feel SO accomplished!

Transfer batter to a pastry bag.

Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

TIP#5: tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.

TIP#6 Let them sit out for 40-60 minutes. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be “tacky” to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can’t spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That’s what creates the feet!

Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.

Meanwhile mix the buttercream. Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar. Then add 1T Raspberry Jam or whatever flavor you want!

Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ ” in diameter)

Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell et Voila!

If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.

 

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Recipe From Entertaining With Beth

Seahawks Cupcakes

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The Seahawks made it to the Superbowl for the 2nd year in a row and everyone in my house is sooo excited. Ive been wanting to make cupcakes so I knew this was the perfect occasion to try this new semi homemade recipe. This recipe is super simple and super delicious. My husband is not a sweets person (except cookies) and he really liked these cupcakes and kept going back for more. You can top these with any frosting that you like, but I was going for simple so I went with an easy buttercream. Enjoy!!

 

Semi Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with ButterCream Frosting

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Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 3.4oz box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Water

Directions for Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with baking liners.
  2. Mix all ingredients in large bowl, until combined.
  3. Pour 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  4. Cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (I honestly didn’t measure but I think it was about 4 cups)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • splash of half and half

Directions for Buttercream

  1. Mix all ingredients until you have reached your desired consistency.
  2. You can add food color paste or drops if you want or leave it white.
  3. I used a Wilton 1M tip to decorate my cupcakes. I start from the inside and work my way out. On the small ones I put skittles in the middle.
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Recipe from JennyCookies

Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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For Christmas this year I thought I’d make something special and different for Christmas Day. It was easier to assemble then I thought it would be, so worth it and so delicious. This recipe is a winner and one I will use again. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a Happy New Year!!

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Red Velvet Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

Directions for Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
  3. Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
  4. Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
  6. Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
  9. Then make the frosting.

Vanilla Cheesecake Layer

Ingredients

  • 8oz package cream cheese, 1 cup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

Directions

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until well combined.
  2. Add the egg, beat well
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract
  4. Blend in the whipping cream well until the batter is very smooth. Using a rubber bowl scraper/spatula, scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl as well as the electric beaters/paddle and give the batter a final beating for 1 minute on a higher speed. This final step ensures that there are no lumps in the batter and introduces a little air into the cheesecake to make it lighter.
  5. Pour into a greased spring form. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. The cheesecake does not have to brown at all in order to be fully baked; the surface of the cheesecake should lose any shine when the cake is properly baked. It can still be slightly wobbly just at the center at this point.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Sift sugar and set aside.
  2. Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
  3. Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.
  4. And frost away.

 

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Easy and Delicious Sugar Cookies that don’t spread

 I came upon this recipe and it claimed to be a non spreading recipe. It had an ingredient that I’d never tried in a sugar cookie before, so i figured i’d give it a shot. I’m so glad I did because I have now found my go to sugar cookie recipe. You use cold butter which  eliminates the step of chilling the dough (still completely optional if you want to) but sometimes when I get the baking urge I want to do it right then, not wait for my butter to sit for hours. This recipe is a non sticky, non crumbly dough. I rolled it out on parchment paper, then slid my parchment on the cookie sheet and baked it to perfection, without the mess on my counter and I didn’t even need any extra flour. I like to under bake my cookies a tad, the recipe called for 12 minutes but I was very happy with the outcome at 10 minutes. I used royal icing this time (recipe below) but buttercream would be equally as delicious. I hope this recipe becomes your go to sugar cookie recipe and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with. Merry Christmas, Enjoy!!
 
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Sugar Cookies
quick, easy, and delicious, THAT DON’T SPREAD!
 
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 30 cookies depending on the size
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream together the cold, cubed butter, the granulated sugar, and the salt.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla (or other flavorings/extracts).
  4. Add all the flour and cornstarch, and mix on low speed, until fully incorporated and forming a ball.
  5. Roll out to a thickness of 3/8 inch, cut into shapes, and bake for 10 minutes.
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Royal Icing Recipe

Ingredients:

6 oz (3/4 cup) of warm water
5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 kilogram (2.25 lbs.) powdered icing sugar

*If your meringue powder has no vanilla flavor in it, add a teaspoon of clear vanilla to make it tastier

Directions:

  1. In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
  3. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
  4. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.
  5. Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.
  6. Tint with food coloring or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.
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AMAZING TIPS & TRICKS

1) No need to soften the butter

I like to use cold, cubed butter when I make the dough. It also saves the step of chilling the dough before baking, which is another trick a lot of bakers use to help their cookies keep their shape.  If you work quickly, the butter is still pretty cold when it goes into the oven, so the dough holds its shape better and doesn’t get all melty and spread.

2) DON’T use leveling

Now, you may notice that my recipe contains no leavening of any kind.  If you think about the purpose of baking powder in a recipe, it’s to help things puff up and spread out,and be light and fluffy.  Light and fluffy is great in a muffin or a pancake, but thats not what i’m looking for in a cookie.  They are meant to have a little bite to them.  Perhaps they are a little bit heavier, but in this instance, you kinda want that.  These are sturdier and less likely to break easily, so perfect for shipping to loved ones over the holidays.

3) Think Outside the Flavor Box

Flavor is what can make or break a cookie. Too plain, too much…But if your creative you might be pleasantly surprised. Think peppermint in a chocolate cookie, orange with gingerbread, lemon with vanilla…the possibilities are endless. I’d love to hear what you come up with.

4)  The Magic Ingredient

Corn Starch is the magic ingredient! It makes for a more shortbready cookie, but it’s absolutely perfect. Use it in every kind of batch, just sub out a little of the flour for cornstarch, in any recipe.  It’s like magic!

5)  Parchment paper is your best friend

I roll out the dough on the parchment paper, bake on it, cool on it and decorate on it. Less mess, less clean up.

6) Higher Oven Temperature

If you bake the cookies at a higher temperature, this allows them to set up quicker and hold their shape.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake a Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipe

I love everything pumpkin!! Restaurants don’t always carry this, it’s definitely more a holiday thing, and now that we have 2 kids we don’t make it out to nice restaurants all the often, so if I want pumpkin cheesecake I have to make it. Which I don’t mind, but I want to have somewhere to go with it, otherwise I may eat the whole thing in one sitting. I feel that it is completely except able from October through January to eat pumpkin everything!!

The other day I went to Traders Joes and literally everything that said pumpkin ended up in my cart. Ofcourse a can of pumpkin was one of the items. I had to make dessert for my mother in laws birthday dinner so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with pumpkin cheesecake. I wanted to try a different recipe and when I saw this one that said Cheesecake Factory Copycat I knew I had to give it a shot. It does not disappoint. It has just the perfect amount of sweetness to it and everyone enjoyed every bite of it. I hope you all enjoy!

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Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Filling

  • 3- 8oz.pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream beaten to soft peaks
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Mix crust ingredients together, just till coated and crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 2/3 up the sides of an 8″ springform pan. Bake for 5 min. at 350. Set aside.
  2. Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl and mix until smooth with an electric mixer.
  3. Add pumpkin, eggs, and spices, beat till smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour into the crust. Bake for 60-70 min. or till the top turns a bit darker.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate.
  6. After it has thoroughly chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with whipped cream and chopped pecans.
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Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

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These taste just as good if not better then the ones from Starbucks at a fraction of the price! These cookies are excellent to make for a cookie exchange, because you can cut them up into small squares, or you can cut them in wedges.

These cookies are layers of deliciousness. First is a layer of a Blondie cookie, sweet and chewy. Then a delicious layer of white chocolate and cranberries. Doesn’t get much better then this, Enjoy!

Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe

Serves 36-48
Prep time 35 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable
Website Recipe Girl
Just as good if not better then the real ones at Starbucks. FrenchToasty.com has lots of sweet recipes and treats.

Ingredients

Cookie Layer

  • 3/4 cups butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6oz white baking chocolate (coarsely chopped)

Frosting

  • 8oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 6oz white baking chocolate (melted)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (chopped)

Note

If you'd like to add an orange flavor to these bars, add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the frosting.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
Step 2
In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave; stir in brown sugar. Scrape the butter & sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (the batter will be thick).
Step 3
Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 4
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well-blended. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: Cake Mix Version

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Nothing says Christmas more then candy canes. These chocolate peppermint cookies scream holiday time and are super easy to make, perfect for a cookie exchange. These are what I’m bringing to my annual cookie exchange and I’m planning on winning best looking cookie for the 2nd year in a row, so watch out French girls cause these are the 2013 winners!!

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: Cake Mix Version

Serves 48-60
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable
Occasion Christmas
Easy and delicious peppermint chocolate cookies. Perfect for the holidays or a cookie exchange. FrenchToasty.com has lots of cookie recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 box devil'd food cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • white chocolate buttercream frosting (recipe below or a store bought white frosting)
  • crushed candy canes (for topping)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
In a large bowl combine cake mix, oil, eggs and peppermint extract until blended.
Step 3
Stir in chocolate chips.
Step 4
Roll into 1" size balls and place 2" apart on sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. (8 minutes for a fudge cookie and 10 for a cake cookie) let cool
Step 5
Mix crushed candy canes with frosting and frost cookies.

Tip: photograph before stacking the cookies…oops