Make Christmas Cookies Better Then Mrs. Claus
By: Temple Display
Soft-Baked Cake Batter Cookies
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 10 mins Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 2 dozen cookies
• 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter cold
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon imitation butter extract optional (gives a stronger cake flavor)
• 1 package (5.1 ounces) family-sized instant vanilla pudding mix dry, not prepared
• 3/4 cup yellow cake mix dry
• 1 and 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup sprinkles
• 1 cup chocolate chips (white, milk, semi-sweet, or dark, OR a mix of a few different kinds)
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking liner.
• In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. (TIP: The butter should not be melted AT all, or these cookies will spread a lot. Try to keep it as cool as possible while still being able to beat it with the sugars.)
• Beat until light and creamy.
• Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
• Beat in the vanilla extract and imitation butter extract.
• Add in the pudding mix and cake mix. Beat and then scrape down the sides with a spatula.
• Add in the flour and baking soda. Beat. The mixture gets super thick, so you will likely need to mix with a wooden spoon. It is supposed to be very thick.
• Stir in the sprinkles and chocolate chips. You may need to knead these add-in's a bit with your hands because of how thick the dough is.
• Form cookie dough balls (see video for shape I roll the balls into) that are about 1.5 ounces in size.
• Place no more than 9 cookie dough balls per cookie sheet to give ample room for the cookies.
• Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges and still soft (slightly under-baked in the center).
• Remove from the oven and allow to continue to "cook" on the cookie sheet for another 3-4 minutes. While they are on the cookie sheet I add in a few more chocolate chips and sprinkles just to make them look pretty. This is, of course, optional.
• If you want to chill the dough (I like it chilled for a slightly different texture and better flavor (ingredients meld and become richer), chill the dough covered for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours). Roll the balls and place on a cookie sheet. With cold dough, these cook for a bit longer — closer to 12-15 minutes. Every oven is different though so mainly watch for a slight browning at the edges and bottom of the cookies.
• Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.
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Christmas Tree Cookie Stacks
YIELDS: 16 – 18
TOTAL TIME: 30 MINS
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. water or milk
Green gel icing color
3 tbsp. red and white pearl sprinkles
18 yellow star sprinkles
• Preheat oven to 350º and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
• Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla and almond extracts. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Dough will be thick.
• Make three sizes of cookie dough balls: 1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons, and 3 teaspoons. (You should have an even number of each.) Place medium and large cookies on a cookie sheet and press down slightly on each. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 7 to 8 minutes. Place smallest balls of dough on another cookie sheet and press down slightly. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 5 to 6 minutes. When cookies are done, remove from oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cookie rack to finish cooling.
• Make frosting: Beat butter until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons water and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add green gel icing color to frosting and mix until your desired shade of green.
• Assemble cookies: Get one size of each cookie. Fit a piping bag with a medium sized star piping tip (I used Wilton 32) and fill bag with green frosting.
• Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the largest cookie, then add the second medium sized cookie on top. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the second cookie, then top with the smallest cookie. Pipe a swirl on top of the final cookie and decorate with a star and round ornament sprinkles. Continue building cookie trees, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
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