Big Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

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One of the secrets to bakery style cookies is cold butter. This goes against every other cookie recipe you’ve ever followed, I know. In fact, if you’re like me, you had to microwave your perfectly chilled butter for about 10 seconds to soften it. Don’t do that anymore! You need it straight from the fridge!

Just do it. Trust me.

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Once you start adding sugar, your mixer will have an easier time smoothing out the cold butter.

The best part of any good chocolate chip cookie is brown sugar! Well, maybe second to the butter. And third to the chocolate… But you get what I’m saying. Brown sugar=good cookie.

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Your butter should be completely combined with the sugars, but still cold. It will be almost like a thick paste at this point. Not light and fluffy like most recipes!

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Gotta have eggs. Make sure those are cold too. I keep mine in the fridge until I need them.

Also muy important is a good quality vanilla. Sorry to burst your bubble, but bakeries don’t get fabulous flavor from any old vanilla. I use the stuff from Mexico and I’m almost out, so I guess that means I’ll have to spend a week in Cancun relaxing at the beach and eating Mexican food for every meal just to get some vanilla form the Cancun airport. Oh darn!

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I accidentally walked away from my mixer after I put the eggs in and it got just a touch over mixed. No biggy, but usually I like to stop it as soon as the mixture turns light and fluffy. Turning the mixer off at that point helps create a thick cookie. Because who would want a skinny cookie? Maybe skinny people. Maybe that’s my issue………..

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Something else bakeries do is sift and whisk the dry ingredients. This ensures that the clumps in the baking powder, corn starch, and baking soda are broken up and evenly distributed throughout the flour.

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Time to combine the wet and dry to make some dough!

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I feel like now is a good time to tell you that I love cookie dough more than I love most people. So… Yeah.

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These cookie dough balls were made from a 1/4 cup measuring cup. That will seem over the top and obnoxious when you do it. That is exactly what you want to feel.

Something else bakery-ish I like to do is create rough balls of dough. Meaning, I don’t roll them out until they are smooth and perfectly round. I like to leave (sometimes I even add more) little tiny dough pieces sticking up.

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When they bake, you will get a thick, soft, tender, pillowy, bakery style cookie.

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So fabulous.

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You know a cookie is soft and wonderful when you can even tell in the picture that it looks like a could. You NEED to make these.

 

Ingredients

  • 3  1/4  cups GOOD quality all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1  1/2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon cornstarch
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (2 sticks)  cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1  cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2  cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 2  eggs, chilled
  • 2  teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2  cup milk chocolate chips 
  • 1/2  cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) add the butter and granulated sugar. Turn the mixer on low to start combining. Add the brown sugar and let the mixer work on smoothing this out for 30 seconds on medium speed. In a small bowl crack the eggs and add the vanilla. Once the butter mixture is smooth, add the chilled eggs (with vanilla) one at a time. Do not over mix! Let the mixer work until the ingredients turn light and fluffy, then immediately turn it off. Scoop the butter/sugar/egg mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir by hand until combined. I literally have to use my hands after stirring with a wooden spoon for a while just to finished combining everything. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Create 1/4 cup sized balls of dough. Add some additional little pieces of dough to the tops of each dough ball to make them look not-so-smooth. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and the stops are starting to turn gold. The cook time really depends on your oven temp. Do not over bake! A little undercooked is better than overcooked! Let cool, and enjoy!

 

Much love,

MT

 

Loaded Potato Chip Crispies

I cannot believe it has been over a month since I posted! These past few weeks have been a whirlwind… We moved to the suburbs (temporarily), I started my first teaching job, and Rob started his new job at another ranch. It has been an adjustment to say the least!

Yesterday was the first day I didn’t have anything to do in what feels like FOREVER! I was so happy to sit on the couch with my dogs, watch TV, snack, and do nothing. Well, mostly nothing… I did get off the couch to make the most fabulous snack in the world.

If you’re anything like me, you constantly struggle deciding if you want something sweet or salty. Yesterday, I decided enough was enough! I had to make a snack with the perfect sweet to salty ratio, so I did something kind of crazy… I made crispy treats, but instead of the rice cereal everyone is used to, I use wavy potato chips. Yes, you read that right. Potato chips! The saltiness from the chips mixed with the sugary marshmallows is a combination that is absolutely to die for. As if potato chip crispies weren’t wacky enough, I added mini m&m’s, peanut butter chips, more marshmallows, and pretzel sticks.

THESE. ARE. SO. ADDICTING. I know you’ll love them!

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I feel like the first picture on every one of my posts is butter…

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Marshmallows going in!

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At first, you’ll wonder if they’ll ever melt and combine with the butter.

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But just keep stirring…

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And eventually you’ll get this!

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I just banged on the bag with my fists a few times, opened it, and wah-lah! Perfectly crushed chips.

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Scoop 5 cups out of the bag and pour into the marshmallow+butter mixture.

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Stir to combine, eat a massive spoonful, and think about how wonder and perfect this combination is.

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Plain potato chip crispies are delicous, but since when do I ever do plain? These extra additions are completely up to your personal preference. I like mini m&ms, peanut butter, and some salty pretzels. Feel free to add anything you want!

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Glorious.

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This step is essential! Do NOT forget to the parchment paper!

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Press it into the pan and sprinkle some more m&ms over the top.

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Once it has cooled in the fridge, it will come out of the pan and off the parchment paper with ease.

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Cut it into small square for bite sized deliciousness!

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Sweet and salty perfection!

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All these ingredients go so well together! I’m not kidding, you won’t be able to eat just one of these!

hehe🙂

 

Ingredients

  •  3  tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4  1/2 cups of marshmallows, separated
  • 5  cups of crushed wavy potato chips
  • 3/4  cup of mini m&ms
  • 3/4  cup of peanut butter chips
  • 3/4  cup slightly crushed pretzel sticks

In a large pot on low-medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, add 4 cups of marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Turn off the heat and add the crushed potato chips. Let this mixture cool completely, so the next ingredients won’t melt. After it has cooled, add the mini m&ms, peanut butter chips, 1/2 cup of marshmallows, and pretzel sticks. Stir until totally combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle some more m&ms over the top. Let it set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut, serve, enjoy!

 

Much love,

MT

 

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know my husband is OBSESSED with ice cream. It is by far his favorite dessert. In addition to being an ice cream connoisseur, he is also a ranch manger. He loves his job, but in the summer it can be pretty rough. We live in Texas, so he is working outside in the 100+ degree heat everyday this time of year. I don’t know how he does it… I wouldn’t last 5 minutes.

After a hard day of working outside for Rob and a hard day of being in the AC for me (haha), Butter Pecan Ice Cream is just the thing! I love this stuff for so many reasons. For starters, its incredibly easy – you don’t even have to use a ice cream maker (I use one just because I have one, but it totally works without it).

Some people make ice cream with a custard, which requires a lot of egg yolks, a lot of whisking, and even more time. That kind of ice cream tastes good, but so does my super simple recipe! The base is just 3 ingredients and then you can add whatever flavors, candies, or nuts you want. This time around I added pecans soaked and toasted in butter, lots of vanilla, and then I did something crazy… Something came over me and before I knew it I was pouring the butter I toasted the pecans in, into the ice cream. So… Yeah. Just when I thought I couldn’t make this ice cream and richer. When in doubt, add butter!

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To start, golden goodness. Aka, sweetened condense milk.

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Andddddd then some heavy cream + whole milk. This is not diet ice cream.

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Lot of vanilla is really important in ice cream. And practically every other dessert!

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Here’s when things get good. Melted butter with a touch of salt.

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Pecans are good fresh, but toasted in a little bit of salty butter, they are AMAZING.

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They’ll turn a deep golden brown when they have toasted long enough. Another sign of toasted perfection is the smell of your kitchen. When they’re done, it should smell like roasty toasty pecans.

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I just love what the pecans and brown butter does to the ice cream mixture. So pretty! It takes it from good, to outstanding. The flavor that comes from the brown butter is irreplaceable. I know you’ll feel a little crazy adding butter to heavy cream and sweetened condense milk, but trust me… It is a MUST.

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Here is when I pour the mixture into my ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t worry! You can just put it into a plastic container with a lid and it will freeze up perfectly.

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YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

I love my ice cream maker because I have negative patience for things like this, so I want my ice cream as soon as possible. 21st century probs.

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I love how there are some big pieces and some little flecks of pecans. That means every bite will have some buttery nutty goodness.

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The perfect after work snack for a stinky and sweaty ranch manager!

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And his AC loving wife.

 

Ingredients

  • 1  (14 oz.)  can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1  1/2  cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2  cup whole milk
  • 4  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6  tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  cup pecans, roughly chopped

In a large bowl whisk the sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, whole milk, and vanilla extract together until completely combined. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter and add the salt. Let that brown on medium heat just slightly (about 5 minutes). It will continue to brown once the pecans are added. Add the pecans and stir to make sure they are all coated with butter. Toast the pecans for about 10 minutes or until you can smell them. Turn off the heat and let it cool for another 10 minutes. Add all the pecans and the butter into the ice cream mixture. The pecan will have soaked up a lot of the butter, so don’t worry if there isn’t a ton left. Stir until combined. At this point, you can pour it into your ice cream maker or into a plastic container with a lid. If using an ice cream maker, let it churn until it thickens (mine takes about 30 minutes) and then store it in an air tight plastic container in the freezer. If you are not using an ice cream maker, pour it into your container and let it freeze for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

 

Much love,

MT

Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

 

Is anyone else out there obsessed with peanut butter like I am? I’m talking eat it by the spoonful-put it on everything-crave it 24/7 obsessed. I don’t just like peanut butter, I LOVE it. So when it comes to baking with the stuff, I’m in heaven. Everything goes well with peanut butter… Chocolate, pretzels, Ritz, or in this case, caramel.

Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Bars are a combination of what are in my opinion, some of the best flavors in the dessert world. Peanut butter and caramel in cookie bar form… What could be better? If you’ve never made cookie bars, you are missing out big time! They are all the deliciousness of regular cookies, but half the work. Instead of rolling the dough into individual balls, having to bake multiple batches, and keeping your oven on for a long time,  you just put all the dough into 1 pan and bake it. Simple as that! I cut mine into square and put them on a cute serving platter. Easy cheesy.

 

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Peanut butter and actual butter. What a beautiful combo.

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Beat this on medium speed until it is all combined. Then eat some.

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It just keeps getting better… Sugars!

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All cookie bars need eggs and a good amount of vanilla. A lot of cookie recipes call for 1 measly teaspoon of vanilla. That’s sad to me! Vanilla is such an important ingredient and gives cookies an amazing rich flavor. I ALWAYS use at least 2 teaspoons.

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Here is what the mixture will look like with peanut butter, butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Yum!

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The next step is adding the dry ingredients. Once this is all combined, you will have the perfect peanut butter cookie dough!

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Perfect. Told you. At this point, I do a few taste tests. You have to be sure it’s just right!😉

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Here is my taste test.

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Just kidding. I plopped all that dough into the sprayed pan…

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…Spread it out with my hands…

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…Then things got real good. I had never tasted this stuff until now. I usually make my own caramel, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. I was on the hispanic isle in the store (because my obsession with Mexican food is equally as strong as my obsession with peanut butter) and I came across this can of deliciousness. Had to try it!

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And boy am I glad I did. It was thick, rich, and caramely. The perfect topping to these peanut butter cookie bars.

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Spread all that golden goodness around and you’re done!

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Gooey, rich, decadent Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies Bars. YES PLEASE.

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Next time, I might put chocolate chips in them. And maybe sprinkle with sea salt. The possibilities are endless!

 

Ingredients

  • 2  1/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon corn starch (I never make cookies without this!)
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1  cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  1/4  cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup white sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13 pan with sprayed it with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, corn starch, baking powder, and salt, then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the peanut butter and butter together. Add the sugar and combine. Crack the eggs into a small dish with the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Make sure all the vanilla gets in there too! Beat this mixture on high for 30 seconds until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spread the dough into your prepared 9×13 dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top will be golden brown, but the inside will still be slightly gooey. Let the cookie bars cool for 10-15. Scoop the caramel on top of the bars and spread into one even layer. Let the caramel set for another 10-15 minutes. Cut into squares and Enjoy!

 

Much love,

MT

Sweet Freedom Bark

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! Out of all the festive desserts I have made this weekend (1776ers and Red, White, and Blue Tie-Dye Cookies), this Sweet Freedom Bark is my favorite. One glance at this stuff and you know it was made for this holiday. With the amount of red, white, and blue, packed into each piece of the bark, there is no denying it!

If you’re looking for a last minute treat, look no further! This stuff is so simple, its really not even a “recipe,” just melting and sprinkling. Trust me, it looks impressive, but the hardest part of the whole thing is waiting for the candies to melt in the microwave. Seriously. This will take you no time at all, but everyone will think otherwise… My favorite kind of dessert!

Whatever you are doing today, whether you’re hosting a party, attending one, going to your town’s parade, traveling to see fireworks, or doing your own firework show, you will need something sweet to celebrate how sweet it is living in a free country!

 

The first thing you’re going to do is chop up your chocolate candies so they are ready to sprinkle.

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Then, melt the Candy Melts. I love this stuff. It makes life so easy because I don’t have to use food coloring, which inevitably ruins my clothes and stains my hands. I’m messy I guess.

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They each need their own bowl. Already looking festive!

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I’m telling you, if you haven’t used Candy Melts you’re missing out. They taste good, they melt perfectly, and they are so easy to use.

Spread it onto your baking sheet about 1/4 inch thick.

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I transferred my melted candies into a measuring cup with a pouring lip, but you don’t have to. It just made it a little easier because it came out in a really thick blob when I poured it straight out of the bowl. You could spoon on big dollops too! Whatever floats your boat.

Pour and swirl. Use a spoon. Use a knife. Use whatever you have laying around.

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Puuuuuurtty.

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Do the same with the blue, except pour the blue in the opposite direction of the red.

I did red length wide and blue width wise.

Again, pour and swirl.

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LOVE THIS STUFF. But it gets better.

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Sprinkle the chocolate candies allllllllll over!

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Then, go crazy with your white sprinkles.

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Once it has set in the fridge, peel off the parchment or baking mat.

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Place it onto a cutting board and…

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…Chop away!

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Today is very special! And so is Sweet Freedom Bark.

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Have you ever seen so much red, white, and blue in your life…? Hahaha this stuff is insane!

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Yum! I have to go now, I need a piece of bark.

 

Ingredients

  • 1  (12 oz.) bag of white melting candies
  • 1  (12 oz.) bag of red melting candies
  • 1  (12 oz.) bag of blue melting candies
  • 1  (11 oz.) bag of red, white, and blue chocolate candies (you know the brand I’m talking about… Hehe)
  • Some white sprinkles (this it totally just however many sprinkles you want)

Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper or a baking mat and set aside. Roughly chop the chocolate candies and set aside. By roughly chop, I mean some of mine are still whole. Just a quick chop! Then, put each color of melting candies into their own bowl. Microwave the white first in 30 second increments, stirring after each time. It should take 1  1/2 to 2 minutes total.  When it is completely melted, pour it onto the sheet pan. Spread it out into one even layer about a 1/4 inch thick. Melt the red and pour it over the white in lines length wise. Then, using a knife or whatever you have laying around, swirl the red into the white. Next, melt the blue and do the same thing, but pour it width wise (in the opposite direction of the red). Swirl all the colors around with a knife until it looks the way you want it to look. Sprinkle the chocolate candies over the top. Finally, finish it off with some white sprinkles. Transfer this to the fridge to set for 15-20 minutes. Peel off the parchment paper or baking mat and place the whole piece of bark onto a cutting board. Roughly chop the bark into big pieces and enjoy!

 

NOTE: Once it sets in the fridge, it does NOT have go back into the fridge to be stored.

 

Much love and have a very happy 4th!

MT

Red, White, and Blue Tie-Dye Cookies

I’m at it again with the patriotic cookies! I told you, I really really really love the 4th of July. I’ll take any chance I can get to make red, white, and blue food, especially cookies. Just like the super cute and festive 1776ers I made, these Tie-Dye cookies are made form a cake mix. I could have taken the time and gone through all the steps of making a cookie completely from scratch, but the cake mix option is just so darn easy! I cook and bake a lot on holidays, so I like to simplify some of my recipes when I can.

Even though these are made with a cake mix, they still taste exactly like a cookie. If you’ve been on the fence about this quick and easy shortcut to making cookies, today is the day to try! They come out absolutely perfect every time. You can’t mess ’em up!

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Just like my 1776ers I used a white cake mix. Then, I added 2 eggs and 1/3 cup of oil. That combo (cake mix, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup oil) will give you perfect cookies every. single. time.

Ps. I doubled the recipe because I wanted a lot of cookies.

I divided the dough into thirds and put quite a bit of food coloring to get a vibrant red and blue.

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Next, I grabbed a pinch of each color. About a teaspoon each, give or take. Then, I rolled it all together until it looked like the tie-dye shirt I had in 7th grade.

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And I was left with this beauty!

If you roll the dough around too much, you’ll start to mix the red and blue, which will give you a purple cookie.

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Aren’t they so pretty?! I love how each one looks different. These were my four favorites.

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If you think they look good, wait until you taste them!

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Have a SWEET 4th of July!

 

Ingredients

  • 1  white cake mix
  • 2  eggs
  • 1/3  cup canola (or veg) oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/2  teaspoon blue food coloring

NOTE: Add more food coloring if it looks dull still. All food coloring brands are slightly different, so your measurements may not be exactly the same as mine.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil. Stir until completely mixed. Divide the dough into thirds and put each third in a separate bowl. Set the already white dough aside. Add red food coloring to one bowl and stir. Add blue food coloring to the other bowl and stir. Grab a pinch of each color and roll it around in your hands until it resembles a tie-dye ball. Don’t roll it too much or you will end up with a purple cookie. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let them cool for 10 ish minutes and enjoy!

NOTE: I doubled this recipe, so I used 2 cake mixes, 4 eggs, 2/3 cup oil, and so on. Doubling it gave me about 24 medium size cookies.

 

Much love,

MT

 

1776ers (Patriotic Perfection Cookies)

When I was trying to name these cookies I went to my Facebook audience to ask their advice because everything I came up with was super lame… and WOW! I need to start asking FB for their opinion more often! Y’all came up with some super creative names for these cookies! I couldn’t decide between two, so I combined them. I ultimately went with 1776ers because the teacher in me couldn’t pass up the teaching opportunity when kids ask why they’re called 1776ers. Teacher probs. And I loved the way Patriotic Perfection rolls off the tongue. I’m a sucker for a good alliteration. More teacher probs. Y’all gave me so many good ideas, I already have a name for the next red, white, and blue dessert I’m posting this week! Thank you!

For some reason this is the first cake mix cookie I have ever shared with y’all, which is weird because I love the things! This easy shortcut became popular a couple years ago and people have been making crazy good cake mix cookies ever since. I love to make cookies from scratch, but when I have a lot of cooking to do, I always gravitate towards the cake mix kind. They are just SOOOOOOO simple!

These particular little gems are my favorite of the cake mix cookies variety. Probably because I really love the 4th of July. Like, reallllylylylylylyylyly love it. It comes just below Christmas on my favorite holiday list. I love what it stands for, all the festive parties, seeing American flags everywhere, and of course the FiReWoRks! Growing up, my parents always brought festive snacks with us to go watch fireworks. This year, these cookies are the perfect firework watching treat!

You’re going to love how easy they are to make. One bowl, three ingredients (plus your festive additions), and very little time. Thats my kind of dessert!

 

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So few ingredients! One of the many reasons I love these cookies.

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The base is a white cake mix.

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Add 2 eggs and…

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…1/3 cup of canola oil. THAT IS IT! Seriously, I don’t know how these could be any easier.

And yes, I am aware this picture is blurry. The product of late night baking. Whoops!

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There is absolutely nothing better than a one bowl dessert. I realllllllllyyyyy don’t like doing dishes.

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When you add the festive candies and sprinkles the dough instantly becomes so festive!

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Beautiful looking! And equally as tasty. I don’t follow the “don’t eat raw dough” rule. A life without cookie dough is no life at all!

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There is just something about red, white, and blue together. Love it!

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I use a little scooper to make sure the cookies will be about the same size and then put more candies and sprinkles on top. I do this so people know exactly what is in the cookies. Oh and because I’m a slight (not slight at all) perfectionist.

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The ultimate 4th of July cookie!

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They may be the prettiest cookies I’ve ever made. One glance and there is no doubt what holiday these beauts were made for.

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I love cookies from a cake mix because they are so simple, but also because the cookies bake up pretty thick. I’m usually not a fan of flat cookies. Or apparently flat stomaches at the rate I’m eating these leftover candies.

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Gooey, chewy, delicious little bites of freedom!

 

Ingredients

(Makes 18-20 medium cookies)

  • 1  box white cake mix
  • 2  eggs
  • 1/3  cup canola oil
  • 1/2  cup colored candies
  • 1/2  cup colored sprinkles

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Scoop similar size balls out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Bake for 10 minutes. Once the cookies are done baking, let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet. Remove the cookies (I put all mine on a big piece of foil on the counter) and let them cool completely. Enjoy!

Have a fun and safe 4th of July!

Much love,

MT