I’m back this week with another fake-and-bake cookie, but I’m pairing it with a homemade frosting to help balance all the fake-tasty as of late. This week I bring forth more cookies-a-la-cake-mix, and this time I have Betty Crocker to thank for the inspiration.
For this experiment, I took one box of Betty’s strawberry cake mix and prepared it with none of the water and one less egg to make my cookie dough; I kept the amount of oil the same as the cake recipe, one-third cup (see back of the box for full ingredients list). Just as I have before with my previous cake-mix-to-cookie tweaks, I refrigerated my dough for a little while to make sure it would be the density of a cookie dough and not too slippery to work with.
Mission accomplished. I got a great dough and nice, cake-like-inside-but-crunchy-outside cookies as a result. As for the uniform, round shape, I used a small ice cream scoop to make my dough balls then pressed them flat before baking. For cookies in this method, and for either cut-outs or drop-style, I’ve found baking at 375 degrees for around 7-8 minutes is optimal, followed by cooling for about 10 minutes on wire racks afterwards.
Though the cookies were tasty on their own, they definitely were missing something given their cake-like texture; that something was frosting. So on with the homemade portion of the program… the icing on the cookie, if you will: Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I admit that I’ve not had a lot of success in the past creating a buttercream frosting that’s both tasty AND the proper texture depending on the goodie I’m trying to top, but I think I finally found my go-to recipe for cookies at any rate. Thanks to this blog, you, too can create enough frosting with this recipe to cover an entire cake. But since I didn’t need quite that much, I cut the recipe in half, which was plenty to frost between two to three dozen cookie rounds about three inches in diameter. I confess that I also halved the recipe as a form of damage control, as in so I wouldn’t damage my body by ingesting more frosting than one should be allowed to within a 24-hour period.
So just in case you want to do your own damage control, here’s the recipe for the frosting cut in half as I prepared it. Do note that I wound up adding all of the sugar and all of the milk in the end by alternating the small amounts into the mixture as directed.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Small Batch for Cookies)
(Adapted from SavorySweetLife Blog)
1 Stick (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter, Softened (4-6 Hours at Room Temperature
1-2 Cups Confectioner’s (Powdered) Sugar, Sifted
Pinch-1/8 tsp. Table Salt
1-2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp. Milk or Heavy Cream (I used milk, low-fat in fact; it’s what I had on hand, and I’m appreciative that this recipe called for either-or so I didn’t have to do a store run!)
- Beat butter on medium speed with standing mixer with paddle attachment for a couple of minutes (I used a hand mixer; it worked just fine).
- Add 1 ½ cups of the sugar to butter and mix on the LOWEST mixer speed until the sugar is incorporated into the butter.
- Increase speed of mixer to medium and add vanilla, salt, and 1 tbsp. of the milk/ cream; beat together for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
- If frosting is too thin, add the remaining sugar one tbsp. at a time; if the frosting is too thick, add the remaining milk 1 tsp. at a time. Find a consistency that works for your needs and stop mixing there.
Frosts 2-3 dozen cookies, all depending on cookie size and thickness of spread per cookie.