Thursday, December 8, 2011
Looking for a fun idea to give away to family, grandchildren, neighbors, co-workers, etc...? One basic cookie mix recipe can yield a variety of different cookies. These are easy to package, label, and hand out to those who would appreciate a little “convenience” this busy holiday season.
If you’ve ever tried to find a cookie mix that is even SEMI-healthy, you know how frustrating that can be. I had to come up with cookie mixes to put in the Christmas Advent Calendars I made for my grandchildren - and resorted to a recipe that I used over 33 years ago. Nobody makes their own mixes anymore... maybe its time to start?
I had to find cookie kits/mixes that would be used on three different days during December. The first one was to make cookies for their school or Primary teachers, the second one to take to a family whose home they awarded “Best Christmas Lights”, and a third to take treats to their local (overworked) Post Office workers a few days before Christmas.
I looked everywhere. The packaged mixes (in the cake mix section) had so many artificial ingredients that I could scarcely find “flour” and “sugar” in the list. The refrigerated doughs were even worse, and those wouldn’t ship (or keep) well. And then, when I looked at the ingredients on the cans of frosting, I decided it was time to make my own.
I did a search on the web, but good recipes (for an actual MIX) are hard to find. Most are for “cookies in a jar” - where the ingredients are layered in a mason jar. They look nice, but whoever receives them has to provide butter, eggs, and several other ingredients.
I took a look on my ANCIENT cookbook shelf - and I had totally forgotten about two cookbooks my mother gave me right after I was married. “Make-A-Mix Cookery” and “More Make-A-Mix Cookery” by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, and Madeline Westover. I remember this was quite a trend (way back then) and, like most food trends, enjoyed a following for a few years before convenience foods became all the rage.
I've tried two of the recipes using this mix. They both turned out great - looking (and more importantly) tasting like homemade. I gave all my mixes away to my grandchildren, but kept a few to make up to send to my missionary son.
(These 'Cafe Rio' style takeout containers worked well to package & ship cookies in... I stuffed the empty space with waxed paper, put on the foil-backed cardboard lid, and folded the edges over to seal. I'll have to ask him what shape they were in when they arrived)
Peanut Butter Blossoms - which melt in your mouth (but like any good peanut butter cookie) yet, you'll still want to reach for a nice glass of cold milk to dip them in. They have a nice crackly surface, and they are moist and chewy for days. The link for this recipe is HERE.
These Holiday M&M Cookies are also very good. Unlike Nestle Toll House type cookies, they have a more "cake-like" texture. They remain chewy for a few days also. Because the dough is more moist, it wreaks havoc with the red & green M&M's - but chocolate chips wouldn't have that problem. This cookie recipe link is HERE.
But before you make either of these, you'll need to make a batch of the Basic Cookie Mix recipe - which is at the link below:
* (check back for a really versatile homemade Brownie Mix soon)