Thursday, December 8, 2011

Basic Cookie Mix

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)

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