Archive | April, 2013

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

13 Apr

Before school started this year, a friend of mine gave me some cookies she’d made from a cake mix. They were strawberry, and were surprisingly good! I don’t usually use boxed cake mixes to make cakes. I prefer to do those by scratch. But I’m very interested in using cake mix for things OTHER than cake. Weird, a little? Yeah, I guess.

I’d been craving something lemon-y and had a box of lemon cake mix that I bought thinking I’d make some lemon bars or something. But then I remembered those cake mix cookies and I couldn’t get them off my mind. So I made them at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. Haha I couldn’t wait until a more normal baking hour to find out what they’d taste like.

Every time I make something with lemons, I think of Giada on the Food Network. She puts lemons in EVERYTHING. And always mentions how “fresh” they make her food seem. I swear she’d put lemon zest in chocolate milk if they’d show it on TV. So Giada….be proud.

I googled a recipe and found this http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2009/10/12/lemon-burst-cookies/ . I didn’t have any lemon extract so I just used the lemon juice and lemon zest. I think they tasted just fine without it, although I’d definitely use some if I had it on hand. I think theses have the right amount of “chew” to them. I DON’T like cookies that are too crunchy. I’m definitely keeping this recipe handy. And rolling them in powdered sugar before baking them makes them extra pretty.

All you have to do is……

Start with a lemon cake mix

Add eggs, lemon zest and juice, and vegetable oil
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Have a baking assistant inspect your batter
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Drop by spoonfuls into powdered sugar and roll into a ball
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Bake for 10 minutes.
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Thank you, brown eyed baker! Whoever you might be. 

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Root Beer Float Cake

6 Apr

My mother in law found a recipe for a Root Beer Float cake on facebook. I’m not much of a root beer person, but she likes it and so does my hubby. If you are a “root beer person” I think you’ll really like this cake.
I mostly followed a Duncan Hines recipe. Except I didn’t use a box of Duncan Hines. Or Betty Crocker. Or any other cake mix. I didn’t have a cake mix on hand so I sifted together a subsitute. Here’s the recipe how I made it, but the original can be found on the Duncan Hines site. (Just use a box of yellow cake mix instead of the first four ingredients.

Whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. baking powder. Here’s your “cake mix.” (but much cheaper!)
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Then continue with the Duncan recipe by adding 2 eggs, 1 1/4 cups root beer and 1/4 cup vegetable oil.
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I used Jones because hubby says that’s the best. The cap said something about a distant relationship. Fail. That has nothing to do with this cake. 😉 Except if you’re thinking of the distance from the oven to the table. That’s a pretty far stretch, Jones. 😉
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All baked it looked like this. Now, I took the VERY easy route today. I baked it in a 9×13 pan (needed about 28 minutes on 350) and left it there. Didn’t bake round cakes to make them look pretty, and didn’t even flip out the sheet cake onto a platter. Just sliced it right out of this.
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I can honestly say that the icing was THE easiest icing I’ve ever made. Only two ingredients: a package of “Dream Whip” powder and another 1/2 cup of root beer. The root beer needs to be cold for this to work well, and I also placed my mixing bowl into the fridge to chill as well. (Although the recipe doesn’t mention that part. Just for safe measures)
Here’s what it looked like before being mixed. I was slightly skeptical. I’d never used Dream Whip before.
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Looked nothing like icing. But after only about 2-3 minutes I had this! Very smooth and it had fluffed up quite a bit. 🙂 I slathered this on top of the cake and called it a day. Not the prettiest thing I’ve ever baked, but I knew two people who would still think it was pretty great. And sometimes that’s the only thing that baking should be about.
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After I tried it, I actually liked it too! Much better than plain old root beer. 😉
I think I’ll be trying more icing varities with Dream Whip in the future. I really like that stuff.