Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to school!!!!

Back to school is in full swing!

Our kids went back to school here the end of August. They love and hate it.
Love seeing thier friends, getting new supplies, new clothes, new books,new classroom,
new desks oh you get the idea. NEW stuff in general. They hate going back to school because they can no longer stay up late at night, they must be up early, they have a schedule, less free time and free play, more structure and of course the dreaded HOMEWORK!!!! Dun dun duuuuuuuhhhhhh

What back to school means to me is an empty nest. All of my children are in school so I am all alone. sniff sniff. It also means an annoyingly too quiet house, no middle of the day dance parties with my girls, no rough housing with my boys. No hugs or spontaneous I love you's. No "MOM I'M BORED!", belly chuckles or fighting with siblings. A chocked full schedule and chauffeur duties.

Mostly back to school, brings me a lot of baking. Fresh homemade bread for school lunch every week, muffins and granola for breakfasts, cookies and treats for lunches and after school.With allergies abounding in our family we have to be very cautious of baked goods. In general we steer clear of potlucks, buffets, and store bought goodies. We did find a bread that I grew up on that had none of the allergens but now that the discount store carrying this bread has closed we are back to baking. I really can't buy bread at any grocery or discount store now any cheaper than I can make it. More on bread in another post.

To ring in the school year with some color and fun I chose to make cookies in our school colors. Purple and Gold! 
For the recipe it is a simple tried and true one. Everyone loves these soft delicious entirely too easy to make (and eat a dozen by yourself) cake cookies.

Cake cookies!! 

Yep you heard me right. These cookies use a basic cake recipe right out of the box. Some of you probably have heard of these and devoured at least a trillion in your lifetime. For those who have not heard of them well, first buy some stretchy pants your gonna need 'em, they are just so good.
I do not use cake mix in cakes as a rule, they are too unpredictable. I make an exception for these cookies, in fact ok, ok, in my opinion, it is the only reason to have a boxed cake mix in the house.
These cookies whip up and bake in under 20 minutes. You can fix dinner, set the table (yes in our family we still do that), mix the dough, through them on a cookie sheet, serve dinner and put the cookies in to bake. By the time your done serving the main dish the cookies are done and ready to serve for dessert or cool for tomorrows lunches. Do the dishes for supper and dessert all at once. Love that.

Ok enough blah blah lets get going to the good stuff!
I know they aren't perfect circles but seriously do perfectly shaped cookies taste any better? I mean, seriously! Just eat the golly gosh darned things. (Pardon my rant)


Preheat oven to 350

1 cake mix
2 eggs
3/4 c. oil sometimes I use melted butter

If you like you can play for weeks with all of the flavor combinations that are possible when you start adding flavored chips. Try adding 1 c. chocolate chips to a butter cake mix, or cinnamon chips to a spice cake mix.  Whatever combination you try add 1 cup of chips or coconut. Just a cup. Inexpensive yumminess.
In this recipe I divided the dough in half and added gel food coloring until I reached the right shade of purple and gold for our school colors. Then you take about a walnut sized ball and slap it on a cookie sheet that you either line with parchment or spray with cooking spray, space them because they spread. 
Then bake at 350 for approx. ten minutes, not one second longer!  As soon as they are done take them out and resist the urge to remove them from the pan. Wait one minute. Yes wait. This allows the cookie to sort of settle and firm up. This will allow them to pull away from the pan and not glob up as you try to remove them.
They are ready. Yep use a metal spatula and remove them from the pan. You can eat them all right then or share with the kids. I promise whichever you try you will LOVE THEM! 
If there are any leftover they will keep for about a week in a plastic container with a lid, not airtight but lidded will help keep them from getting hard. These cookies are soft and scrumptious. 
Thank you for visiting with me. I would love to hear what your favorite combination is and how your cookies turned out. 

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