Memorial Day Weekend!
A three-day break from work.
The unofficial start of summer.
Time for barbecues and picnics and ripe peaches and watermelon and strawberry pie.
Here in New York, it’s 53 degrees and cloudy and windy.
So my plans for a hefty slice of cold strawberry pie after a burger and coleslaw had been thwarted. (I promise to tell you how to make the strawberry pie though once the temperatures rise).
All we can think about are movies on the couch and a big bowl of popcorn.
Gray and cold days scream for cookies.
Trouble was, I had planned on making pie. The strawberries were washed and sitting in the fridge, ready to be baked into a slice of summer. The butter was cubed for the pie crust.
So, we improvise.
Remember my pantry staples? Yup this is why you have them.
If you have cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs, you can make cookies.
All you need are
- 1 box cake mix (I used dark chocolate)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
This gives you a basic cookie dough. Then you can mix in whatever you want.
For super decadent chocolate gooeyness, add chocolate chips to chocolate cake mix, or peanut butter chips for a play on Reese’s cups. Vanilla cake mix plays well with chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Or coconut if you want a real taste of summer.
I think that one of the most perfect combinations, besides peanut butter and chocolate, is chocolate and hazelnuts. Nutella? One of the world’s most perfect foods.
To make the cookies, preheat oven to 350.
Combine the cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil. The mix will be really thick. It will almost resemble the Oreo crumble on dirt cups. If you never made dirt cups as a kid go talk to your mom right now about why she deprived you of such an iconic childhood treat.
When the ingredients are combined, stir in the mix in of your choice. I used about a half cup of hazelnuts, I think. I don’t really measure. I just kind of throw them in and stir and add more if I need to. I just go for no cookie being left without nuts.
Spoon out the batter onto a greased cookie sheet. You can make the cookies any size you want. A little smaller than a ping pong ball gives you two dozen cookies.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Your kitchen smells like chocolate. Melted, warm chocolate.
Brew a pot of coffee or some tea.
And settle into the couch for a 3 O’clock coffee break.
(My dad has coffee and a cookie at 3 everyday. He passed the habit to me. My body knows when it’s 3 O’clock)
These cookies are like a mix between a cookie and a brownie. Cakey and fudgey, but chewy and crunchy.
The gray skies don’t seem like such a damper on the weekend anymore.