Monday, December 17, 2012

Red velvet cookies with cream cheese icing

'Tis the season to be jolly!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Invite your friends to make some cookies!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Get together -- share the lo-ove.
Fa la la, la la la, la la la!

(Just be thankful that you are only reading my singing rather than listening to it.)

With familiar Christmas tunes playing in the background, Matt and I threw an old fashioned cookie party yesterday!  Rather than fussing over a table full of all kinds of foods, we decided to K.I.S.S. -- keep it simple, stupid!  Cookies -- lots and lots of cookies -- and cold milk.

We asked guests to bring two dozen of of their favorite cookies for sharing.  In return, we hosted, decorated, and did a little baking of our own, too!

Every day this week, I'm going to share recipes for the cookies that were a part of our sugary cookie buffet.

First up is my recipe.  I contributed to the buffet with something old and something new.  The former being a fresh batch of pumpkin oatmeal cookies.  And the new?  Red velvet cookies with white chocolate glaze!

I can't stress enough how super easy these were to make since the secret ingredient was a boxed cake mix.  Having had such success with other cake mix recipes like pumpkin gooey barschocolate pudding dump cake, and cake pops, I was totally jazzed to give this one a whirl.

With the subtle chocolate flavor and that can't-miss bold color, the red velvet cookies were a total hit.  A sure treat for the eyes and the taste buds!  Though they look perfectly crackled and the icing had a smooth finish, the cookies were oh-so-chewy and rich.

I wouldn't consider myself a red velvet fanatic (you know who you are), but these may have converted me.  Sweet red velvet!

Everyone loved the glossy icing on top, too.  I'm glad because it was a game-time decision, and I totally made things up as I went.  I just decided that red velvet and cream cheese frosting go together like... well, themselves!  It's amazing how something so simple can really dress up a cooking and make it look extra special.  Like a light dusting of snow on the ground.


You've gotta add these to your last minute baking list.

Check back tomorrow for Val's chocolate chip cookie cake!

One year ago: Chewy sugar cookies
Two years ago: Cinnamon love knots

Three years ago: Glazed lemon pound cake

Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
(inspired by the recipe on the Duncan Hines box)
-makes 24

for cookies:
1 box Duncan Hines red velvet cake mix
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for icing:
4 ounces (1/2 block) cream cheese, room temperature
2-ish cups of powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Whisk together cake mix and flour in large bowl of electric mixer, breaking up any large clumps of dry mixture.  Add eggs, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.  Place rounded tablespoons of dough on cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are set.  Cool on sheet for 2 minutes before removing cookies to cool completely on a wire rack.

While cookies are cooling, whip cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy, a few minutes.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, mixing until smooth.  Gradually add more powdered sugar, a few teaspoons at a time, until consistency is just good for spreading without running and dripping.  Spread roughly 1/2 tablespoon on top of each cookie, top with sprinkles if desired.  Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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