Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cake Mix Shortcuts: Rocky Road Cookies and Chai Latte Cupcakes

Even though I like to make most of my baked stuff from scratch, sometimes cake mix just comes in handy to make something quick and easy. It is also very easy to doctor up to make it something more than your average cake mix cake.
So for the Rocky Road Cookies, I had a box of devil's food cake mix and decided to make some cookies out of it because I wanted something quick. I found a basic cake mix cookie recipe and decided to add the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and pecans to mimic rocky road ice cream. Definantly line your cookie sheet with parchment paper as the marshmallow does tend to "goo" out of the cookies a little bit and will stick to the pan if the cookies are directly on it.

Rocky Road Cookies

1 package devil's food cake mix
1 stick of butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix together cake mix, butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips, marshmallows, and pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet and press down lightly with your hand to slightly flatten each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

I made the Chai Latte Cupcakes because they were made to taste like one of my favorite drinks, a chai tea latte. If you don't know what that is, it is a traditional tea from India that has flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom and is steeped in milk. It is like Christmas in a cup and I LOVE it!! The original recipe called for the use of powdered chai tea, but I used 3 teabags steeped in the water that the recipe called for and it gave a great chai flavor. These are a simple, fast cupcake that is basically a doctored cake mix and doctored canned vanilla frosting. Sorry I thought I took a picture of them but I guess I forgot too!!

Chai Latte Cupcakes (Adapted from Betty
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cups of water
3 Chai tea bags (can substitute 1 pkg of instant Chai Tea Mix if desired)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 container vanilla frosting
1 cup white chocolate chips
Cinnamon, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Heat water in the microwave for 1 min, 40 sec. Put tea bags in water to steep, set aside to cool. Once tea mixture is room temperature, mix together cake mix, tea mixture, vegetable oil, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners (should make 23-24). Bake for 18-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cupcake center comes out clean and tops spring back. Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. In a glass bowl, heat the white chocolate chips at 30 second intervals until melted. Stir until smooth and then cool 5 minutes before stirring in the vanilla frosting until blended. Frost completely cool cupcakes with frosting then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon to garnish.