The Ultimate Shortcut Cookie Book: 745 Scrumptious Recipes That Start with Refrigerated Cookie Dough, Cake Mix, Brownie Mix or Ready-to-Eat Cereal

The Ultimate Shortcut Cookie Book: 745 Scrumptious Recipes That Start with Refrigerated Cookie Dough, Cake Mix, Brownie Mix or Ready-to-Eat Cereal

by Camilla Saulsbury

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Overview

Shortcut baking can be easy and sophisticated — for novices, experts, and everyone in between!


More than 800 quick and delicious recipes from the winner of The Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown—including the $25,000 winning recipe!


Beginning with a box of cake mix, brownie mix, refrigerated cookie dough—or opting for an equally easy no-bake cookie—is not only easier than pie, but also leads to sweet success time and time again.


Home bakers have always taken advantage of newly available shortcuts, whether in the form of pre-shelled and chopped nuts, shredded coconut, measured sticks of butter, or the uniform bits of chocolate we know so well as "chips." Making quick, easy, and delicious desserts using store-bought mixes and other shortcuts is not about abandoning traditional cookie and dessert recipes, but about celebrating a host of new options.


Each recipe in this collection has been streamlined for easy, everyday baking—if you can wield a wooden spoon, you have all the skills necessary to start turning out any of these mouth-watering treats.


Go from Humble Beginnings to Scrumptious Endings With These Clever Shortcuts:


A roll of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough becomes Decadent Chocolate-Dipped

Toffee Chippers


Start with applesauce and a package of devil's food cake mix to make Devil's Food Whoopies with Cocoa Fluff Filling


With quick-cooking oats, a few minutes, and no oven, you can make German Chocolate

Cookies


Start with fresh pears and a package of vanilla cake mix to make Fresh Pear Cookies with Browned Butter Icing


A package of spice cake mix becomes Chai Spice Cookies


With miniature candy bars and a roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough, you can make Candy Bar Cookie Pops


Using a package of brownie mix you can wow your guests with Bananas
Foster Chocolate Upside Down Cake


And over 800 others…including the Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown $25,000-winning cookie recipe!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402255700
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Camilla V. Saulsbury is a food writer, recipe developer, and cooking instructor. She's won numerous national contests, including The Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown grand prize cookie recipe. Her recipes have appeared in Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Woman's Day, Cooking Light, and other cooking magazines. She lives in Texas.
Camilla V. Saulsbury is a food writer, recipe developer, and spokesperson . Her culinary focus is translating food and flavor trends into fresh, innovative, and delicious recipes for the home kitchen. Camilla has been involved in the world of food for more than 16 years, including catering specialty desserts in the San Francisco Bay Area, writing cookbooks and freelance food articles, and developing recipes for national food companies. She is the winner of several top cooking competitions, including the $100,000 National Chicken Cook-Off, the $50,000 Build a Better Burger Contest, and the Food Network's $25,000 Ultimate Recipe Showdown (Cookies Episode). She has made multiple appearances on The Food Network, has been featured in The New York Times, made appearances on Today and QVC, and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Her work has appeared in such magazines as Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, Woman's Day, Cosmo Girl, Quick & Simple, and many others. She is the author of twelve cookbooks.

Read an Excerpt

The Ultimate Shortcut Cookie Book

745 Scrumptious Recipes That Start With Refrigerated Cookie Dough, Cake Mix, Brownie Mix, Or Ready-To-Eat Cereal


By Camilla V. Saulsbury

Sourcebooks, Inc.

Copyright © 2009 Camilla V. Saulsbury
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4022-5570-0



CHAPTER 1

ALMOND APRICOT DROPS


These crisp cookies disappear quickly whenever I make them, and I make them often because they are so simple to prepare and the recipe can easily be doubled for large gatherings, pitch-ins, or cookie trays.


* 2 cups Corn Chex cereal, coarsely crushed
* ½cup slivered almonds
* ½cup chopped, dried apricots
* 1¼cups white chocolate chips
* ¼teaspoon almond extract


Line cookie sheets with wax paper.

Combine the cereal, almonds, and apricots in a large bowl. Set aside momentarily.

In a microwave-safe medium mixing bowl, melt the white chocolate chips on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir in the almond extract and then stir mixture into cereal mixture.

Working quickly, drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax-paper-lined sheets. Let cool until firm. Store in airtight container between sheets of wax paper.

MAKES ABOUT 28 COOKIES.


ALMOND JOYFUL COOKIES

This outstanding milk chocolate–coconut cookie is extremely simple to make and especially wonderful to eat. The finished product strongly resembles a delicious candy bar of a similar name.

* 1 (16.5-ounce) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
* ¾cup shredded coconut
* 1 cup milk chocolate chips
* ¾cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Break up the cookie dough into large bowl; let stand for 10–15 minutes to soften. Add the coconut, milk chocolate chips, and almonds; mix well with your fingers, the paddle attachment of an electric stand mixer, or a wooden spoon.

Drop dough by kitchen teaspoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10–13 minutes or until just set and golden at edges. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

MAKES 30 COOKIES.


Baker's Note

Sliced or slivered almonds, coarsely chopped, may be substituted for the chopped whole almonds.


APPLE-CRANBERRY HARVEST COOKIES

Cranberries, apples, and nuts, covered in a quick and spicy dough, make for a festive, fuss-free cookie. If other nuts, such as almonds or pecans, are what you have on hand, use them interchangeably with the walnuts, or leave them out altogether if you prefer.

* 1 (18.25-ounce) package spice cake mix
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup peeled and finely chopped tart apple (e.g., Granny Smith)
* 2/3 cup dried cranberries
* 1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350°F. Position oven rack in middle of oven. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Place half of the cake mix in a large mixing bowl along with the cinnamon, oil, and eggs. Blend with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for 1–2 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the remaining cake mix, apple, and cranberries with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle tops with a few chopped walnuts; gently press into the dough.

Bake for 9–12 minutes or until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely.

MAKES ABOUT 54 COOKIES.


APPLESAUCE COOKIES

This slightly spicy, nostalgic cookie is simple and good, with lots of familiar flavors and a soft, old-fashioned texture — just what you want to bake on a cool autumn day.


* 1 (18.25-ounce) package spice cake mix
* ½cup vegetable oil
* ½cup applesauce
* 1 large egg
* 1 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Position oven rack in middle of oven. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the cake mix, oil, applesauce, and egg in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for 1–2 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the raisins or dried cranberries.

Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 9–12 minutes or until edges are firm and center is just barely set when lightly touched. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely.

MAKES ABOUT 48 COOKIES.


APPLE SCOTCHIES

Two harmonious flavors — apple and butterscotch — are united in these vanilla cream-frosted bars. Apple cider is the perfect accompaniment.

* 9 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
* 1 cup butterscotch baking chips, divided
* 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
* 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1 cup very finely chopped dried apples
* ½cup finely chopped pecans
* 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
* 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 2 ½ tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Lightly spray a 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter with ½ cup of the butterscotch chips in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, dried apples, and pecans. Press mixture into prepared pan with a large square of wax paper. Chill for 1 hour.

Blend the powdered sugar, cream cheese, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed until mixture has an icing-like consistency; spread over the chilled bars. Chill for 30 minutes.

Melt the remaining butter with the remaining ½ cup butterscotch chips, stirring until mixture is smooth. Spread or drizzle over the top of the bars. Chill for 1–2 hours. Cut into 16 squares by dipping a sharp knife in hot water and let it melt through the butterscotch. Store in covered containers between layers of wax paper.

MAKES 16 SQUARES.


APRICOT CHEWS

Apricot fans rejoice — this is an exceptional cookie, chewy and rich with fruit.

* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* ¼cup (½stick) butter, softened
* 1 large egg yolk
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
* 1 (18.25-ounce) package vanilla cake mix
* 1 cup chopped dried apricots
* ½cup sweetened flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350°F. Position oven rack in middle of oven.

Beat the softened cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on low speed until smooth. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and orange zest. Beat in half of the cake mix until well blended. Stir in the remaining cake mix, apricots, and coconut with a wooden spoon.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10–12 minutes or until just set and bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

MAKES ABOUT 54 COOKIES.


BABY RUTHY CLUSTERS

For a backyard barbecue or a fun-in-the-sun picnic, these cookie clusters have all the right ingredients (which can also be found in a favorite candy bar of similar name): milk chocolate, salty peanuts, and a hearty dose of gooey caramel to hold everything together.

* 12 caramels, unwrapped
* ½cup milk chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 2 cups honey graham cereal, slightly crushed (yields about 1½ cups crushed cereal)
* ¾cup very coarsely chopped lightly salted, roasted peanuts


Line cookie sheets with wax paper. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside momentarily.

Combine the caramels, milk chocolate chips, and milk in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until caramels are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the cereal and peanuts.

Working quickly, drop mixture from a teaspoon onto wax-paper-lined sheets. Let stand until firm. Store cookies in refrigerator up to 1 week.

MAKES ABOUT 26 COOKIES.


BANANA-CHIP CHIPPERS

No monkey business here, just a bunch of delicious chocolate-chip cookies with a welcome new crunch of flavor. You can find banana chips in one or more places in the supermarket: the health food section, the dried fruits section, or in the bulk foods section. If you cannot find them there, a health food store is sure to sell them.

* 1 (16.5-ounce) roll refrigerated chocolate-chip cookie dough
* 1 cup crushed banana chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Break up the cookie dough into large bowl; let stand for 10–15 minutes to soften. Add the banana chips; mix well with your fingers, the paddle attachment of an electric stand mixer, or a wooden spoon.

Drop dough by kitchen teaspoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10–13 minutes or until just set and golden at edges. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

MAKES 26 COOKIES.


Baker's Note

To crush the banana chips, place in a small zippered plastic bag. Cover bag with dishtowel and pound with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or soup can.


BANANARAMA SOFTIES

How is it that such simple foods, like these soft, nutmeg-scented banana cookies, have such wide appeal? My guess is that it's because, like many favorite things, the familiar comforts are what we like best.

* 1 medium, ripe banana
* 1 large egg
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
* ½teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans), optional


Preheat oven to 350°F. Position oven rack in middle of oven. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, oil, half of the cake mix, and the nutmeg. Blend with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for 1–2 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the remaining cake mix with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets. If desired, sprinkle tops of cookies with chopped nuts; gently press nuts into dough.

Bake for 10–13 minutes or until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched (do not overbake). Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely.

MAKES ABOUT 48 COOKIES.


BANANAS FOSTER CLUSTERS

You can make these yummy treats without the alcohol by replacing the rum or brandy with 1½ tablespoons water combined with 11/2 teaspoons rum-flavored or brandy-flavored baking extract.

* 12 caramels, unwrapped
* ½cup white, milk, or semisweet chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons dark rum or brandy
* 2 cups honey graham cereal, slightly crushed (about 1½ cups)
* ¾cup coarsely crushed banana chips

Line cookie sheets with wax paper.


Combine the caramels, chocolate chips, and rum in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the cereal and banana chips until blended.

Working quickly, drop mixture from a kitchen teaspoon onto wax-paperlined sheets. Let stand until firm (about 30 minutes). Store in covered container between sheets of wax paper.

MAKES ABOUT 26 CLUSTERS.


BIG BROWNIE COOKIES

So easy, so good, and so very chocolate — who can resist a cookie with those credentials? These cookies are great last-minute makers because an entire batch comes together in well under an hour and the results are so very impressive. If you wish to make smaller cookies, drop by heaping teaspoons (rather than tablespoons) and proceed as directed, baking for 9–13 minutes, until set. This will make about 36 cookies. If you choose to add nuts, sprinkle them on top of each cookie rather than stirring them into the batter. The nuts will get toasted this way, deepening their flavor.

* 1 (19.5- to 19.8-ounce) package brownie mix
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter
* 2 large eggs
* 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
* 1 cup chopped nuts, any variety, sprinkled on top of cookies before baking (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the brownie mix, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until just blended and all dry ingredients are moistened; stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.

Bake for 11–14 minutes until cracked in appearance and just barely set at center when lightly touched. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely.

MAKES ABOUT 30 BIG COOKIES.


BIG FAT OATMEAL-RAISIN COOKIES

Oatmeal cookies are a nostalgic choice anytime. The brown sugar, vanilla extract, and butter heighten the rich, old-fashioned flavor of these easily assembled goodies. And if you're fond of a little innovation, try one or both of the variations, too, for a delicious punch of new flavor.

* 1 (18.25-ounce) package spice cake mix
* 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1¼ cups raisins
* 2 cups quick-cooking oats


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Place half of the cake mix in a large mixing bowl along with the brown sugar, softened butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and raisins. Blend with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for 1–2 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the remaining cake mix and oats with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are well blended (dough will be very stiff).

Drop dough by level ¼-cupfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets; flatten slightly with your palm or a spatula.

Bake for 13–17 minutes or until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely.

MAKES 24 BIG COOKIES.

Variations:

CRANBERRY-ORANGE OATMEAL COOKIES: Prepare as directed above but replace raisins with dried cranberries and add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest.

TROPICAL OATMEAL COOKIES: Prepare as directed above but replace raisins with dried tropical fruit bits and add 1 teaspoon ground ginger and 1 tablespoon grated lime zest.


BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE BLACKOUT COOKIES

The list of what's great about these very chocolate, crisp-chewy cookies is long. In addition to an over-the-top chocolate intensity, they're quite practical: you can make several dozen premium cookies with a few flicks of a spoon and have a delicious chocolate bounty ready and waiting.

* 2 tablespoons instant espresso or coffee powder
* 1/3 cup water
* 1 (18.25-ounce) package devil's food cake mix
* ¼cup (½stick) butter, melted
* 1 large egg
* 1 (8-ounce) package bittersweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks


Preheat oven to 350°F. Position oven rack in middle of oven. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the espresso powder and water in a large mixing bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add half of the cake mix along with the melted butter and egg to the same bowl. Blend with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for 1–2 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the remaining cake mix and chopped chocolate with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 9–12 minutes or until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely.

MAKES ABOUT 48 COOKIES.

Variation:

BLACK AND WHITE BLACKOUT COOKIES:

Prepare as directed above but substitute 1 (6-ounce) package chopped white chocolate baking bars for bittersweet chocolate.


BLACK FOREST OATMEAL COOKIES

The combination of chocolate and cherry is always a crowd pleaser, which is why these easily assembled cookies are a guaranteed hit. Be sure to make an extra batch during the holiday season — a plateful will only last so long.

* 1 (18.25-ounce) package devil's food cake mix
* ½cup vegetable oil
* 2 large eggs
* ½teaspoon almond extract
* 1 cup quick-cooking oats
* 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 cup tart dried cherries (or dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Position oven rack in middle of oven. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Place half of the cake mix along with the oil, eggs, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for 1–2 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the remaining cake mix, oats, miniature chocolate chips, and dried cherries with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened (dough will be stiff).

Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 9–12 minutes or until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched (do not overbake). Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely.

MAKES ABOUT 48 COOKIES.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Ultimate Shortcut Cookie Book by Camilla V. Saulsbury. Copyright © 2009 Camilla V. Saulsbury. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments,
Introduction,
Ultimate Recipe Showdown Winning Cookie Recipe,
Cookies 101,
Drop Cookies,
Formed, Filled, and Fancy Cookies,
Bar Cookies,
Brownies,
Icings, Frostings, Fillings, and Extras,
Glossary of Basic Cooking and Baking Terms,
Equipment and Ingredient Sources,
Metric Measure Conversions,

Customer Reviews