SRP #16: Piece of Cake (or Cookie!)

An “SRP” in dentistry, short for “Scaling & Root Planing,” is an anesthesia-requiring deep-cleaning procedure.  A FoodSwing Blog “SRP,” short for “Short Recipe Post,” is a concentrated flavor and humor experience…numbing optional.

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

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My dad really is right about everything, and the older I get, the more I realize it.  Coupons are gimmicks.  Sure, they CAN save you money, if used responsibly for items you would buy anyway.  More frequently, however, coupons tend to lead you to purchase things you’d’ve never before considered, AND EVEN WORSE, they lead you to buy large quantities of them!  The Jolly Rancher jelly beans featured in these cookies are case en pointe.  Not only did I have a “Save $2 When You Buy 3 Bags” coupon, but the grocery store I was in had a “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” deal on top of the coupon.  So, as you can see, I really had no choice.  I HAD to buy these jelly beans.

Unfortunately, neither Tom nor I really cares for jelly beans, so I had no clue what to do with three bags of jelly beans.  At some point in the past 26 years, I had heard of jelly bean-stuffed cookies, but I wasn’t really sure how they’d handle the oven heat or what type of dough would be best in which to nestle these unwanted-yet-still-purchased beans.  A quick internet search yielded multiple hits suggesting a standard cake mix cookie batter for this purpose — how did they know I had a box just waiting in my pantry (probably from a past couponed outing)!

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These cookies are literally INSULTINGLY simple.  No mixer needed.  No overnight chill needed.  You don’t even have to wait for butter to soften!  The only potentially messy part is the rolling of the batter into balls, but fear not, that part is actually easy, too!  Just get your hands a bit damp with some cold water, and they’ll roll like a dream (plus, a thin layer of sanding sugar on the outside helps both handling & presentation).  Also, the jelly bean part is totally optional; the batter recipe makes dreamy sugar cookies all on its own!
Happy Easter!!

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Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

(with option for jelly-bean-stuffed version below)

Inspired by:  this recipe by Lady Behind the Curtain
Yield:  ~ 15 cookies
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 box standard white cake mix, unprepared (i.e. cake MIX, only)
Jelly beans, whichever type you prefer (optional)
Colored sanding sugar, for rolling (or plain, white sanding sugar)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and almond extract, until totally emulsified.  Stir in cake mix, mixing only until combined.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Pour colored sugar into a plate or shallow bowl.  Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out batter, and dispense scoop into a slightly damp (not wet) palm.  Roll dough into a ball between dampened palms — if you try to dry-hand these, you’ll just end up with sticky batter hands.  Drop rolled ball into colored sugar, and jiggle the bowl/plate to coat the balls in the sugar (you can accelerate this process by spooning the sugar over the balls as you roll them).  Use a fork to transfer the coated ball to the prepped baking sheet.  Place 6-8 cookies per sheet, to allow for spreading during baking.  Chill sheets for 10 minutes, then bake 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through bake time.  Allow cookies to sit on hot sheets for 3-5 minutes, until set, then remove to wire racks for complete cooling.  Store cooled cookies at room temp, in airtight containers, for up to 5 days.
Instructions for Jelly Bean Stuffed Cookies:  If using the jelly beans, press 3 like-flavored jelly beans into the batter (while still in the scoop), sinking beans about halfway into the batter.  Use a slightly damp (not wet) palm to press the batter over the beans, hiding them completely.  Dispense scoop into damp palm, and gently roll the batter into a ball.  Continue with above directions for coating, baking, cooling, and storing.

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