I Did A Bad, Bad Thing – Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake Cookies

I recently discovered cake mix cookies.  I think I am obsessed.

I am in big trouble people.  Four, maybe five ingredients, mix it up in a bowl with just a spoon, bake and you have the most delicious, soft and chewy cookies in endless flavor combinations?  Like I said, BIG trouble, and it’s all because of Pinterest, Ashley at Kitchen Meets Girl and this recipe for Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies.

I pinned this recipe a while back and then a few weeks ago I decided to try it out and made a batch.  The next day I made two more batches to take into work.  These cookies are addictive, and while I sat stuffing them into my face my mind was going wild with all the possibilities.  Take any cake mix, and box of pudding, vegetable oil, 2 eggs and  some kind of chocolate chip type add-in and you have the easiest, yummiest cookies ever!

I knew I wanted to use the Pillsbury Perfectly Pumpkin cake mix I picked up at the grocery store.  I also had a bag of Heath Toffee Bits, and after my first taste of the aforementioned Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies I bought out Acme’s supply of JELL-O cheesecake pudding mix so I had tons of that.

Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies

Pumpkin.  Toffee.  Cheesecake.  Do I really need to say anything else?

Okay, I will!

These cookies are THE BEST!!!!!  The pumpkin cake mix and cheesecake pudding go perfectly together, and combined with the bits of chewy toffee… well, it’s about as awesome as a bin full of puppies.

English: Puppies in a bin.
English: Puppies in a bin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you haven’t tried them yet, you MUST make a batch of cake mix cookies.  They come together so fast and disappear even faster!  You just mix up a few ingredients in a bowl, roll the dough into balls, and bake!

cake mix cookies

After 8-10 minutes you have this:

Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookie

And then once they’ve cooled you will eat them all a few and be transported to cookie heaven.  From zero to two batches of insanely good cookies in less than an hour?  Hell yeah.

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake Cookies

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake Cookies
(adapted from Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies by Kitchen Meets Girl)

Ingredients

1 box Pillsbury Perfectly Pumpkin cake mix
1 small box instant cheesecake pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup Hershey’s Heath Toffee Bits, divided

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake Cookies

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil and eggs in a medium bowl until a dough forms.  Mix in 3/4 cup of the Heath Toffee Bits.
3.  I just grabbed blobs of dough and rolled them into balls, but you can use a cookie scoop if you prefer.  Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Use the remaining Toffee Bits to press some into the top of each cookie.
4.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown slightly.  Remove from oven, cool for 2 minutes and then move to a wire rack.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake Cookies

The only thing I don’t like about these cake mix cookie recipes is that you can only squeeze 24 cookies out of a batch, but they are so easy to make that doubling up on the recipe is no problem at all!

I’ll be back soon with another cake mix cookie recipe.  Did I mention I was obsessed?

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I’m Hearing Voices…

My cookies are talking to me, and they’re not just whispering “Eat Me….” like they normally do.

Conversation Cookies

These were inspired by a cookie pop from The Decorated Cookie that I saw on Pinterest.  They are adorable – cookie heart pops covered in crushed conversation heart candies (click here to see what I’m talking about!).  Since I love cookies AND conversation hearts I decided that I definitely wanted to make them.

conversation cookie

There was just one problem…

I could not crush the stupid candy hearts!!  True, I have NEVER been a heartbreaker but this was just ridiculous.

I started off by putting the hearts in a ziploc bag and giving them a few whacks with my meat tenderizing mallet.  Nothing happened.  I hit them harder.  STILL nothing.  Fearing I would wake my sleeping boyfriend, I took them out onto my back porch and beat the crap out of them.  I managed to break three or four, but the rest were still intact – sappy messages and all.

Conversation Cookie

Apparently the creator of these cookies had superhuman strength, or maybe just a really good food processor.  I was afraid if I tried to chop them in mine that I would somehow break it, so I just gave up and decided to put one whole heart on each cookie instead.

So they didn’t turn out exactly as I had intended, but I still think they’re pretty cute and I just love the little burst of flavor you get when you eat the section with the candy on it. I think these would make pretty cute Valentine’s gifts, don’t you?

conversation cookie

Almost Arnold Palmer Cupcakes

 

I made another batch of birthday cupcakes for a coworker last week.  I should get a raise just for the amount of sugary joy I bring to the office on a regular basis.  However, considering I can barely get a raise for being awesome at my job I’m not holding my breath.

Oh, how I long to be a stay at home mom – just without the kids….  I would sleep in every day, then bake stuff and try new drink recipes and waste hours on Pinterest (except it wouldn’t be a waste because there would be nothing else I should be doing anyway!) Ahhhhh…..

 

Atomic Housewife. 19/52
Atomic Housewife. 19/52 (Photo credit: Sarahnaut)

 

Back to the cupcakes!

Since everyone went gaga over my Rum and Coke cupcakes, I decided to revisit the cocktail theme.  This time I wanted to make some Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade) cupcakes using my Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea vodka.

I used a box of  lemon cake mix, and subbed half of the water called for with the vodka.  I also added three tablespoons of vodka to my favorite icing recipe (I cut down on the milk called for to just a splash, since the vodka adds the needed liquid).

The reason my post is titled “Almost Arnold Palmer Cupcakes” is that, while there was a hint of the sweet tea vodka flavor, I didn’t find it strong enough.  So next time I will definitely replace ALL the water called for on the box with the vodka just to punch up the tea flavor a bit more.

Despite the fact that these cupcakes didn’t taste exactly as I had planned, they were still very good.  Light, refreshing, and like my dreams of trading my cubicle for the couch – gone in a flash.

Arnold Palmer Cupcakes

Ingredients

Box of lemon cake mix and necessary ingredients listed on box
Sweet Tea Vodka

Directions

Make batter according to directions on box, using the sweet tea vodka in place of the amount of water called for.  Bake as directed.

Sweet Tea Vodka Butter Cream (adapted from Butter Cream Frosting II on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons sweet tea vodka
Splash of milk (if needed to reach proper consistency)

Directions

Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat well.

Since boxes of cake mix seem to be shrinking these days, and I don’t like to skimp on the size of my cupcakes, this recipe made 18 cupcakes.

Key Lime Time

I had a bunch of key limes leftover after using some to decorate my Rum and Coke Cupcakes.  It being a Saturday night and all, I decided to make a cocktail.  My new best friend, Pinterest, quickly offered up a recipe for a Key Lime Martini and it just so happened that I had all the required ingredients.

I doubled the recipe so the boyfriend could partake as well, so I needed one shot glass full of key lime juice.  As I stood squeezing my eighth tiny lime I thought to myself, this better be worth it.

It was most definitely worth it.  Creamy, sweet and a little tart.  The only way it could have been better was if I had some graham crackers to crush and rim the glass with.

Key Lime Martini from Sandra Lee on the Food Network Website

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 shots vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 shot key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cream of coconut  (I put in an extra tablespoon – I LOVE cream of coconut!)
  • 1 shot pineapple juice

Directions

Add all ingredients to a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Serve.

So I have my drink, I get to sleep in late tomorrow, and Ian Somerhalder has a spot on this old episode of Law & Order: SVU that I am watching.  Aside from the fact that a mosquito just came into my house and bit my elbow (seriously, isn’t there a way to eradicate these spawn of satan?!), life is good.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!  Here’s one for the ladies…

Ian Somerhalder
Ian Somerhalder (Photo credit: emz_m)