Procrastinators R Us. This is for you. Go get a yellow GF cake mix from the store. Add one package each of orange and black cookie frosting (in a Betty Crocker tube), sprinkles if you must and get baking. This won’t take long and it is completely painless. But the reward is fantastic. It’ll look like you went to a bakery to get these cookies but you can tell everyone you made them and take a big bow.
There are many out there who think using a cake mix is not baking. I’m here to tell you they are just being silly. Baking with mixes is baking. Baking with mixes and pre-made frosting is still baking. And sometimes you just want someone else to do most of the work. Ok. Some of the work. But you get the idea. No judging here. We even have an Out of the Box category in our index (called Box Mixes under the letter B). There are a few other recipes on the blog that use a mix.
Bet you’re surprised that cookies can be made with a cake mix. It’s all in the add-ins. And these are similar to those giant Black & White or Half Moon cookies that you can get at the bakery. The icing is courtesy of Betty Crocker and perfect for an over-the-top holiday like Halloween. All I care about is that there are not gluten ingredients and there are none. Betty Crocker is pretty good when it comes to GF. Don’t read the ingredients if you faint when words are more than ten syllables long, though. This is one of those times when holiday spirit wins over the bunch of chard and kale in the produce aisle. Later. You can have leafy stuff later.
For now, make these silly spidey and half-moon cookies and watch someone’s face get all happy when you hand them one. Include a few fake spiders – cause after all. It’s Halloween.
|Halloween Half Moon & Spooky Spidey Cookies||
- One box GF Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix
- 87 grams of unsalted butter, room temp or 87 grams Spectrum Solid Vegetable Shortening. (6 tablespoons of either)
- 1 extra-large whole egg plus 1 extra-large egg white, room temperature
- 75 grams milk or almond milk (1/3 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
- Betty Crocker Decorating Cookie Icing (one black, one orange)
- or make your own royal icing (google it)
- small offset spatula or small spoon
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk cake mix to remove lumps. Be careful – it likes to creat a cloud of flour dust if you whisk too vigorously. Add butter or shortening, egg and egg white, milk or almond milk, flavorings and mix on medium low speed until incorporated. Turn mixer to medium and mix for another minute until the batter is smooth. It will be quite thick.
- Scoop by generous ¼ cup scoops onto baking sheets – 7 scoops to a sheet leaving plenty of room in between. Using an offset spatula or a small spoon flatten the scoop slightly but be very careful to keep the shape in a really good round. Rap the pan on the counter before putting it in the oven to remove air bubbles.
- Bake 8 minutes and rotate pans. Bake about 3-4 minutes more or just until lightly golden. The cookies made with butter will brown slightly. The others made with shortening will not. Cool for a few minutes and carefully remove to a rack to cool completely. They will be very fragile until they are very cool.
- Follow directions on the package – remove the cap and knead the tube to mix up the icing.
- Apply the black frosting to one side of the cookie by piping an outline and filling it in with icing but not completely. Use a small offset spatula or the back of a small spoon to smooth out the icing. Work quickly because the icing sets quickly. Repeat with the orange icing on the other side. Leave on rack to set completely, about 3 hours.
- Apply either orange or black icing in an outline on the entire cookie. Pipe more icing onto the cookie generously, just enough to cover the cookie but not overflow the sides. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a small spoon spread the icing. Immediately pipe the opposite color icing on top. Make three piped circles starting in the center. One small one in the center. One more, a little larger next to that one but not touching and then one toward the cookie edge, much larger but also not touching the other. It should look like a bullseye dart board. Immediately take a clean toothpick and starting from the center pull it toward the edge in one smooth pull. Don’t press too hard. A little pressure will make the perfect design. Do the opposite side and keep going until you think it looks spidey enough. Study the cookie photo for a guide. Honest – you can’t mess them up. Let them set for a few hours.
- Serve with plastic spiders on the side.