I picked M&M Cake Mix Cookies, Fudge Crinkles and Candy Cane Blossoms for this Pinterest experiment. I’m a bit baking-challenged, so I tried to choose recipes that seemed easy. The M&M Cake Mix Cookies were appealing because, as the name suggests, the dough is made from a box of cake mix rather than from scratch. Plus the red and green M&Ms looked super festive in the photo. The next recipe I selected was for Fudge Crinkle cookies. These were the least Christmasy of the bunch, but as a chocoholic I needed at least one chocolate recipe. And as an added bonus, these cookies were also made from cake mix. For the last recipe I decided to go with Candy Cane Blossom cookies. Even though these needed to be made from scratch, the adorable Pinterest photo won me over. Unfortunately, the Blossoms proved to be a bit above my skill level, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
If you’re anything like me, you spend hours on Pinterest searching for the perfect recipes to pin, but then never put them to any use. The pins just sit there on your carefully crafted Pinterest boards as a sad reminder of your lack of baking skills. Well, I decided to put an end to the wasteful pinning and actually try out a few recipes. I chose three different holiday cookie recipes from Pinterest and baked them for my co-workers to taste test. And because I’m cruel, I told my coworkers that if they wanted a cookie they had to try one of each kind and then rate them for me. Luckily, they obliged and below are the results of the taste test. But first, here are the three cookie recipes I chose to try out.
Fudge Crinkle Cookies:
These chocolate cookies were by far the crowd favorite! Easy to make and absolutely delicious, I would highly recommend baking these cookies for your next holiday party. With only four ingredients and a short prep time, they’d be great to make with kids. Plus, the raw cookie dough was yummy and tasted like brownie batter. The only downside is that the dough is rather greasy to roll by hand, but it’s worth it in the end because the cookies come out of the oven soft and delicious. These are very chocolatey so if you’re not a huge chocolate fan like I am, they might be too rich for your palate.
1 box devil’s food cake
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Stir by hand dry cake mix, oil and eggs in large bowl until dough forms
3. Dust hands with confectioners’ sugar and shape dough into 1” balls
4. Roll balls in confectioner’s sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until center is just set
6. Remove from pans after a minute or so and cool on wire racks
M&M Cake Mix Cookies:
These colorful cookies came in second place. While they were cute and relatively easy to make, they were still not as tasty as the Fudge Crinkles. I found the dough to be too sticky to roll by hand so I had to use a cookie scoop to place them on the baking sheets. This raw dough was way too sweet for my taste, so I don’t recommend risking salmonella by licking the spoon on this recipe. Also, for the first batch I got distracted and somehow forgot to put the extra M&Ms on top of the dough balls. Even though they tasted the same, the first batch was significantly less pretty. Be sure to bake these until the edges are lightly browned. If you’re looking for a cute holiday cookie recipe, consider making the M&M Cake Mix Cookies.
1 box white/vanilla cake mix
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup of canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini M&M candy (in red and green for the holidays!)
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. In large bowl mix together cake mix and baking powder
3. In separate small bowl whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla
4. Add wet mixture to the cake mix and beat with an electric mixer until well blended
5. Stir in M&Ms with wooden spoon. Be sure to leave aside a small amount of M&Ms for decorating the tops of cookies
6. Roll into 1” balls and place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Use reserved M&Ms to press into tops of cookie balls (this makes them look prettier)
7. Bake 9 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling rack
Candy Cane Blossom Cookies:
Even though some of my co-workers chose these cookies as their favorite, the recipe led me to experience my very first Pinterest fail. Nothing compares to the horror/hilarity of watching your freshly baked holiday cookies seep through the holes of the cooling rack and melt onto the kitchen counter. It was quite a mess to clean up afterwards, too. Not only did the cookies turn to goo, but the Candy Cane Kisses also melted into globs of peppermint. Once the Fail Blossoms finally cooled, they did look semi presentable, but absolutely nothing like the original Pinterest photo that stole my heart. Unless you enjoy cleaning up peppermint goo, avoid this recipe.
1 bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons milk
Red and green colored sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and egg in large bowl until well blended
3. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl
4. Add dry mixture alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended
5. Shape dough into 1” balls and roll in red or green colored sugar
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes
7. Remove from oven and cool for 2-3 minutes
8. Place unwrapped candy pieces into center of each cookie
9. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and cool completely
So, which of these recipes (or other Pinterest holiday picks) are you planning to tackle this season? Share with us in the comments or on Twitter!
Kimberly D. Horner recently graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in journalism and professional writing. She dreams of moving to New York City and fulfilling her life-long dreams of becoming a dog owner and having a paying job. When she isn’t curled up reading the works of Jane Austen or hunched over her desk writing at 3 a.m., she can be found on the stage – acting, directing, or designing costumes. Some of her favorite things include: Earl Grey tea, naps, Sherlock Holmes, tie-dye cupcakes, the musical My Fair Lady, and actress Lucille Ball. You can follow Kimberly on Twitter @KimberlyDHorner or read about her vaguely interesting life on her website.