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reply by: --jej on November 24, 2011 at 6:03 am

Yes, Gina, and I am really eager to make those zesty, orange-flavored cookies!! Oh, so many things petitioning for my time in the kitchen.

After finishing his spaghetti last night, DH asked for cookies for dessert. Of course there were none yet, as there was still a last piece of 'his' apple pie to deal with. lol

reply by: --jej on November 24, 2011 at 6:12 am

...somehow, this message repeated, so I'm deleting it... sorry, folks.

reply by: dachshundlady on November 24, 2011 at 6:14 am

Ooooh, I remember that cake. Don't think I have the recipe anymore though.

reply by: GinaG on November 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm

To tell the truth, I remember my mom using a cake-mix for the cake and making the glaze on the stove! I've seen a few recipes for lemon tea-cakes using this method, it keeps it really moist!

reply by: pammyowl on November 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm

What are you talking about? What cake? Thanks, Pam

reply by: GinaG on November 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Back-up to prior replies, yesterday?...Land O' Lakes Butter Cookie recipes and jej looking forward to making orange coolies with zest. I don't think it's a specific cake so much as a method to infuse moisture and intense flavor. I believe it was originally a jell-O cake. You poke toothpick holes and pour the glaze over it.

reply by: pammyowl on November 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Yeah, I remember jello cakes. I have never made cookies using cake mix, they would probably be too soft. My thinking is that cookies should be crispy. Not a fan of the soft ones! Personal preference I suppose!

reply by: swirth on November 25, 2011 at 8:07 am

I have made the greatest cookies using cake mixes of all flavors! I used to buy mixes at 5/$ 1.00 when first married. There was the best little recipe for Chocolate Crackles using a cake mix and folks on the oldBC were always asking for that recipe...they LOVED that recipe.

Several folks used strawberry, lemon, spice, orange and lots of other flavors of mixes and they loved them!

A friend used to make over 2000 Christmas cookies each year and she wrote me on the oldBC for the recipe as she'd used it for her lemon cookies and could not find the recipe...she loved them on her cookie trays!

They were so good and kids loved all the many flavors.

The Chocolate Crackles were almost identiccal to Chocolate Crinkles, a scratch recipe.

Another poster on the oldBC had an orange cookie recipe using an orange cake mix.

reply by: --jej on November 25, 2011 at 8:34 am

swirth!!! I may have to ask for your recipe for the Chocolate Crackles using the mix. Why ? I've tried several recipes for The Crinkles -- and none of them measure up to some I'd eaten once at a gathering that were soooooooooooo good!!

Pretty Please with Sugar On???

reply by: dachshundlady on November 25, 2011 at 9:05 am

My mother made a cake with an orange juice glaze that was so good. Don't remember if it was cake mix or scratch. Bet it was a Bake Off winner or something like that.

reply by: KIDPIZZA on November 25, 2011 at 11:18 am

Good morning. What is a "CHOCO CRACKLE" & "CHOCO CRINKLE"

Thank you before hand..have a nice day Sarah.


reply by: swirth on November 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Sure, jej...computer is tied up with a stupid scan and slower than molasses in January...I'll dig for the Chocolate Crackles in a bit but I did find this one I'd saved from katnal...

Orange Crinkles

Submitted by: katnal

• Here is a great EASY recipe with a mix my 15 year old son loves:

• Makes 4-to 5 dozen 2 1/2 " cookies

• Oven 350

• 1 package Duncan Hines Orange Supreme Deluxe Cake Mix
• 1/2 cup Crisco Oil
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp. grated orange peel
• Pecan halves, if desired

• Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients except the pecan halves. Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If desired, press one pecan half into top surface of cookie ( we always do!!). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute then remove to rack to finish cooling.

• These are yummy, quick and delicious!!! This recipe was snipped from a magazine years ago.


reply by: swirth on November 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Chocolate Crinkles are a favorite cookie for many years made from scratch...lots of recipes out there on the internet.

I'm digging for my Chocolate Crackles recipe...it is a really old recipe made with a cake mix and a few ingredients...folks love them and they can be made in so many flavors.

I think they are also called Earthquake Cookies that are made with a cake mix as the base, but I need to check on that to be sure.

reply by: swirth on November 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Here you go, along with some commentary re Earthquake Cookies being the same thing:

Lost cookie recipe - does anyone have it?

Annie...as I said, the Google search revealed that the Earthquake Cookies were identical in ingredients to my old, old Chocolate Crackles recipe...I've been making these since WAY back in 1967 when I got married and cake mixes were 5/99 cents! When the lady said she recalled them being called Earthquake Cookies, I did the Google search, and when she described them, I automatically thought of my old Chocolate Crackles...moist and almost brownie-like.

You can use any flavor cake mix...we've used spice, all the chocolate ones, carrot, cherry, strawberry, pineapple, lemon...they are so easy and one of our all time favorite cookie recipes...kids love 'em!


Chocolate Crackles

1 pkg. (reg. size) devils food cake mix
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
Confectioner's sugar for rolling cookie balls in

Combine cake mix, eggs, water, and Crisco. Mix with a spoon until well blended. This will be very stiff, but do not add more water. Shape the dough into small balls and roll well in confectioner's sugar. Place onto greased cookie sheet. I'd use parchment paper, today. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 min. Makes 48 cookies. Do not bake longer than the stated time as they will dry out. These are so moist and fudgy and they 'crackle' on top as they bake.

So many oldBCers made this recipe and someone was always looking for the recipe after they'd lost it. One lady with four kids made them all the time for her kids and they took them to school for treats...she loved the cherry and strawberry ones.

Happy Baking!

reply by: GinaG on November 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I love how things evolve around here. We were talking about the glaze made for a cake used instead on cookies which turns into cookies made with cake mix!

Pammyowl, I'm a made-from-scratch snob, but I do see the merit in this technique: I don't think the cookies would be cake-like for using a cake mix, because all cake mix really is is everything you put in a cake or cookie dough except what you add to it. It has Flour, sugar, salt, leaveners, flavoring and instead of butter, somesuch oils.

It may be a good alternative to have everything pre-measured and flavored for you when you need to crank out cookies fast, huh? I can play with it because I have cake mixes for my cake decorating class, let me see how it turns out.
I do know that the crinkle cookies are always a hit, and they're a moist and chewy cookie.

I have a question pertaining to cake-mixes:

In the case of a dump-cake or using the cake-mix as a topping, does it come out like a crunchy topping? I asked this in another thread and never got a reply.

reply by: Mrs Cindy on November 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm
Mrs Cindy

The dump cake question: no the cake sort of sinks down and mixes with the ingredients on the bottom of the pan. It isn't a very elegant looking cake, but with a name like Dump Cake, what do you expect. The top isn't crunchy.


reply by: --jej on November 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Gina, there are things that could qualify me for a bonafide snob in the world of baking and cooking, too. But if this cake mix recipe makes better Chocolate Crackle cookies than any other recipe I can find, I'm all for it!! The results are the main thing, at least in my book. EVERYTHING I make has gotta first LOOK BEAUTIFUL and APPEALING. THEN, and only then will someone want to indulge. And THEN it has to meet taste-bud expectations.

I learned that at home, I'm sure (we kids did most of the cooking growing up, as Mom was either making all our clothes [my first store-bought coat was when I was a senior in high school] or working an outside job. Well, we did some of our own sewing in 4-H, etc..., too). And then I was cook in a private home throughout my college summers for some industrialists... and that is when I was told by some of the helpers at the big summer parties: The thing that my employers always liked was that my presentations were equally pleasing visually as well as to the palate.

So, whether a snob or simply terribly fussy, I probably fit the bill. (I hope I don't act like the proverbial snob, though. LOL)

And Cindy, I belong to a group here in town that seems to LOVE to serve 'dump cakes.' They are starting to drive me crazy. I don't mind the occasional dump cake, but the frequency of them on the dessert table ... (maybe I'm a bit of a snob here, too?)

reply by: pammyowl on November 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I received my Raggedy Ann and Andy cookie cutters today! Yay!

reply by: swirth on November 26, 2011 at 7:35 am

I could really get irritated about folks who poo-poo using cake mixes but try to sit on my hands and not type unkind things...I think of cake mixes or any other kind of mixes for that matter as the flour, sugar and flavorings.

There is one muffin mix by Pillsbury, I think, that I have never been able to make as a better one from scratch and I have tried for years and years...so I use the mix and do a lot of doctoring and additions...no one would ever believe it is a mix when I get done with it.

The topic of using a mix made for many a BCer leaving the oldBC and I hated that so much...it is not our place to criticize another poster for whatever works best for them...just my opinion.

reply by: dachshundlady on November 26, 2011 at 7:54 am

I agree, swirth. I generally make things from scratch but there are some good recipes that involve cake mix. Like the chocolate crinkles or "Better Than Sex Cake", my son's all time favorite cake. It's like saying you should ONLY hand sew a quilt. Give me a break. Same with using a KA or bread machine. I personally like to knead bread and have never gotten the hang of telling when a dough is ready using the KA, but hats off to folks that do it that way. And, BTW, I have had some pretty dry or coarse "from scratch" cakes and wished the baker had just used a mix!

reply by: uninvited-guest on November 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

Very true. There is a time and place for everything... including mixes.

That being said, my 11 yo nephew and I always got a good chuckle when my sister made something "from scratch." For Grayson and I, "from scratch" means breaking out the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, etc. My sister thought it meant busting out a box of mix. We got her set straight on that. Now she makes HOMEMADE stuff, not stuff "from scratch." LOL

reply by: Mrs Cindy on November 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm
Mrs Cindy

So true, swirth! Every month for my 'hair group' I make brownies. A huge recipe since our hairdresser takes the leftovers to her three teenage boys. Everyone knows I start with the Ghiradelli triple chocolate brownie mix. I doctor it differently every month. We all agree it is better than ANY from scratch recipe. Like you said, it's the flour, sugar, salt....... and the additions are mine. Yeah, I use mixes. Did it for the Pumpkin Dump Cake. It was great. I have mixes in the pantry. I never use them 'straight', but they are a great foundation!


reply by: omaria on November 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

My aunt and uncle had a great group of friends, mostly Dutch . None of them were great bakers. They would come to my aunts house for potluck dinners and brought all kinds of cakes and cookies. I was single, worked downtown L.A. and after work would go there for dinner. All the cakes and cookies tasted terrible to me. After all the good pastries, cakes, pies in Holland there really was nothing to my liking here. Even when the VONS grocery stores opened an up-scale store called Pavillions . We went there for the 1st time and they had beautiful pastries. Hubby and I bought 7 of them. All excited, they looked sooo good. Went home and started sampling . They all ended up in the trashcan.
So you can call me a snob as far as bought things are concerned. And (out of desperation)I am baking myself now. Love it! Found you all on the Baking Circle and am so happy about that!

reply by: GinaG on November 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Oh-oh, swirth! Did I upset you? I thought I posted same about what a cake mix consists of...I don't think anyone is being criticized, I think there was a quizzical response from someone who's being exposed to undiscovered territory.

Can anyone answer this question? Could you use a cake mix to create a crumb or cookie like topping or is there too much oil in it. I'm thinking if you could render a cookie, you could probably make a crunch, right?
I did say I'm going to make the crinkle cookies, I have everything to make them with! Not today though, maybe tomorrow.

I personally find it interesting to see an ingredient or product used in a different way, I like learning new things.

jej, I love your story. I'm really not a snob, either. I grew up in the catering business and yes, presentation is critical.

reply by: frick on November 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I'm sorry I've missed getting in on this discussion, SO, I have two things to add/ask.

1 - MrsCindy, I would like your recipe for the Pumpkin Dump Cake

2 - last year I made Martha Stewart's recipe for Chocolate Crackles. They were the best I've ever had, hands down. Also, hands down, one of the most troublesome to make since they had a lot of chocolate, melted and folded in, then chilled to make firm enough to hand form into balls. The chocolate soon melted onto our hands. Quite messy, but the BEST CHOCOLATE COOKEIES EVER.

3 - Needing more cookies for the Christmas party, I made the next batch with a cake mix. Since I still had the MS version on hand to compare, the cake mix version was very disappointing, both in flavor and texture. If I make a mix version again, I'll add more chocolate, certainly.

So, boys and girls, I can't claim that I never use a mix, and certainly understand when it's the best solution for a busy cook, time and taste wise (and budget, too) but as for Chocolate Crackles, scratch beats mix.
The MS version is in my recipes.

reply by: Mrs Cindy on November 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm
Mrs Cindy

Frick, I got this from the ladies who clean my house, MaidBrigade, they sent it out on FaceBook. Like I said, not an elegant cake, but really quite good. The bottom is like a pumpkin pudding with a cake-like topping, but the topping sort of sinks into the pudding layer. Enjoy.


Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
1 10 oz can Evaporated Milk
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers or pecans
1/2 cup toffee bits (optional)

Preheat oven to 350
Spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking/baking spray (I used pan grease)
In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
Pour into your prepared pan.
Sprinkle your entire box of cake mix on top, followed by your nuts or graham crackers and toffee chips.
Pour your melted butter evenly on top. (pour in a slow steady stream, trying to cover the cake mix as evenly as possible)
Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

reply by: swirth on November 26, 2011 at 10:09 pm

No, GinaG, it wasn't you that upset me re using mixes...on the oldBC, there was one (or two) who carried on and on about anyone using a mix for anything...long, long threads and over and over again...always being critical of KAF and their catalogue always adding more and more mixes and being so critical that PJH would step in in defense of their additions of mixes. Many told me they just left because they didn't want to be caught talking about using a mix of any kind.

I don't know about using a mix for a crumb-like topping but I had some great Cake Mix Doctor recipes that used some dry cake mix with some other ingredients to make a cinnamon streusel layer in the middle of a bundt cake and that worked fine.

The Sock-it-to-Me Cake is one of those and there's a chocolate version, as well.

reply by: --jej on November 28, 2011 at 4:51 am

A very similar Pumpkin Dump Cake was served at a meeting 2 weeks ago. The ladies all raved so much that it was e-mailed to all with e-mail addresses and snail-mailed to the rest!

I mention the differences only because it has 1/2 c. less brown sugar, which some may require or prefer. Other minor differences are 'pecans or walnuts' (no graham crackers or toffee bits), plus add 1/2 t. cinnamon. This one also suggests 50-55 min. to bake. It's assembled pretty much the same, even to the suggestions of what to serve with it.

reply by: GinaG on November 28, 2011 at 6:53 am

Okay, I kept most of my promise to make these cookies. I at least got the dough ready.

I didn't have Devil's Food, so I used what I had, which was Chocolate Fudge, but I scooped out a scant 1/2 C and replaced it with a scant 3/4 C Dark Cocoa and the remainder, Black Cocoa. I used butter and instead of 1 T water, I filled the T. 1/2ish with the water and 1/2 with peppermint extract.Almost changed my mind to using almond extract, but got lazy. I tasted the dough, I must say, it's pretty nice.

One thing though: For people like me, not such a good idea to "mix in a bowl with a spoon." Instant mess, instant regret.Of course this revelation dawned on me at the point of no return: Had to use my hands. Do yourself a favor and use the standing mixer or the food processor! Well, what do you expect at 3:30 in the morning before my coffee?
I'll let you know how they turned out. Maybe too much extract. Nasal inspirations... oddly...minty-cool (!)

reply by: GinaG on November 28, 2011 at 7:21 am


Are these the cookies you tried?


The recipe calls for melting the chocolate in a double-boiler, buy I'd think the microwave at half-power would work. I want to try the recipe you mentioned, because I have a really good crisp chocolate cookie recipe, but I'm testing chewy ones.


reply by: GinaG on November 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm


The Crinkles:
Ugh. My fault. My first dozen were overdone, I was in such denial about it I kept "tasting" them as if that would improve them.
My stomach is killing me. Ate five bad cookies and two good ones. After sourdough bread. No dinner for me! I need Cindy Leigh's ginger. (And probably a spanking!)

You really have to be careful with chocolate cookies in general when checking for doneness and I forgot about this! I was much more careful the next batch, removing them just as they were cracked: Much, much better. Can't leave the rejects for wildlife, though, they don't do caffeine.:) I'm already buzzy from all that cocoa and sugar. The rejects were like mini whoopie pies. The good ones are just as you'd expect a crackle cookie to be, very moist with a slightly chewy exterior.

I like how they turned out with the peppermint extract, very nice indeed--Not so much the raw dough, that could clear your sinuses!

Martha Stewart's Chocolate Crackles:

Okay. I must say, I do like these better if given the choice, they do have a deeper, richer, chocolate flavor and I omitted the double-boiler step by microwaving the chocolate and stirring well between low-powered zaps. I used Valrhona Le Noir Amer 71%, a bit resentful of depleting my "drug" bars on a big fat maybe, but I'll live. Perhaps a good melted chocolate could add oomph to the mixed cookie.
A touch of Espresso powder also brings out chocolate notes.

So,Pammyowl, there you have it! You wanted cookies that photograph well. It will be good to include these very popular cookies in your picture and when you'd prefer to spare the good chocolate, it should not be missed in the cake mix variety.

No more cookie testing OR tasting tonighy for me!
I'm curling up with a heating pad, a cookbook and my ginger candies.
Buono notte,

reply by: pammyowl on November 29, 2011 at 9:54 am
reply by: omaria on November 29, 2011 at 11:04 am

Yeahh , let's hear it for the big RED V. If they ever stop making that one I am going to be in deep trouble. Every evening around 9.00 it is tea time with 2 squares of my Valrhona.

reply by: pammyowl on December 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I just made these fantastic cookies, I highly recommend them!

reply by: dachshundlady on December 14, 2011 at 6:22 am

Boy, those do look good. I make The Barefoot Contessa's (Ina Garten)recipe which also includes cream cheese. Someone over on Randy's blog uses yeast in her rugelach, which I had never seen before.

reply by: pammyowl on December 14, 2011 at 8:19 am

I made Ina's recipe last year. They were good, but I like these better!

reply by: dachshundlady on December 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

Other than him using cranberries and pecans rather than her raisins and walnuts, his has no sugar in the dough but more in the filling. I find that I like raisins much more than dried cranberries in baked goods. But I do prefer pecans to walnuts.

reply by: pammyowl on December 14, 2011 at 8:38 am

Ina's was messier to make, too. The preserves oozzed out during baking, making them hard to get off the pan. I don't remember why I didn't use parchment, was out, maybe! The other recipe calls for too much brown sugar. I'd cut it by 1/3 next time!

reply by: dachshundlady on December 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

Yea, I noticed all the brown sugar in the filling. But I have never met a rugelach that I didn't like!

reply by: Mrs Cindy on December 14, 2011 at 10:46 am
Mrs Cindy


reply by: GinaG on December 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Here's another cake-mix cookie: It's a Paula Dean recipe my cousin just forwarded; very decadent with cream cheese and butter...


reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on December 04, 2012 at 1:42 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

bumping up for seasonal interest!