It's time for another installment of my newest monthly challenge, Fill the Cookie Jar.
This month's theme was Halloween cookies. I am really not big on Halloween. Most definitely my least favorite holiday. So it took me a while to decide what kind of cookies to make. There are tons of ideas out there, but I knew that I did not want to do severed fingers, eyeballs, spiders, or anything gross. Just not my style. So then I got to thinking about doing something with Halloween colors and I came across some chocolate cake mix cookies made with Reese's Pieces on It's Always Autumn. The dark chocolate cookies looked almost black and the Reese's Pieces were great fall colors. So I made those, using only the orange Reese's Pieces for the black and orange Halloween look.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix Cookies
1 (16.5 oz.) box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
½ cup butter, melted
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp water (if necessary)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Reese’s Pieces
Preheat oven to 365°.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, cocoa powder, and eggs. If mixture is too dry, add the water. Mix until thoroughly combined, then stir in the chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces.
Roll rounded tablespoons of the dough into balls and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing to cooling tray or paper towels.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
I totally forgot how much I love cake mix cookies! I made them once before (using strawberry cake mix) and I love how easy they are to make. You don't need to dirty up fifteen different measuring cups and multiple mixing bowls. One bowl, one spatula, and one (or two) measuring cups is all you need. This was a great project for my two little kitchen helpers to assist with.
Lena, my five-year-old.
And Eva, my three-year-old.
These are the chocolatiest cookies you will ever eat! Autumn swears by the Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix, but I saw the Dark Chocolate Fudge and I just couldn't resist. The fudginess ensures that the cookies don't turn out too cakey. Nice and chewy an fudgy instead. Add to that cocoa powder and some chocolate chips and it is a serious chocolate explosion!
I only had two problems: one was that I didn't have regular chocolate chips so I used minis instead. That would have been okay except that I poured the still-hot melted butter right on top of them, so most of them just melted into the batter. So that's why I suggest mixing in the egg and butter, then stirring in the chips. The other problem I had was that the dough was so thick I couldn't get all of the cake mix moistened. So I added 2 tbsp of canola oil, but realized later that I should have just used water.
The only other thing I did differently was to roll the dough into balls instead of just dropping tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. I didn't figure this out until the very end, though, so only a few of them benefited from this. The dough was kind of crumbly, so rolling them into balls was just easier. And the ones that I rolled into balls turned out much prettier than the others. I think they held together after baking better too.
I wanted all orange Reese's Pieces, so I bought a 15 oz. bag and picked them all out. The orange ones added up to exactly 1 cup. Perfect! You could use M&Ms, but there is already so much chocolate going on, that the little bits of peanut butter are a nice touch. Another good option would be white chocolate chips.
While the orange Reese's Pieces make these perfect for Halloween, they would be perfect for any holiday or just any day of the year! This is definitely going to be my go-to chocolate cookie recipe from now on.
The next time you need to make cookies, give these a try. They are so easy and whoever you are making them for will love you forever!
Check out all the other great Halloween cookies below and come back next month to see what kind of Thanksgiving cookie I come up with.