When it comes to holiday baking and sweet treat season, it's true that chocolate, peppermint, and gingerbread often get all the holiday press. But here's the thing: citrus is the true shining star of winter. Don't believe me? Try a batch of these sunny, sweet-tart lemon cookies — made with an ultra-smart supermarket shortcut — and you'll be met with all of the acclaim and accolades at this year's cookie swap. I promise.
Cookies Made Easier with Cake Mix
Take a few steps past the bags of flour and sugar in the baking aisle and you'll find the secret to easier holiday baking: a box of cake mix. The shortcut cuts back on the mess and measuring while still fulfilling the purpose of holiday baking: spending time with our kids, sharing sweet treats with friends and neighbors, and cozying up in front of the fire with a mug of something hot and the scent of freshly-baked cookies in the air.
How to Make Lemon Crinkle Cake Mix Cookies
You can mix up these cookies (just lemon cake mix, a pair of eggs, vegetable oil, and powdered sugar) in the time it takes for the oven to heat. First, whisk together the eggs and oil, then sift the cake mix into the same bowl using a fine-mesh strainer. (This step aerates the cake mix and smooths any lumps). A few quick stirs bring the dough together.
Use a two-tablespoon (one-ounce) ice cream scoop or a soup spoon to divide the dough. Roll in powdered sugar until they are well-coated, then arrange on a baking sheet and refrigerate until cold to the touch. Before baking, re-roll the cookies to guarantee a crackly coating. Hot from the oven, the cookies have a pillowy texture peeking from beneath the crackles of sweet sugar.
Makes about 18 cookies
Prep time: 20 minutes to 25 minutes ; cooking time: 10 minutes
1 (15.25-ounce) package
lemon cake mix
Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the eggs and vegetable oil in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the cake mix into the egg mixture to break up any large lumps. Using a spatula, stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and a dough forms.
Pour the powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. Scoop the dough into 2 tablespoon portions and form into balls. Toss the balls gently in the powdered sugar until completely and generously coated. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between each cookie, about 12 cookies per baking sheet.
Refrigerate until cool to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. If the cookies absorb the powdered sugar, roll in the powdered sugar again to coat.
Bake until the cookies are set, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire cooling racks and cool completely.
Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.