Making cookies from a store bought mixture is not the cheapest idea. So what's the deal here? Well, at the heart of Frugal is getting good value for your money. The value we are after, in this case, is spending time with our kids making a recipe together.
There are great learning opportunities with baking:
- full of math practice,
- following directions (what kid doesn't need practice with this?)
- all sorts of literacy activities
- And who doesn't like cookies? (You do? Seriously? Wow).
So here is why this is Frugal. Making cookies from scratch is obviously the cheapest, but it tends to be on the challenging side - particularly when kids are little. Buying store bought cookies is easiest but lacks the "lets make cookies as a family" charm. Tweaking a premade mix? This is the Goldilocks of homemade cookies - just right.
Check them out...
Simply put, cookie mixes make cooking with kids enjoyable. We've been baking with our kids since they were toddlers; this idea seems sane only because we used cookie mixes to contain the craziness. Simple measures, fewer steps and small batches mean that you can toss off a batch in half an hour and have cleanup done before they come out of the oven. And you get cookies.
**Add/adjust to existing recipe: typically half a bag of cookie mix + egg/fat/water
1) Triple Chocolate Brownie: 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/4 cup white choc. chips, 2-3 Tbps water
2) Peanut Butter: Replace margarine/butter with 1/3 cup PB (smooth or chunky) and 2 tbs margarine
3) Oatmeal Choc Chip: Add 1/3 cup Quick Oats and 1/4 cup water
4) Girl Guide Minty Knock-offs: 1/3 cup cocoa, 2-3 tbs water, 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (for an extra Christmasy kick, crush up a candy can and sprinkle it on top.
5) "Subway" cookie knockoffs: 1/2 cup of M&Ms (plain or peanut). Get Christmas M&Ms for cookies with a more festive appearance.
6) Reese Cup Cookies: Replace margarine/butter with 1/4 cup PB (smooth or chunky) and 3 tbs margarine. Add 1/4 cup cocoa and water as needed.
7) Everything Cookie (shown): cocoa, mint, oatmeal as above (or PB, M&Ms/Smarties or whatever else you want to toss in). The kids created this on their own - could you have guess that?
|All amendments still follow the base recipe, unless otherwise noted (e.g. PB cookies)|
Another added bonus of amending premade cookie mix - you get more cookies per batch. They typically all still fit on one cookie sheet, but you may need to squeeze a bit. Or just eat more raw dough in the mixing process...(ew?).
Do you tweak store-made mixes? We're always looking for more ideas, so please post in the comments with yours.