My freshman year of college was a really great year. I loved my school and my friends, and I had the world’s best roommate. When Christmas season rolled around, my roommate and I decided to do some holiday baking. We bought magazines and collected recipes, and one Saturday we took over my parents’ kitchen. Our recipe selections were very ambitious for our cooking skills, and several of them were total disasters. Sweet “carnival” cornbread that baked over the sides of the pan and made a gigantic mess in the bottom of the oven? Check. Braided egg bread with a cream cheese filling that didn’t rise and was hard as a rock? Check. Mint layered bars with real (gross) mint jelly that no one wanted to eat? Check. Despite our failures, we had a great time and somehow ended up with enough edible treats to share with our friends in the dorm. And one of the new recipes we tried was an absolute winner. I’ve made this recipe every Christmas since, and often at other times of year, too. It’s always a hit, because seriously, what decent Southerner doesn’t love red velvet? And who can pass up the flavor of red velvet cake in the convenience of a cookie?
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy – it uses a cake mix!
Red Velvet Cookies
- 1 box red velvet cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
Mix ingredients together until smooth. (A stand mixer with a paddle attachment works much better than a hand mixer with beaters. Trust me.)
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Don’t skip the parchment paper – it’s really worth the effort! And from my experience, cookie sheets with air pockets inside just don’t get the job done with these cookies.)
This next step is very important! I forgot and skipped it once and the results were disastrous. (I take ruined cookies very seriously.) Using the bottom of a glass (or the palm of your hand) flatten the dough slightly.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes until the tops crackle. These cookies are easy to burn, so watch them closely.
Doesn’t that look yummy? But wait – it gets even better! While the cookies are cooling, mix up the cream cheese frosting. That’s right. We’re going to ice them.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 stick butter, softened
- 2 tsp. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
Combine cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until mixture is creamy. Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating until smooth.
Once the cookies are cool, frost away!
They don’t look perfect, but they taste wonderful. Christmas cookies don’t get much easier than this!