Monday, February 15, 2016

Oreo Peppermint Cookies

You're going to laugh at me. Do you want to know the reason I made these Oreo Peppermint Cookies? It's because I had half a brick of cream cheese leftover from the weekend of Winter Storm Jonas when we treated ourselves to bagels for breakfast.

That seems silly, right, trading cookies for a bagel. But see, here's the thing - if there's cream cheese in the house, I'll want to buy bagels to use it up. And then it becomes a vicious cycle of buying more cream cheese to finish the bagels and more bagels to finish the cream cheese. The truth is, I have a serious weakness for bagels. I used to eat half an everything bagel with cream cheese for breakfast every morning. In the summer I'd add nice, thick slices of fresh Jersey tomatoes and wash it all down with a tall glass of orange juice. That breakfast was the first thing to go when I decided to get serious about weight loss, exercise and healthier living a few years ago.

Oreo peppermint cookies

But cookies...meh. I can take or leave a cookie. The only dessert I have no willpower over is cake. I figured I'd make these cookies, we'd eat a few and then the rest would go into the office with Steve. Katie and I made the dough one Sunday morning and baked them off that afternoon before we went to my parent's house for Sunday dinner. And, as planned, the rest went to the office Monday morning.

Steve couldn't find the Andes Peppermint Crunch chips listed in the original recipe, so he just got a regular box of Andes mints. I crushed them up like I did for the Oreos and that worked fine and tasted great.

Because of the cake mix, these don't taste like your typical homemade cookie, but everyone who tried them liked them.

Oreo Peppermint Cookies
Slightly modified from Inside BruCrew Life

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 Oreo cookies, crushed into pieces
1 package Andes mints, crushed (or 1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch pieces)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cake mix, melted butter, egg, and extracts in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until a soft dough forms. Add the softened cream cheese and beat in gently until combined. Stir in the Oreos, peppermint pieces and chocolate chips. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, divide the dough into 36 balls.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 9 minutes. These didn't spread at all, so I was able to fit 8 dough balls on each sheet. The cookies will be very soft and look under done. Let them sit on the hot cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then gently remove them with a spatula to a cooling rack. Very gently tap the tops of the cookies with the bottom of the spatula to even out the tops. Let them sit until completely cool. Store in an airtight container.
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