Step Out & Thrive Ministries with Bethany Boring
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I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?

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Christmas Stones of Remembrance: Stone 2 – Cake Cookie Showdown

This is the second post of our “Christmas Stones of Remembrance” Series. To see the full post list, click HERE.

You may be a great baker. You may be that man or woman I secretly envy because your kitchen looks like it came out of a Pampered Chef catalog. Perhaps you have the industry-leading mixer and a cooling rack that would make George Forman jellous.

 

…And then there are people like me.

 

My husband recently told me he believes our cookie sheets may be rusting (the jury is still out on that one). I use kitchen towels as oven mitts and I break my eggs right over the bowl. My kitchen mixer brand does not include the term “aid” anywhere in the title because it was a black Friday special years ago for under $20. My cooling rack is an unused part of our microwave.

 

You can imagine how traditional Christmas cookies go for our family. The dough never seems to be sticky enough or the flavor makes everyone gag. Then the dough finds itself wedged so tightly into a cookie cutter that Mr. Gingerbread man comes out missing his head…and a left leg…and most of his left arm. Then the butchered cookies burn in the oven, so we cover our efforts with layers of store bought frosting.

 

Tradition, yes. Value for my time, no.

 

There must come a time in our Christmas celebration for us to stop and ask why we do the traditions we do. We need to ask why our traditions are so important. When we uncover the why, we uncover the real value. Sometimes we have value in our traditions. But sometimes our traditions lack value and that creates friction. In respect to our Christmas cookie massacre, it just wasn’t adding up value for me. It was time to redo the math.

 

 

I wanted more from this tradition. I wanted my kids to remember their efforts resulting in family time together and an edible product.

 

Do your Christmas traditions pave the way for a legacy or a catastrophe?

 

Stones of Remembrance are not traditions, but values.

 

 

Our family values community and togetherness. I want to create a safe place for all of us to come, be ourselves and connect deeply with one another. I wanted this to become a Christmas Stone of Remembrance, but I was about to give-up on this being demonstrated through Christmas cookies.

 

Until…

 

A few years ago, a friend shared her Christmas cookie tradition with me and I seriously almost dropped my measuring cup (no worries, it’s plastic!). She made Christmas Cake Cookies with her kids.

 

No cookie cutters.

 

No frosting.

 

No missing body parts.

 

The heavens parted and the Pillsbury Dough Boy began to dance for joy on my kitchen counter.

 

 

The first year we attempted Cake Cookies, we burned a few. But honestly, they were so good, nobody really cared!

 

My boys all joined into help.

 

My kitchen was full.

 

Smiles were contagious.

 

Crumbs invaded everywhere.

 

My heart was overflowing.

 

The best part? Everyone we give these cookies to absolutely rave about them!

 

Extra bonus for me – they really are incredibly easy!

 

God used this recipe to teach me that my kids are not going to remember our major cookie fails, or what they unwrapped under the tree or even the time mommy secretly ate a full plate of cookies (hello, Santa was hungry!). But my kids will remember these moments we spend together. These precious moments that seem to be slipping through my fingers like sand.

 

Making cookies reminds me that I desperately need God’s guidance in my life.

 

Making cookies reminds me that I am not in control of time, but that I can make the best out of the minutes I have.

 

Making cookies reminds me that God sees me and smiles – just like I see the smiles of my cookie-faced boys around me.

 

And I bet you want the recipe! Please let me know if you make these cookies with your family! I would love to feature your stories and pictures here!

 

CAKE MIX COOKIES!

3 simple ingredients for the base:

1 box any cake mix

2 medium eggs

1/2 cup oil

Mix it up, have fun with add-ins and variations, plop them out onto a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes. Sometimes if the dough seems a little sticky, I dump in a bit of flour to make it easier to shape cookies.

 

From Yellow Cake Mix:

  • Cowboy Cookies: add in 1 cup dark chocolate chips and 1 cup crunched up pretzels
  • Snickerdoodles: roll balls in cinnamon/sugar mixture before baking
  • Ginger Snaps: Trade oil for molasses and add 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Macadamia Madness: Add 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped macademia nuts
  • Turtle Cookies: Remove cookies from oven and immediately press an unwrapped Rolo candy in the center of each

From Devil’s Food Cake Mix:

  • Peppermint Crinkles: Add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract to dough. Roll cookies in powdered sugar before baking. Press a Hershey’s Peppermint Kiss in the center when you remove cookies from oven.
  • Peanut Butter Delights: Add 1 cup of peanut butter chips to batter.
  • S’mores Sandwiches: Spread Marshmallow Fluff over a cookie, sprinkle with Graham Cracker crumbs, press second cookie on top.
  • Andes Specials: Add 1 cup Andes mint chips to batter.
  • Double Fudge: Add 1 cup dark chocolate chips to batter. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over top of cookies before baking

French Vanilla Cake Mix:

  • Mexican Wedding Cookies: Add 1/2 tsp almond extract and 1 cup crushed pecans to batter. Roll cookies in powdered sugar before baking,
  • Raspberry Thumbprints: Press a depression in the center of warm cookies, then when cooled add a dab of raspberry preserves. Refrigerate.
  • Cookies n Cream Cookies: Add 1 cup crushed Oreos to batter.
  • Red and Green Lovelies: Separate batter into two bowls. Dye one half batter red, the other green with food coloring. Press the two colors together for half red half green cookies.
  • Orange Dark Chocolate Delights: Add 1/2 tsp orange extract, 1/2 tsp grated orange rind and 1 cup dark chocolate chips to batter.

Other Cake Mix Varieties:

  • Red Velvet Cookies: Use red velvet cake mix and add in white chocolate chips or frost with cream cheese frosting.
  • Carrot Cake Cookies: Use spice cake mix and 1/2 cup grated carrots and 1/2 crushed walnuts to batter.
  • Funfetti: Need I say more?
  • Maple Bacon Bites: use spike cake mix. Replace oil with maple syrup. Add in 1/2 cup crushed cooked bacon.
  • Lemon Love: Use lemon cake mix. Roll in powdered sugar before baking. Sprinkle coarse baker’s sugar over cookies while still warm.

 

Let’s Chat:

Do you make Christmas cookies? What is your experience like…positive or negative?

 

Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!

 

About the Author Bethany

Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a wife to Steve and a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always – dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!

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1 comment
Janet Shelton says December 5, 2017

I am not a baker. My boys do not remember all the time that I tried and failed. My 28 year old son like the Peppermint Puppy Chow that I have started to make. My 32 year old son enjoys spending time with me more than any bake good. I do have lots of good memories from their childhood. I have not tried that cake cookies and will have to give it a try.

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