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Warm summer days! When I was a kid, it meant running barefoot in the grass without a care in the world. My favorite summer treat was an ice-cold, frozen Dreamsicle bar. Or was that a Creamsicle bar??? Hmm. Out of curiosity, I googled it and learned that I probably enjoyed both while growing up. While names are used interchangeably, the original Dreamsicle is made with ice milk, while the other is made with ice cream. It doesn’t really matter; I only know that I loved the pretty, pastel orange color and sweet, creamy taste. Inspired by the sunshine, warming temperatures, and softly blowing breeze, I decided it was time for a Dreamsicle Cookie!
I love baking cookies, but time is always a consideration, so I look for ways to cut down on ingredients and steps. I turned to my never-fail secret ingredient, a box cake mix. When box cake mix is on sale, I always stock up. Most recently, I found a BOGO deal on Duncan Hines cake mix, which included Orange Supreme. I bought it not knowing what I would be making but knew I would use it And, I did!
I love cake mix cookies. The box mix handles most of the heavy lifting, requiring only the addition of an egg, some fat (oil, butter, or shortening), and the add-ins like flavor extract, coloring, and special touches (cream cheese, chips, nuts, fruit). In this recipe, I chose butter, orange extract and color, cream cheese, and white chocolate chips.
Using butter and cream cheese gives these cookies their creamy flavor, but it requires a little forethought. Both need to be softened (room temperature). This is important, as when the butter is combined with the other ingredients in the mixer, it needs to “cream” instead of just blending it. When you cream butter, it allows for small air pockets to be formed within the dough. This helps keep the cookies fluffy and cook evenly. To soften the butter and cream cheese, take them out of the fridge and place them on the counter for at least 30 minutes before using them. The process can be speeded up a little by cutting the butter and cream cheese into small cubes.
When the butter and cream cheese are soft, it only takes a couple of minutes to mix up the dough. Combine the egg, butter, cream cheese, and orange extract in a large bowl and mix until smooth. If you don’t have orange extract, you can substitute a tablespoon of orange juice. Mix in the cake mix. The dough will be stiff and sticky. The cake mix will give the cookies a light orange color. If you want a deeper shade, add a few drops of food coloring. (I added about 5 drops.) If you don’t have an orange color, you can combine 1 part of red food coloring with 2 parts yellow (ta-da – you now have orange!)
Mix in the white chocolate chips by hand. As I mentioned, the dough is sticky – sticky enough that it needs to chill in the fridge for about a half-hour to firm. When ready, scoop the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the powdered sugar. You can use a rounded spoon, but a cookie scoop makes the job a whole lot easier. Place the balls on a baking sheet/pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 13-15 minutes. In my range, they take precisely 14 minutes. If I let them go to 15, the white morsels started to brown – not a good look! Use care. Let them cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before moving them to a wire rack.
These cookies are so pretty and delicious, they will become a summer favorite! Enjoy.
Orange Dreamsicle CookiesCourse: Dessert, SnacksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
These pretty orange cookies with white chocolate morsels melt in your mouth while reminding you of a perfect summer’s day! A boxed orange cake mix is the secret ingredient to mixing these soft, fluffy cookies in minutes. Bake two batches as they will be disappear in minutes!
1/2 cup butter softened
8 ounces cream cheese softened
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 box orange cake mix
Optional: orange food coloring
1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet/pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, orange extract, cream cheese, and egg with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cake mix and mix well. If desired, add a few drops of orange food coloring until the cookie dough is the desired shade.
- Stir in the white chocolate chips. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Using a cookie scoop or rounded spoon shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the powdered sugar. and then place on the prepared baking pan.
- Bake the cookies at 350F for 13-15 minutes. Rest on the baking sheet/pan for 2-3 minutes, remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Makes around 3½ dozen cookies
- Soften cold/refrigerated butter and cream cheese by setting out on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking
- Orange extract substitute: 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice = 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- Orange Food Coloring = 1 part red to 2 parts yellow
- Careful not to overbake the cookies, the white chips will turn brown!