Everyone loves a good cookie mix. They’re quick and easy to make. You don’t need to buy a bunch of ingredients or spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. But every once in a while even your trusty Betty Crocker cookie mix starts feeling a bit overdone. So what can you do?
With a few simple tricks, you can elevate your regular cookie dough and make delicious cookies that taste homemade. Add a few extra toppings, swap out a few ingredients for better substitutes and adjust the baking steps for a richer, tastier dough.
Read on to find out exactly what you can do it make cookie mix taste better, with 4 special tips straight from the experts’ kitchens.
Top 4 Tips To Transform Your Cookie Dough
1. Additional Ingredients
There are some ingredients that will automatically give your cookies a delicious homemade taste and aroma. With these additional ingredients, you don’t need to swap anything out or change anything in the recipe.
So the first tip is simply to add your own special ingredients to the mix. Two ingredients we highly recommend you try out are pure vanilla extract and brown sugar.
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Pure vanilla extract has some magical properties that make baked goodies smell like happiness and joy. For most people, the scent recalls childhood memories of running around in their mothers’ and grandmothers’ kitchens. A few drops of vanilla extract will automatically give your cookie dough a homemade feeling.
Brown sugar is a staple in a lot of homemade cookies and it can definitely make your premade mix taste better. Brown sugar makes for chewier cookies. Paired with the vanilla extract and these two items will definitely elevate your cookie dough.
2. Use Better Alternatives
The second tip is to use better alternatives for recommended ingredients. Now you aren’t just adding extra ingredients, you’re swapping out items from the list the mix has given you.
One huge tip is to use butter instead of margarine. Although margarine is cheaper and has a higher fat content, it compromises the taste and texture of your cookies.
With real butter, you can expect a richer aroma and creamier taste that will transform your cookie dough. After all, butter comes from cream. The buttery goodness will seep through your mix and give it that OG flavor. On the other hand, margarine is a combination of water and vegetable oil.
It gives your cookie mix a weak consistency that makes the batter spread out thin and sticks to the baking sheet. This results in crispy, often burnt cookies.
That said, make sure you’re using unsalted butter. Otherwise, you risk your cookies tasting extra salty.
Alternatively, for people who’re willing to experiment with a slightly unconventional strategy, we highly recommend replacing margarine with solid coconut oil. It adds an extra kick of flavor to your mixture and has a consistency that’s closest to butter!
Refined coconut oil has a milder taste than unrefined coconut oil so pick whichever one is better suited to your taste.
3. Adjust the Prep Instructions
Baking isn’t just about the ingredients. It’s also about what you’re doing with them. A few minor adjustments to your prepping and baking process can have a huge effect on how your cookies turn out.
Our first tip is to always use room temperature butter. When you take your butter straight out of the fridge it’s in a cold, hard lump. Cold butter is difficult to whip and mix, and it makes your cookies hard and firm, instead of soft and gooey. Just leave it out on the counter for a few minutes to get the ideal temperature.
The second tip that can really make a world of a difference is chilling your cookie dough before you bake it. Leaving your dough in the fridge for 30 to 40 minutes helps the mix combine better and gain a richer consistency. This means your mix won’t spread out in a thin layer across your baking pan and give you rock-hard cookies. Instead, you’ll get rich, moist cookies that are soft and deliciously chewy. A little patience can make all the difference!
Finally, always check up on your cookies. A huge mistake people make with box mix cookies is following the bake time like it’s gospel. Always remember that you have the liberty to adjust baking time as you see fit depending on whether you want a hard and crispy or soft and chewier texture.
Baking cookies is an art, not a science. No box can give you an exact time down to the minute. Some ovens cook faster than others; some baking tins distribute heat better. So you have to use your better judgment in the kitchen, even with store-bought cookie mix. You can even change the baking temperature; there are no rules except the ones you make!
4. Use Extra Toppings
Store-bought cookie dough offers you the bare minimum in terms of ingredients and flavor. Think of it like this. With a premade mix you have a basic formula that works. Now it’s up to you to load it with extra goodies.
Add toppings like sour cherries, orange zest, peanut butter cups, and marshmallows to make your cookies extra tasty. You can even add chopped nuts or dried fruit like raisins, candied ginger, and apricots if you want to explore some advanced flavor options.
Box cookie mixes come with flour, baking soda, and salt. Now you have to add wet ingredients like butter, milk, and eggs. But the list doesn’t have to stop there.
If you can’t find a chocolate chip cookie mix that isn’t the end of the world. Adding a sprinkle of chocolate chips on top of any cookie mix can give you a delicious chocolate chip cookie. When you give yourself the freedom to experiment and try new things with your boxed dough you’ll realize that there are a lot of flavor options you can explore!