Miss Doris’ Cookies

When I gathered the recipes from the knitting day at the lake several weeks ago, I asked one knitter to please add her cookie recipe to the collection. We didn't have these cookies that day at the lake, but she always brings them for the snack table at our knitting retreats. In my mind, I connect these cookies with knitters and knitting.

I was completely surprised when I got the recipe from her. I have eaten many (too many) of these cookies and I look forward to seeing that Tupperware container appear on the table every time we have a retreat. Some of our snacks are homemade. Some are not. There is never pressure on anyone to "make" something. And that makes the homemade goodies extra special.

These homemade cookies—yes, they still qualify as homemade—get 4 stars for easy. Because they start with cake mix! I would have never guessed.

Here is the recipe exactly as I got it from Miss Doris. The notes are hers. (Miss Doris, for the record, is very much a Mrs., but my children always called her "Miss Doris" when they were little, and the name lives on.)

     This is an old recipe from the side of a Duncan Hines cake mix box.

Makes about 3-1/2 dozen two-and-a-half-inch cookies.

1 box Duncan Hines Deluxe II White Cake Mix
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use 1 cup. I like nuts. No nuts are okay, too.)
3/4 cup oil
1 egg (DO NOT try to make without egg—makes a disaster.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until well mixed. Drop from teaspoon onto an uncreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. (My oven requires less time, 7-8 minutes, depending on the size of the teaspoon drop. Just keep an eye on the cookies for the first pan full.)

Cookies will be white in the centers with a slight brownish colored edge. (The chocolate chips will burn if cooked too long.) Cool on cookie sheet for about 1 minute and then place on a rack to finish cooling.

For folks who can't have nuts, divide the dough and put nuts in only half. Sometimes I take a fork which has been dipped in water and flatten the cookie dough out after I have dropped onto the cookie sheet. This will make a thinner cookie and more crisp.


I whipped these up in no time this morning after breakfast. There was one egg left in the carton, exactly what this recipe calls for. That's as good a reason as any to bake cookies, right?

I used yellow cake mix because that is what I had. So know white or yellow cake mix works equally well.

Stir the dry cake mix to break up any lumps. Same thing with the brown sugar. I line my cookie sheets with parchment to speed the clean up. And I just moved the warm cookies to a paper towel to finish cooling.

This would be a great recipe for moms who realize at bedtime they need to send cookies to school the next morning. I typically keep a box or two of cake mix on hand. Often it's a buy-one-get-one-free deal. And it's a convenient jumpstart to dessert when time is short.

I will tell you that boxed cake mix used to be 18 ounces. It's now just over 15 ounces. That's a significant decrease in the dry ingredients. When I first stirred this up, I thought the dough was almost like batter. A thick batter, but I still wondered if they would spread too much. The dough sat a few minutes while the oven finished heating. And as the dry ingredients absorbed the liquid, it was fine. The dough spread just as any cookie recipe would.

One day I'll ask Miss Doris about her note not to skip the egg. Sounds like there is a story there!