Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Red Velvet Cookies: A Happy Accident

Who knew how versatile a humble box of cake mix can be? 

It was one of those days. My eyes were shot from staring at the computer all day at work, followed by a frustrating commute home… only to find out after walking in my home that I forgot to grocery shop. 

In this case, it was not for dinner but rather for an art reception the next day! Yet, I'm so exhausted the thought of making a trek to the nearest store is like getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Ok, so I haven't had them pulled yet—the big day is this Saturday—but you get the point.

So instead, I started rummaging through my cupboards, hoping for divine intervention. And it came, in a box of Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix. Problem was, I couldn't make cupcakes because the piece de la resistance at the show is an interactive cupcake piece. Le merde. 

You see, I was brought on board by my old design professor at USC to mentor a few students for their upcoming show, X Marks the Spot, where every participating artist must take a letter and recreate its form in an unexpected medium. 

As luck would have it, I was paired with 3 foodie designers! So, it was joy to brainstorm with them and basically have my minions, ahem, I mean students create my dream vision. Not going to give away the cow, so I can only say one of the pieces involves cupcakes and lots of them. If you're interested in checking it out, the reception is tomorrow night (1/25) at USC's Lindhurst Gallery from 5 to 8pm. Just say Tsz sent you! 

Anyways, back to the cake mix. Competing cupcakes were out of the equation, so what else can I do? Fortunately, it turns out with a slight alternation in the eggs and butter ratio, the mix can be transformed into a cookie dough—and it's so easy! 

Don't believe me? Let me show you in 6 steps. 

1. Open cake mix in a big mixing bowl. 

2. Grate 1 teaspoon of orange peel and mix well. Actually, this is optional, but I rather like the taste of orange and chocolate together. So if you skip this, it's only 5 steps. 

3. Beat in 2 eggs and 6 tablespoons of melted butter. Really trippy how the tan colored cake mix turns blood red in the span of a minute... 

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll them in a  mixture of 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.

5. Baked in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. 

6. Let cool and dust with more powdered sugar. 

Done and done. They're best when fresh out of the oven cause they're soft and chewy. Addicting. 

I got a little styling-happy and busted out some patriotic napkins—would make for a festive July Fourth dessert don't you think? 

Thank you Ducan Hines! 

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