Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Red Velvet "Cauldron Cookies"

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I'm honestly not sure why I love Halloween so much. Maybe because it was so much fun for me when I was a child. My neighbor Melanie would make handmade matching costumes for me and her two sons, and we would spend hours walking to every single house in the neighborhood. It was my favorite night of the year. I don’t think we had specific trick-or-treating hours like most cities in Indiana have now. We had to put together a list of trick-or-treating times for our FOX59 and CBS4 websites last week, and some of the towns only allow trick-or-treating for and hour and a half. That’s ridiculous! I feel bad for those kids!

I currently don’t live in a neighborhood where I can hand out candy, and I don’t know any young children who would allow me to follow along while they trick-or-treat. But that doesn’t make Halloween any less exciting for me. Halloween encompasses a lot of different themes: goofy, scary, cute, etc. And it’s all about having fun!

Each year, I try to make my Halloween treats some of my most creative recipes! A few weeks ago I had an idea to make cookies that were black on the outside and red on the inside. I came up with the idea after seeing this recipe for “Brimstone Bread.” It looks so cool, right?! I love how the black cracks so you see little peeks of red on the inside. I thought about how to do the same thing with a cookie for about a week before the idea came to me just in the nick of time: crinkle cookies rolled in black powdered sugar!

I’m sure many of you are familiar with crinkle cookies. They’re very popular around Christmas time. Essentially, it’s a cookie rolled in powdered sugar, but it gets it’s name because it cracks on top.

I started out by making red velvet cookies using red velvet cake mix. If you have a favorite “made-from-scratch” red velvet crinkle cookie recipe, by all means use that! But I use a box mix because it’s a heck of a lot easier, and we’re going to be rolling them in powdered sugar anyway.

So here’s the deal: as mentioned before, we’re going to roll the dough balls in powdered sugar before baking them, but before we do that, I recommend first rolling them in granulated sugar. The reason being is that the black powdered sugar is an essential part of how the cookie looks at the end, so we want as much of it to stay on the outside of the cookie as possible. The problem is a lot off the time the powdered sugar is soaked up by the fat in the cookie when it bakes, so it disappears for the most part. By rolling the dough in the granulated sugar first, we are creating a barrier between the cookie and the powdered sugar which will help it stay on the outside of the cookie better. I even took it one step further, and I rolled my cookies in black sanding sugar (it looks like black sprinkles) to ensure the effect I wanted was achieved.

After rolling the dough in granulated sugar comes the powdered sugar, of course. But not just any powdered sugar, black powdered sugar. It’s very easy to make! Just blend about a half cup of powdered sugar with gel black food coloring in a food process until it starts to turn black. If it won’t get any blacker, add a little cocoa powder if you want to enhance the effect. Don’t add too much cocoa powder, though, because you don’t want to change the taste of the cookie!

That’s all there is to it! Bake about 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies are just barely set. The black powdered sugar does get your fingers a little messy, but it’s totally worth it!

Also, in case you’re curious, I’m calling them cauldron cookies because I think they look like hot coals burning under a cauldron!

Red Velvet “Cauldron Cookies”
Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box red velvet cake mix
  • 6 tablespoons Challenge butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Black gel food coloring
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or black sanding sugar)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, combine red velvet cake mix, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Put in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes so the dough is easier to work with.
Add powdered sugar and black food coloring to food processor and pulse until the powdered sugar starts to turn black. It will probably turn more gray than black, but that’s okay. You can add cocoa powder in 1 Tablespoon increments if you want the color to be a little deeper.
  3. Place the powder sugar and granulated sugar in separate, shallow dishes.
  4. Scoop out a 1-inch diameter ball of dough. Roll it in the sugar to coat before transferring it to the powdered sugar and rolling to coat. 
  5. Place dough on baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes until cookies are just barely set. 
  6. Remove cookies from oven and let cool before serving.


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  2. Very nicely done and I love the addition of cocoa powder to the sugar! Thank you for tagging my Brimstone bread and I love how well your cookies turned out! :)

  3. Looks very very very delicious! Melting..


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