Normally I don't use recipes that require cake or brownie mix, simply because I am a purist and I like to make things myself (Plus, as a future dietitian, I am very disturbed at how many of those have trans fat!). However, the picture of these cookies in my Pillsbury Baking cookbook prompted me to make these cookies anyway. I could not get over how good they looked. These are a fabulous cookie to make when you want something that is universally liked and quick to make (bake sales, a present for someone whose tastes you're not sure of). They are soft without necessarily being "fudgy" and just...wow. They are similar to cookies made with a brownie base. Oh and the peanut flavor...is just perfect. These are such a guy pleasing cookie. Chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, nothing fancy...lol. Anywho, here's the recipe:
*very important note about the ingredients* - All cake mixes are not created the same. Between my roommate and I, we have made this cookie 3 times and came out with 3 different types of cookies. The recipe calls for a chocolate fudge cake mix with pudding (We assumed Pillsbury brand since it was out of that cookbook) but we could not find it anywhere. We've substituted the Pillsbury devil's food cake mix with pudding, and the cookies taste great but the batter is incredibly hard to stir (It's a great workout if you're up for the task though! hehe). However, the cookies come out great. They are thick and dark brown. If you do use this kind of cake mix, you might want to decrease the amounts of the add-ins because they won't all mix into the batter. If you want a cookie that is a little bit flatter (not thin or crispy though, the flavor is pretty similar to the other one) and lighter in color, go with the Betty Crocker fudge cake mix. These came out great too, and were much easier to stir. My preference is the Pillsbury simply because I like the color better and I'm up for the challenge, but it really doesn't matter.
Peanutty Chocolate Candy Cookies
1 box (1 lb. 2.25 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix with pudding
1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
1 bag (14 oz.) candy-coated peanut butter pieces (My roommate used an 11 oz. bag of the Reese's Pieces mini baking pieces and they came out great. These are especially good if you're making it with the Pillsbury cake mix since they're easier to stir in and there's less of them)
1 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
1. Heat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets. In large bowl, beat cake mix, butter, and eggs with an electric mixer on low speed until just moistened. With spoon, stir in peanut butter pieces and peanuts.
2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto cookie sheets.
3. Bake 7-10 min. or until edges are set and tops appear dry. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets.
Yield: 3 dozen
Nutrition facts for 1 cookie: calories 160 (calories from fat 70); total fat 8g (saturated fat 2.5g, trans fat 0g); cholesterol 20mg; sodium 170mg; total carb 19g (dietary fiber 1g; sugars 13g); protein 4g