Quick and easy cake cookie recipes for any occasion

While for many people cookies take on a special meaning for the Holidays — with special intricate recipes handed down from one generation to the next and served up year after year for family and friends on the best ceramic plates with a cup of eggnog on the side — it’s good to remember that cookies are a great snack any time of the year. A cookie and a glass of ice cold milk is the ultimate comfort food. And the simpler and tastier the recipe, the better!

It’s possible to achieve homemade goodness in cookies, that taste like they’re made from scratch, with box mixes. They just need a little tweaking.

For instance, follow the mixing instructions on a box of devil’s food cake mix, and after it’s been beaten add a small jar of maraschino cherries; then using parchment paper on a cookie sheet, drop tablespoons of batter until the sheet if full and pop into a 350 degree oven for twenty-five minutes. What comes out are soft and moist — and the combo of dark chocolate and cherry is delicious.

Or, for something deceptively elegant, open a roll of buttermilk biscuit dough and put on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Then with a teaspoon hollow out the center of each biscuit and spoon in some mincemeat pie filling. Drizzle honey over each biscuit. Pop in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes — and out comes mini buttery English hot cross buns that are to die for.

There are hundreds of recipe variations like this — all that’s needed is a few extra ingredients and a lot of imagination.