Last week I sent my favorite little Maryland girls two stuffed bobcat toys, and what better to accompany them than some paw print cookies? Not having a paw print cookie cutter – and not wanting to send frosted cookies through the mail – I got a bit creative. I’d seen charming polar bear paw cupcakes on Pinterest a while back that used chocolate chips and miniature peppermint patties, so I adapted that concept and just used chocolate candy melts for the main part of the paw print instead.
Cake mix is a great option for these cookies; I might try a scratch-made cookie next time, but these were quick and easy to bake. I went with milk chocolate chips and candy melts, but you could use dark if you prefer, or even white if you went with a chocolate cookie.
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Milk chocolate chips
- Milk chocolate candy melts*
*I used Baker’s Dipping Chocolate, which is available at most grocery stores and Target
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, and almond extract. Mix until completely combined and chill for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl and place them, along with the candy melts, in a cool place nearby (not right next to your oven).
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop portions of dough and roll into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges are just golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately press 1 candy melt in the center of each cookie for the center paw pad, then press 4 chocolate chips above it for the toe pads. Move your baking sheet to a cooler place and allow cookies to cool on the sheet for 2-3 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. The chocolate does take some time to set; you can pop the cookies in your fridge for a few minutes to speed the process if you like.
Once chocolate is set, store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.