Galaxy Cookies | Free |


I’ve been writing this summer about recipes and memories from my mother’s 1971 Betty Crocker cookbook. Last week I mentioned the “Galaxy cookies.”

I always wanted to make those Galaxy cookies and never had the nerve. I’ve spent the last six days doing just that – or at least – trying to.

The caption for the half-page photo read: “As varied as the stars. So easy, so delicious are these cookies that look like bonbons. And there’s a surprise center in each.”

That wasn’t the only surprise.

There must have been some spot in my brain, some Id instinct that knew this would not go well. Finally, I can let this regret go. I attempted, and after improvements, I achieved (mostly).

Now, remember: this recipe is 50 years old. Things have changed, and I won’t be making this cookie again. I found it chalky, tasteless and it easily crumbled. What did work was the modern “cake cookie,” which held together much better and actually formed a dome.


“Betty Crocker’s Cook Book”

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Food color, if desired

1 1/2 cups Gold Medal Flour*

1/8 teaspoon salt

Dates, nuts, semisweet chocolate pieces and candied or maraschino cherries

I’ll move the chef’s note here: “*Do not use Self-Rising Flour in this recipe.” That makes very little sense to me, since a risen cookie is what is required to create the bonbon effect. Me and Betty need to have some words.

Betty Crocker continues: “Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix thoroughly butter, sugar, vanilla and few drops food color. Work in flour and salt until dough holds together. (If dough is dry, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons light cream.)”

Oh, this dough was dry, alright. Dry as the Sahara. I used half-and-half in place of light cream.

BC: “Mold dough by tablespoonfuls around date, nut, cherry or a few chocolate pieces. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until set but not brown.”

BC: “Cool; dip tops of cookies into Icing. If desired, decorate with coconut, nuts, colored sugar, candies, chocolate pieces or chocolate shot.”

Evidently, chocolate shot is a name for chocolate sprinkles. And I couldn’t have dipped the tops of the cookies if I wanted to since they had no structure and couldn’t be held by the edge without falling into pieces.

I tinted these cookies a nice, Martian green just for fun, and wrapped the dough around a Hershey’s Kiss. As it turned out, my cookies bore a similarity to the 1950s B-movie Sci Fi flying saucers, which I found amusing. Ed Wood would have been pleased.

Yes, they spread like red wine on a white tablecloth. For the second batch, I chilled the dough 30 minutes. Same result.

I knew there had to be something better, so if you feel so inclined to make Galaxy Cookies – decorating them is fun after all, – try this recipe from It’s actually on several internet sites, so choose your favorite. I used a white cake mix, added lemon extract for flavor, and chilled the dough 30 minutes before rolling into balls for baking.


1 box cake mix, your choice

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other flavor, optional)

Mix all of the ingredients well. If using a white cake mix, add food coloring as desired to achieve your “galactic” effect.

Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a small scoop or two spoons, scoop the dough into a ball shape and drop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake for 7 – 9 minutes until slightly browned around the edges. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Now, the galaxy. As the James Webb telescope has shown us, there is a lot of variety out there. You can go old-school rings and spots, or get out the airbrush and create nebulae, gas clouds or whatnot.

I chose old school, with some sparkly sugars, some sprinkles and dyed icing. A basic confectioners’ sugar icing will do just fine.


1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 1/2 Tablespoons light cream or 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk ingredients together to form a smooth, stiff icing. Transfer small amounts of the white icing to a container where you can tint it with food coloring. I have several 3-inch ramekins that worked great and a tiny whisk that I rinsed off between each mix – much faster and easier to achieve a uniform color.

Ice the cookies as you see fit, drawing inspiration from the planets – real or imagined – from galaxies far, far away and enjoy your cookies with milk or cocoa while watching reruns of the best mid-century sci-fi series ever: Star Trek.

Boldy go where no cook has gone before! Even if it doesn’t turn out, at least you will have had an adventure. Let’s get cooking.



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