Cooking a la College

If you’re looking for something to munch on between classes of have some free time with friends, here are a few recipes that are perfect for anyone who rarely steps foot in the kitchen, is on a tight budget or is only allowed to have a microwave in their room.

Skinny Mint Cookies

My skinny mint cookies. Photo by Rachel Pasker.
My skinny mint cookies. Photo by Rachel Pasker.


2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups milk chocolate chips

20 unwrapped Andes candies (chocolate mints)

1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 (9-ounce) package plain chocolate wafer cookies


In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Microwave on high power for 1 minute; remove and sit. Return to microwave and cook on 50% power for 1 minute longer; remove and stir. Continue microwaving at 50% power and stirring until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.

Remove from microwave and stir in the chocolate mint candies until smooth. Add peppermint extract and stir until combined.

Dip the cookies, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture.

Gently shake off excess chocolate and place on waxed paper to cool and set. Store in cool place.


My notes: In case you can’t tell, these are knock-offs of Girl Scout Thin Mints and they were amazing! My roommates ate all of them within a few days and we ended up making the rest of the recipe because they were that good. I cut the ingredients for the chocolate in half and dipped the wafers until the chocolate was gone and it made a ton of cookies! I also substituted the chocolate wafer cookies with vanilla wafers because I was afraid it would be too much chocolate. They did take about an hour to make start to finish and then a few hours to dry so they could be the perfect thing to do while you’re doing laundry.


My mug cake. Photo by Rachel Pasker.
My mug cake. Photo by Rachel Pasker.


1 box of angel food cake (any brand)

1 box of cake mix (whatever flavor you wish; any brand)

Make certain that one mix is angel food; that’s part of the secret that makes the recipe work.

Empty both boxes of cake mix into a gallon-size, plastic sealable bag, then squeeze and mush the bag around a bit to mix them together well.

Instructions for Preparation:

3 tablespoons of mix

2 tablespoons of water

Coffee mug or other tall, microwave-safe container

Put the 3 tablespoons of mix and the 2 tablespoons of water into the mug or container and stir slightly until all of the powder is moist (don’t oil the mug in advance, and don’t beat or whip the mixture).

Microwave for one minute. Allow to cool very briefly, then turn onto a plate (or just eat it out of the mug and save yourself from doing more dishes).

Source: and my amazing RA, Emma Williams (we did these as a floor program and they worked wonderfully).

My notes: These worked perfectly as something sweet and quick. These are so easy if you want a late night snack with an easy clean up. The boxes are pretty big, so they will make a lot of cakes, so I suggest doing what we did the second time we made them. Buy two different cake mixes and only one box of angel food mix. Then split the angel food mix into two bags and only add half of each cake mix to the separate bags. This will make fewer cakes, but you will have two different kinds to choose from. Then just store the other half bags of mix until you want to make more. If you don’t use all of the mix in the gallon mags they can be stored anywhere for the next time you need to fill a craving, which after tasting their deliciousness, will probably be the next day.

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