The countdown to cookie time is on. During the holidays (ok, and most every other month as well), baking cookies is my favorite thing to do. It reminds me of afternoons spent at the kitchen counter heaping sprinkles on unsuspecting reindeer-like dough blob, delivery rounds through my office with small, freshly-baked holiday care packages, and that amazing chocolaty aroma that fills the house regardless of if you go homemade or slice-and-bake.

It's no surprise then that last night I got a craving for one of my childhood favorites: Muna Cake Mix Cookies. Growing up, despite having a perfectly sound family, I was basically adopted by my best friend's grandparents, Muna and Papa. We spent long weekends playing on their farm, rattling their bull (Chester), and taking rides through the pasture. But what I remember most is the amazingly fluffy cookies Grandma Muna used to make every visit.

Luckily, Muna is a very cool Grandma and is on Facebook, so I messaged her for the recipe. Thanks Muna! These cookies will be perfect for my next round of holiday deliveries. They're super easy, thanks to the cake mix, which also gives them that homemade golden coloring. Plus, the vanilla spices them up with an extra punch of flavor.

Muna Cake Mix Cookies

1 box yellow cake mix1 teaspoon vanilla1 egg1/2 cup oil3 tablespoons cold water (less for crispier cookies)Chocolate chips or M & M's

Mix all ingredients and form into balls. Press "as many chocolate chips as you'd like" (that was our job) into the dough and bake at 350 degrees on a large cookie sheet for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tip: Make the balls dense and don't smush them flat. They'll bake through and spread a little as they do. I like to bake them tight on the cookie sheet, which makes them run together a little, but then you get perfectly square cookies, which makes this an easy to ship cookie recipe.

Looking for homemade gift recipes, cookie swap recipes, or this year's recipe for your Santa offering? Check out our Cookie Countdown and get a cookie a day delivered to your email inbox. Pick a recipe, follow our secrets to perfectly baked cookies, and ship to your friends and family this holiday as homemade gifts. If you're cutting costs this year and won't be sending big cookie care packages, send a sugar e-cookie instead. Just decorate, write your message, and send.

What's your favorite holiday treat to bake?

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel