experiments in cooking

Posts tagged ‘baking with your preschooler’

The Moral of the Story Is: Don’t Blame the Cookie

At last! On Sunday I remembered to add chocolate chips to a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Jonah has been asking for chocolate chip cookies for a while and this week we finally made them. We used a recipe from Joy of Cooking that I haven’t tried before. I didn’t mean to make them as huge as they turned out … but big cookies are the most fun, aren’t they?

Other than accidentally producing giant cookies, I didn’t have any problems with this recipe. Jonah did a good job of helping, pouring in ingredients and stirring.

He was particularly intrigued by the corn syrup. “What’s that?” he asked.

“Corn syrup,” I answered.

“Ah, yes, corn syrup,” he said. As though that really made things clear.

While the cookies were baking, one sheet at a time as the recipe recommended, Jonah and I played several games of Trouble, the game with the die inside a plastic bubble that you pop to make the die roll. I had to jump up nearly every two minutes to (a) check on cookies in oven, (b) check the oven again, (c) finally take cookies out of the oven and put another sheet of cookies in, and (d) two minutes after taking cookies from the oven, move cookies to wax paper to cool.

Jonah was patient with the interruptions, and I’ll tell you why—he kept winning. I lost three out of four games of Trouble that night.

I figured I could blame my losses on the constant distraction of running to the kitchen to handle the cookies. But then the next night I lost two out of two games of Trouble with Jonah, and the following night he won again.  There were no baking distractions those nights, so it seems it wasn’t the cookies’ fault.

And that’s how it should be. It’s never the cookie’s fault—remember that.

Before blaming the cookie, look at yourself. Yes, maybe you gained five pounds after eating half a dozen cookies, every day, and washed them down with Dr Pepper; but it’s not the cookie’s fault. Yes, you didn’t notice your son was decorating his face with an ink pen because you were distracted by a warm cookie and a glass of milk, but it’s not the cookie’s fault. Yes, you were eating a cookie and talking on your cell phone when you rear-ended the town’s only red Lamborghini at a stop light, but it wasn’t the cookie’s fault.

No hard feelings against the cookie, folks.

I am thinking of blaming the corn syrup, though. I don’t know exactly what it did, but I think Jonah knows—although he’s not telling me.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat cookie sheets with nonstick spray.

Whisk together thoroughly:

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Beat on medium speed until well blended:

¼ cup corn or canola oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1/3 cup light or dark corn syrup

1 tablespoon skim milk

2 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Stir into the batter:

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes so the oats can absorb some moisture. Stir in the flour mixture; the dough will be slightly soft. Drop the dough by heaping measuring tablespoonfuls onto the sheets, spacing about 2 ½ inches apart.

Bake one sheet at a time, until the cookies are tinged brown all over and the centers are just barely firm when lightly pressed, 7 to 10 minutes; be careful not to overbake. Remove the sheet to a rack and let stand until the cookies firm slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to racks or wax paper to cool.

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