Monday, February 7, 2011

To Grandmother's House We Go---Making Cookies with Nanny

We went to my folks' house the other day after church and my mom was in the mood to make cookies with the kids (awesome!!). I took pictures since they were having such a good time, and usually when it is time to make cookies, I am too busy with the process to grab the camera.

Here's a fun activity: Ask your little ones what is in chocolate chip cookies (or brownies) BEFORE you get out the ingredients. Write down their "recipe" on a recipe card and have them draw a picture of how their treat will turn out on the back. When you are done, you can get together the real ingredients and let them help measure them out and mix them together. Then, of course, everyone must help eat them! If you want to turn this into a school activity, you can count the making of the cookies as home ec and math (measuring), the writing of their recipe as handwriting and creative writing, the drawing of the picture as art, and the eating of the cookies as dessert! I'd take a picture of the finished product for a portfolio or scrapbook, but then, I take pictures of almost everything.

It's fun to see what kids think is in a recipe, and in what amounts. I remember doing this myself when I was a Brownie scout, and I still have the old recipe card I made. I think I said there were about three cups of sugar and a cup of salt, a cup of flour, a bottle of vanilla, and who knows what else. My basic ingredient list was almost right, but the proportions were waaaay off.

After making cookies with my mom the other day, I think my kids have a pretty good idea of the ingredient make-up of chocolate chip cookies, but I wouldn't put it past them to say that a good batch of cookies takes at least two bags of chocololate chips...and I might even agree with them!

Cracking eggs is so interesting...
"How come there aren't baby chicks in there?" asks Cowboy.

We can all help make some chocolate chip cookies...We LOVE to help!

 Helping each other use the mixer (under supervision, of course).
You never knew making cookies was a cooperative learning activity, did you?
Homeschooling is everywhere!

Taking turns stirring...aren't they cute?

Almost's tempting to tast the cookie dough BEFORE it goes into the oven...
Bubba snuck in and grabbed a big spoonful when we weren't looking!

A happy Tex gets to taste the first of the tasty treats...YUM!!
He'll be glad to help you eat chocolate chip cookies ANYTIME.

Our best chocolate chip cookie making tips:
  1. Do not melt the butter. Make sure you set it out early to soften to room temperature. Melting the butter gives the cookies a different consistency. Don't ask me why, but it is true.
  2. Add extra chips. Yes, we are chocoholics and we are not ashamed to admit it. I don't make cookies often, but when I do, I say why not go all out. I like using the usual bag of regular-sized semi-sweet chips, and another half bag of the small milk chocolate chips. Then you get more chocolate per bite (the little ones fit in the spaces in-between the big ones). We use all the chips in the half bag by doubling our recipe so there are none left behind (or Bubba will find them and eat them for has chocolate radar!).
  3. Take the cookies out just a little bit early, then let them cool on the trays before transferring them to a cookie rack. That way they turn out just a little bit "squishy" and they keep their "just made" consistency a bit longer. I apply all of these tips to making brownies, too (yes, I do add chocolate chips to my brownies and they are extra chocolatey and gooey, and very delicious!)
Doesn't thinking about cookies make YOU want to mix up a batch with your kids? Then you should definitely go do it NOW, just because it will be a nice thing to do together. Won't your kids all be pleasantly surprised? I hope you have a lot of fun making memories. Let me know what kind of cookies you wind up making, and leave me a link to your favorite cookie recipe, if you post it.



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