Whenever the holidays roll around, there’s nothing like making cookies to get me in the Christmas spirit! Including kids in the kitchen can be a bit tricky, but helping kids feel empowered and to be able to say “I did it!” is worth the payoff (and the mess). When I was growing up, there was a wonderful series of books published by Klutz Press that all came with both visual and simple instructions, as well as a special tool. My favorite Klutz Press book was their cookbook, KidsCooking A Very Slightly Messy Manual. I still pull the book out for some favorite recipes. Its well worn edges and imperfect, stained pages bring back lots of fun memories (like making pizza at Grandma’s house– included on that particular recipe are her notes for improvement).
When I was little, I loved making chocolate chip cookies with my mom using Darrell’s “Forget-the-Cookies-Just-Give-Me-That-Batter” Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Because each recipe has pictures of the ingredients, I could “read” the recipe without being fully literate. I’d pull out all the ingredients and then my mom would carefully supervise as I’d use the Klutz Press measuring spoons to measure out ingredients. Each spoon is color-coded which was great for my pre-fraction days. My mom would step in to crack the egg and use her handheld mixer to blend the ingredients. Then we’d try our best to put as many lumps of dough on the pan, instead of in our mouths!
Here’s Darrell’s “Forget-the-Cookies-Just-Give-
Ingredients and Tools:
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/8 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Bag (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1/2 Cup Walnuts (optional)
Small Sauce Pan
1. In the small pan, melt the butter. Turn the heat off. While it’s hot, add both sugars. Stir and then let cool a bit.
2. While the butter mixture is cooling, mix the flour, soda, and salt in the mixing bowl.
3. In the small bowl, beat the egg lightly with a fork, then add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture. Stir.
4. Now add the butter, egg, and vanilla to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl. Stir again, then add chocolate chips and nuts if you want them.
5. Stir everything until it’s all mixed up well and put the bowl in the refrigerator to cool for about an hour. About 5-10 minutes before you take them out, turn your oven on to 375 degrees
1. When the oven’s warmed up, get your cookie sheet–don’t grease it. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls, space them evenly on the cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Don’t Overcook! You want your cookies to be moist and chewy. Take them off the cookie sheet carefully with your spatula and let them cool. Yum!