Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rainy Day Cookies

[Note: This post what originally published on The Mrs on November 19, 2011. Yes, we still eat these cookies. Pro Tip: if you freeze them, they last longer, because kids have difficulty opening the heavy freezer drawer...]

Some days it pays to look at the world through your kids’ eyes.

This particular, craptacular day, I picked up my kids from school. It was dreary and cold, and as soon as the bell rang, the skies opened up and rained all over us in that way that sinks into your core, cold settling in your spine.


Once we were home, the boys raided the cookie jar (with permission). It was empty.

This is where I was surprised by my almost-six-year old, when he said confidently, “That’s okay. Can you bake us some, please, Mom?”

Pardon, cowboy?

Bake them?

This is not to say that I am not a baker. I bake. Not too often, but me in my apron is not an unknown sight to my children.

What I realized, at this moment, was that my kids considered me to be the kind of mom who was perfectly capable of producing cookies on demand to brighten a rainy day.


What I realized, immediately thereafter, was that barring having the proper ingredients on hand, there was no reason why I couldn’t produce the requested cookies.

I dug through the pantry. Lo and behold, I had the needed items. Only enough shortening to do a half batch, but that would certainly satisfy my rugrats.

Not long after, I had this —

In part because of this —

Pay no attention to what’s behind that bag of chocolate bigger than my child’s head. It might be an antique radio. It might have a tape deck. Maybe. Maybe dual tape decks, because we’re just that cool and up-to-date on techno-gear! You’re jealous, I can tell. And not just of the giant bag of chocolate chips, I know. (Wink.)

Anyhow. Also to blame for those cookies is this, the holy grail of cookbooks —

And more specifically, this recipe for chocolate chip cookies. (To which we’ve deleted chopped nuts and added raisins and dried cranberries — yum!)

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (I always add a touch more)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (at least — but it’s your boat you’re floating!)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Heat oven to 375F. Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla (this cookbook apparently doesn’t believe in the Oxford Comma. We NEED the Oxford Comma. Hmff. Hereby abandoning “official” write up out of disgust.).

Toss in other ingredients and mix until your arm’s sore. Or it’s a sticky cookie-dough mess. Your call.

Use a teaspoon to dish cookie-sized lumps onto your ungreased baking sheet. Sometimes I line mine with parchment paper, which, despite Mr Lannis’ insistence, will not spontaneously ignite into flame in the oven unless it touches the element. Trust. (I’ve had plenty of parchment paper in the oven and nothing’s ever happened, except for that one time, hence I know about the element...)

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. They need a few seconds to set before you move them, and they taste much better when cooled — that’s not just burnt mouth talking.

According to the book, this recipe makes about seven dozen cookies, but apparently a hell of a lot fewer than that if you like big cookies or are prone to eating raw cookie dough. (Just assuming, here.)

Quick to make, quick to bake, and quick to eat, too, unless they’re also magical vanishing cookies...

Hm. Maybe it’ll rain today, too.

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