Mia loves pouring and stirring the ingredients, and I'm getting a little better about letting her do it without stepping in to lessen the risk of messes. If I bite my lip really hard and squint, I can make it through without panicking.
One thing Mia's getting better about is the mixer. She used to run into her bedroom to hide from the growling machine, but now she can sit right next to it. It's all about baby steps.
She definitely didn't mind pouring the chocolate chips in. Nor was she too timid to sneak several bites while distracting me with her smile.
Mixing the chips in is always the most exciting part...we're so close to the yummy finish line!
Lauren didn't get to help much with the actual preparation, but she pulled a stool up in front of the oven window to keep a close eye on the baking. Both girls camped out there for a good bit of time, making sure nothing untoward was allowed to happen.
It's like they thought mama would sneak the cookies right past them, into her own hungry mouth.
But I'd never do such a sneaky thing.
That's what post-bedtime baking is for.
Heavenly Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 C rolled oats, regular or quick (Secret ingredient alert!)
2 1/4 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C butter, softened
3/4 C brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 C milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet, but milk chocolate is our favorite)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a food processor, pulse oats until finely ground -- this is the most important step, in my opinion. The ground oats really seem to make for a chewier cookie. Combine ground oats, flour, baking soda, and salt, whisking to blend; set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Cover your ears if needed, to protect your delicate sense of hearing. Add vanilla and eggs, beating until fluffy. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and blend until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips, popping several into your mouth before mixing the rest well. This is why a whole 3 cups is needed: we steal a bunch before they ever make it into the dough.
Onto the baking sheet, measure 1/4 cup for each cookie, leaving about 2 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake for approximately 14 - 16 minutes, until lightly browned. I frequently make these in much smaller, toddler-friendly sizes. If you do, adjust the cooking time down by as much as 8 minutes -- just keep an eye (or four) on them. Do not overbake. Immediately transfer to a wire rack for cooling. Try to keep the little hands away until the cookies are safely cooled. This will prove to be difficult, but worth the effort.