Friday, March 25, 2011

Deliciousness With A Three Year Old

Little hands, helping me pour flour into the mixing bowl. A little voice asking 17 times if he can stir next. Cracking eggs into the bowl, and me fishing out all the tiny pieces of shell he gets in the dough. A scoop of raisins and a handful of pecans. All the perfect ingredients to make the best oatmeal cookies...ever.
My little Benji loves cookies. "Tookies", as he calls them, and begs me to make them almost everyday. He usually wants to "holp", too. Many times I sigh with impatience and just want to whip them up and get the mess cleaned up. But this time, I remembered my wish to spend some time with these little ones. So, we washed his hands, and pulled a chair up, close to the counter. He helped me measure and pour. He scooped oatmeal, dumping more on the counter than in the bowl. He packed brown sugar, and then licked his hand, compelling me to wash them once more. He cracked eggs all over the counter, and got shells in the dough. He smelled the vanilla, getting some on his nose. He ate as many raisins as we put in, and then, he leaned over to me, kissed me on the shoulder and said "Mama, you are the sweet cooker lady." And I melted into the floor and vowed to make cookies with him everyday until I died.

Here is a recipe for the Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ever, minus the Benjamin germs:

3 Eggs - beaten                     1 tsp. salt
1 Cup raisins                         1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Cup craisins                       2 tsp. baking soda
1 Cup chopped dates            1 tsp. orange zest (super important!)
1 Cup butter                         1 Tbls. good vanilla
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup chopped pecans
1 Cup sugar
2 1/2 Cups flour
2 Cups rolled oats

As usual, mix all your wet ingredients, and then all your dry, and add to the wet. Add the fruits and nuts at the end. Scoop into large 1 Tablespoon scoops, Bake @ 350degrees for 10-12 minutes. You won't be sorry. You will wonder where these cookies have been all your life.
Of course, feel free to switch up the pecans for walnuts and leave out the craisins or dates or both, but don't - really! The craisins give a little tartness, and the dates just give a nice sweet chewiness.  I have also done just craisins and white chocolate chips in this cookie - yummy!
These cookies are lovely - my grandmother, who is an oatmeal raisin cookie connoisseur, loved them!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies - as seen in the photo:(mine) and adapted from a recipe in  Inn Good Taste by George and Katie Hoy from the Inn at Brandywine Falls.
2 Cups butter                           5 Cups pulverized oatmeal (stick it in a food processor)
2 Cups sugar                            1 tsp. salt
2 Cups brown sugar                 2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs                                      24 oz. chocolate chips
2 tsps. vanilla                            1 finely grated 7 oz. Hershey bar
2 cups flour                              3 Cups chopped walnuts ( I used pecans - walnuts=blech)
Cream together the butter and sugars, add in the rest of the wet. Mix the dry together in another bowl, and then slowly add to the wet, mixing as you go. Mix in nuts and chocolate. Shape dough into golf ball size, Squish slightly, place on cookie sheet and bake @350 for 8 minutes. Don't over bake!
I don't make them sooo big, I use a large scoop instead. And this is a HUGE recipe! If you normally double or triple, don't bother, you will have plenty!

Silly Benny
This little Benjamin (who graces the top of my blog as a newborn) doesn't ask for anything (yet), but a story read, or to bake some "tookies". He can be challenging, and even a little mean sometimes, but if you sit with him, cuddle him for a bit, he is just pure love. He still says things like "tootsie wootsies" but tells me he is not "wittle" he is big! His favorite game in the world, which we have been playing since he was just a tiny little guy, is the "sleeping game". He climbs up in my lap, and we both pretend to sleep, fake snoring away. One of us will yell "Wake Up!"and the other will pretend to be startled from sleep. Then we say "Oh, sorry! Go back to sleep!" and play it over and over again. This game is played everyday. It's the silliest thing, but he just loves it. I can't remember if I played it with other babies, or if it is just our special thing.

My Benjamin also loves to play "Benny Sandwich". Anytime he sees his daddy and me hugging, he comes up and tries to get between us. We pick him up, and squish him between us, both kissing his little cheeks. He loves being our Benny sandwich, but pretends to be very annoyed. It's not hard to spend time with this guy, and he's pretty easy on the eyes. But I need to remember that he needs these early experiences, too. Baking, going to the store, helping dad with little jobs. Just because we have done them with the older kids, doesn't mean we can forget them with these little guys. So, we bake, we play, and we even venture into stores, the library, the zoo, the park. Make a memory or two, and never pass up the opportunity to spend a little time.


  1. oh my gosh, so very cute! I love little moments like that..

  2. Hi,
    I am a new follower from the Friday hop. You have a beautiful family, God has truly blessed you.
    I hope you have a wonderful Sunday,


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