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
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!
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.