Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ella Makes Cookies

I've been meaning to make some chocolate chip cookies this week. I'm not sure why -- maybe just the whole "Back to School" thing inspired me. But, it's been far too hot and humid here to do it during the day. Last night Brett was pretty tired after the long week, and Ella was full of energy (shocker!). So, I decided to move the bundle of energy to the kitchen where she'd be less likely to completely exhaust Brett. I decided that we would try baking for the first time together. I figure she always wants to help her Dad with his it was about time she start learning to help me. What better way to encourage that then the fun "job" of making cookies. Of course, I made it easier on both of us by prepping everything before she came out to help. All she had to do was dump the stuff in the mixer and turn it on. Then, I did the scooping of the dough and baking.

I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that I got from my friend Amanda back during my first year of college. It's the famed "Neiman Marcus" cookie of urban legend. Supposedly some woman was eating lunch there after shopping and asked if she could have the recipe. Later she discovered that they had charged her credit card $250, so in revenge she sent it around the Internet for free. It's probably not true, but it is a good cookie. The version posted here is a half batch -- which is really a more normal sized batch. If you want a smaller batch, you can half what I've listed here -- that's what I usually do. The original calls for some grated Hershey Bar, but I don't bother with that since the chips are enough for me. Also, I usually add a little more vanilla than what it calls for -- can you have too much vanilla? My vanilla of choice is Watkins Vanilla and thanks to my Aunt Cass I'm stocked with it for quite some time. On a side note, Cass told me that my cousins did a taste test with Watkins and regular storebought vanilla with the same recipe. Apparently, they threw out the batch made without Watkins -- it makes that big of a difference. But, whatever you've got on hand will do. We've been gifted with Watkins for so long by dear Aunt Cass that our tastebuds might have become accustomed to it. Anyway, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy the recipe just like Ella did. This morning she said to me, "Mom, we did a great job making cookies."

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 60 cookies

2 1/2 cups oatmeal (I use old-fashioned oats)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
12-ounce bag of chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

1) Measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder. Set aside

2) In large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the two sugars.

3) Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.

4) Add blended oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well.

5) Add chocolate chips and optional nuts. Mix well.

6) Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack.

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