Friday, August 28, 2009
"I want to cook."
Yesterday Addy and I spent the day here at home with her cousin. He'll be three in a few months. After nap as we are just getting ourselves together and planning the rest of the afternoon I ask them what they want to do. After a few suggestions from me, Braden adamantly announces he wants to cook. Well good. We'll cook then. I give him a few choices of what we could make based on the ingredients available. He picks chocolate chip cookies. Now I do feel somewhat guilty about making such a sweet project but ultimately the kids like baking and there are plenty of steps for turn taking and ingredients for tasting, touching, and smelling.
It took me a while after moving here to find a recipe that didn't fall flat. For me the "tried and true" recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag just couldn't handle the altitude. The recipe below is a based mostly on the recipe on the shortening container. I don't like to use a lot of shortening for health and flavor reasons but I think it makes the cookies stay a nicer shape and texture. There is more flour in my version than the original version. I find that I need it unless I want a really flat cookie.
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
preheat convection oven to 350 or regular oven to 375
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBLS vanilla
2 TBLS milk
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (substitute part of this with nuts if you like them)
Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream together the butter and shortening. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and milk and beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips/nuts. Bake for 8 minutes for a chewy cookie and 10 for a crunchy cookie. Keep the dough in the fridge in between pans. This way it stays firmer and it isn't so tempting to eat as when it is just sitting on the counter.
The kids really got into taking turns yesterday as well as smelling and touching each ingredient. We also compared the different sizes of measuring spoons and how much of each ingredient we needed. We touched on science concepts as they watched the lumps of dough melt into cookie shapes in the oven. We had fruit and yogurt for snack and then a cookie for dessert. Each kid was happy with just one cookie so I think it really was the process more than the product that Braden was asking for.