24 February 2015

Can I lick the spoon NOW?

Early last week, I decided it was time for another baking lesson with the boy and he'd been begging to make cookies. He requested we make a new recipe for peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.  Today was the perfect day because he finished his homeschool work with zero drama, did great on his test prep booklet and has been really well-behaved and mellow the past few days, so baking time was well deserved.

With every kitchen experience, we work on new things. Today, it was knife skills (chopping peanuts with a 10" chef's knife) and working with a hot oven (putting the cookie sheets in the oven) as well as refreshers on proper measuring of baked goods, the importance of thorough mixing without over-mixing and the importance of size consistency to avoid over/under-baking. We first gathered our ingredients, bowls and utensils and it was time to go! He has a bit of a hard time with the heavy hand mixer, so we took turns, but you can do this with a stand mixer, hand mixer or even by hand for a nice workout. And I lost count of how many times he asked to lick the spoon/beaters/spatula before we were finished mixing and baking, but "it was worth waiting for it!" to get the spoon in the end.

These cookies, with their delicate touch of chocolatey nut spread and creamy peanut butter, have a lovely texture of lightly crisp on the outside and chewy gooey on the inside. While very enjoyable on their own,  they're "super duper" with an ice cold glass of organic whole milk, or a warm treat or coffee of hot chocolate!

For your baking pleasure, here now is a fabulous recipe to make with your own kids. Of course, if you want to get the dough made on your own and have the kids help with scooping, it's a perfect job for little ones. Enjoy the making, the baking and especially the eating!

Westley's Wacky Cookies
Oven at 350ยบ

In a small bowl, whisk together:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt 

In a large mixing bowl, cream together:

2 sticks softened unsalted butter
⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
⅔ cup cocoa nut spread (Trader Joe's, Nutella, Hershey's, any of these will work)

Once butters are creamed together, 

add and mix well:
2 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Carefully mix dry ingredients into the butter mixture until everything is well incorporated. 

With a wooden/sturdy mixing spoon or silicone spatula, mix in:

1 cup chopped salted peanuts
2 cups extra dark chocolate chips (or any chocolate chunks of your choice) 

Once mix-ins are...mixed, scoop dough into about 2 tbsp mounds onto an un-greased cookie sheet (or use a cookie dough scoop) leaving a 2" between cookies and bake for 10-12 minutes. Leave baked cookies on the sheet for 2-3 minutes before moving on to cooling rack for full cool down. 

This recipe makes about 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on your scoop size. 

Westley and I hope you love making and eating these delectable treats as much we do!