Alex finally went back to school today, and I'll probably send Julia back tomorrow. They're both still congested, with some coughing and sneezing, but if I keep them home til that's gone, they won't be going back to school til July. They need a change of scenery. And I need a bit of silence.
But today Julia and I were home together. And at some point, when she had opened Alex's magic kit and was whining that SHE had wanted a magic kit for Christmas last year and NO ONE GOT HER ONE and she REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVES MAGIC (all this is news to me), I asked if she wanted to help make cookies. After all, baking is a sort of magic, right? Right!
But first I had her wash her hands really well. Because, you know, she's five, and she's been sick, coughing and sneezing and sort of blowing her nose correctly, but, like I said, she's five, and I don't need any additional ingredients in the cookies I'm baking, you know?
After she'd scrubbed, I made sure she was suited up properly.
Anyway, once Julia was thoroughly disinfected and masked, we headed into the dining room to dig through the Halloween candy. For snacks? No, for the cookies.
I figured it would be fun (and required, food/mommy blogger that I am) to make some sort of cookies using up some of the Halloween candy. Susan and her adorable son, Seven, made brownies with some of their candy, but I wanted to make cookies. Alex has been asking for cookies with M&Ms in them for a while now, and I figured, in addition to M&Ms, I could add lots of other bits of chocolatey goodness.
I put a cup of all-purpose flour, a cup of whole wheat flour, and 3 cups of old-fashioned oats in the food processor…added half a teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of baking soda…and processed for maybe a minute. I didn't pulverize the oats entirely, I just chopped them up a bit.
I put two sticks of unsalted butter in the bowl of the larger mixer and beat that til it was creamy, then I added a cup each of white sugar and light brown sugar and mixed it all together until it was creamy.
By this time, Julia had finished unwrapping the candy.
Here's the candy:
I added my dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the bowl, and combined them until the flour was just incorporated.
I chopped, and Julia put the pieces in the bowl.
We diced there wasn't enough candy for the amount of cookie dough, so I sent Julia on a reconnaissance mission. She returned with more candy, and after one more trip to the other room (where the candy was), we had the right amount.
I mixed the candy into the dough with a very sturdy rubber spatula, and Julia made faces at me.
But I digress.
We chilled the dough for about an hour and then – very simply – took small chunks of dough, pressed them gently into little balls, and placed them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
That's a technical term. Melty-looking.
I baked off a few dozen of these – the rest of the dough is in the fridge. I will probably put that in the freezer, unless the remaining cookies disappear by tomorrow. I don't think they will – the kids are asleep and Bill doesn't seem to be in a cookie-devouring mood.
Julia was so-so about them. She's kind of funny about cookies. I never know what will appeal to her and what won't.
Alex sucked down three in about half a minute when he got home from school and would have had more if I wasn't such a tough, strict parent. I knew he would like these, once he got over his indignation about our pilfering of his candy.
Bill liked them, as well. I think he only had two, though. With maturity comes restraint.
And oh, yes, I tried the cookies, too, and I was pretty happy with them.
I'm glad I included the oatmeal. (I decided to put oatmeal and whole wheat flour in the cookies to balance out all the candy I knew I'd be using. You know, so they'd be HEALTHY.) I almost chopped up some walnuts to throw in as well, but there were nuts in come of the candy bars, so I figured I'd save the walnuts for something else.
Next I'll have to use up some of the other candy – the fruity stuff.
But for now, everyone here seems pretty happy (so-so is close enough) with the cookies.