Considering I am not one for baking cookies, I am on quite a roll these days. Truth being, the not-so-satisfactory outcome of the last oatmeal cookies I made kept nagging me and is probably why I bought a can of rolled oats at the supermarket the other day.
My daughter is home with a yet unidentified fever this week. On Monday, when she started pestering me non-stop to watch cartoons (her daily TV allowance had been reached and the TV was promptly switched off) and I found my 20-month son standing on the living room table grinning at me, I realized I had to come up with an idea, and quick. I suggested baking cookies together. My daughter started jumping up and down chanting "cookies! cookies! cookies!" and I walked off to the kitchen, satisfied to have found a nice way to spend that endless hour stretching ahead of us before dinner time when the kids are especially cranky. I took out the ingredients we needed, helped my son pull the stool up to the counter and answered several questions about oats. Just when I thought we were getting to the fun part, my daughter politely asked if she could go play because she was tired and her arm was hurting from mixing. When I enthusiastically told her it was time to roll up our sleeves and start using our hands, she in so many words said she was annoiata, bored. I told her she was free to go, trying not show my disappointment. My son, as always, readily followed her out of the kitchen (this was probably a good thing since he had been reaching for the discarded egg shells and kept trying to stick his fingers in the bowl while the electric mixer was on).
So there I was, alone in the kitchen, flour everywhere, rolling the batter into balls, putting in and pulling out tray after tray of cookies. The kids were squeeling in the other room, wrestling on the floor and having the time of their lives. I still had dinner to cook, laundry to sort and endless toys to pick up between one batch and the next. Why did I get myself into this on a Monday evening? Story of my life!
I read all these blogs where moms write about their children helping them prepare each and every meal, about kids who actually ask their parents if they can make up a recipe and cook dinner for the family. Many children even have their own cooking blogs.
Now, I consider my children pretty adventurous eaters. If you ask my five-year old what her favorite food is she will say sushi. When she was 18 months old she had a wasabi pea phase. When we eat fish we usually fight over the cheeks and we always share the oysters and tail of a roast chicken. My son will stuff his face with just about anything, from rabbit meat to olives. It may sound very "foodie" and cool to write this, but let's be honest, I don't for a second kid myself that my children can already tell the cheek and oyster of the animal they are eating apart from the rest of the meat. They are simply emulating and yeah, they probably have more of chance of becoming gluttons growing up with us than other kids. In our home the rule is to taste everything and to never say food is "yucky". I never cater to my children, unless it involves reducing the heat factor. But my ceviche-eating daughter will sometimes (and lately more often than not) make us sit hours at the table to eat something as unadventurous as string beans and tears easily flow when I present her with the most classic roasted carrots, which she used to gobble up in a second. My son the-vacum-cleaner will inhale a whole bowl of fancy pasta in an instant, chew happily and then discard perfectly round peas one after the other, that he stores in his cheeks just long enough to make me do a mental victory dance. Most of the time my daughter does not eat my baked goods, like I have mentioned many times before, and we have rarely gotten through a whole cooking session together.
So c'mon, how many of you out there really have children who cook gourmet food, eat every plant (after the ager of 1 or 2) that grows on the face of a planet and have blogs before they can read and write?
I made these cookies alone but everyone is eating them, even my daughter.
Ingredients1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, soft
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 1/2 cups rolled whole oats
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla at medium speed until well-combined and creamy. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Add in chocolate chips and walnuts and mix some more. Fold in the oats. Spoon approximately 1.5-inch balls onto a tray that you will have previously lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. I took mine out after barely 10 minutes because I wanted them to stay a little chewy. Let cool.