I promised that I’d be posting recipes this week that you can make with your kids during the Hanukkah vacation, and nothing much beats baking cookies. Whether it’s making the batter or shaping the dough on the tray, there’s always lots for young hands to do.
Here’s a recipe I’ve been making for years. I’ve always made these cookies with chocolate chips. Recently I made them with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and they were terrific. And while cookie recipes generally insist on butter, and I DO like making them with butter, these work perfectly well with margarine so can also be parev.
I always freeze them after I’ve baked them so that they get a little chewy. So even if I am serving them the same day, I pop them in the freezer for a couple of hours after they’ve cooled down to get that chewiness in them.
Without further ado…
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup soft butter/margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
1½ cups oatmeal ground up (I use the quick cook Quaker oatmeal so I don’t grind them as they’re quite soft)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
150 g (5 oz) chocolate chips/white chocolate chips
1½ cups walnuts chopped (I chop them finely in a food processor. You can also take half a cup and chop them coarsely by hand if you want to feel the nuts in the cookie)
1 cup dried cranberries (optional, use with white chocolate chips) You can also use raisins.
How to do it
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
2. In a mixer, mix the butter, sugars and vanilla until smooth and creamy
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition
4. Add the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix till combined (the mixture should be quite stiff)
5. Fold in chocolate chips, nuts (and cranberries)
6. Place about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie 3 cm (1 inch) apart on a baking tray line with baking paper (do not grease)
7. Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies start to get light brown in color (remember that when you take the trays out of the oven and let the cookies cool, they continue to bake on the hot tray). Note: Because most ovens don’t cook completely evenly, I suggest checking the cookies halfway through the baking process and if you see that they are coloring unevenly (e.g., darker in the back) then turn the trays around.
8. Cool for a few minutes on the tray and with a spatula, remove the cookies and allow to cool completely on a drying rack.
9. When the cookies are completely cool, store in airtight containers and place in the freezer. (I always do this if I want a slightly chewy cookie, even if it’s just for an hour. When you leave them out without freezing, they will get crunchy, so if you want them to be crunchy and not chewy, don’t freeze.)
Green note: When I put a second batch in, I flip the baking paper over and use the other side. It works perfectly and is another small way to be less wasteful.