Friday, September 5, 2008

Minnie Chip Cookies

Cooking with your kids can be hard to get into, especially when they're really small. Minnie is 4 and while she loves to be in the kitchen with me, she can also be an underfoot, danger-to-herself, mess-making pain. However, I have great memories of cooking with my Mom, Grandma and Papa and, as I've gotten older, family recipes and meals are part of the glue that sometimes keeps us together. The kitchen can span some pretty wide gaps in age, personality and culture - even within a family. We've all got to eat!

As difficult as it can be to cook with little kids, they are learning valuable things from it. They gain an appreciation for homemade food, they can count out measures of ingredients (fractions are great for older kids) and they gain a sense of accomplishment when they get to eat what they've made by hand. So even when she's underfoot, I try to have the patience to let her help and contribute.

This is my daughter's own recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Like everything else she does, there is a little something special that makes them unique.

Minnie Chip Cookies...
1/3 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate MnM's
1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 Tbsp rainbow sprinkles

Have Mom cream shortening, butter and sugars together. Crush eggs over bowl, remove bits of shell, add vanilla. Have Mom mix well. Stir in flour, salt and soda (add the last 3/4 cup flour slowly, depending on your altitude and humidity, you might not need it all). Wipe or sweep up all the extra sugar and flour that you may have scattered about.
Measure out your favorite cookie bits (MnM's, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts, raisins, craisins, coconut, candy bits, chocolate chunks, dried cherries, etc...) and mix into dough. Use small measuring cups (1/4 or 1/8 cups) so that they're easy to handle and you get to measure and pour many times. Roll cookies into loose 2-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

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