Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Someone's in the Kitchen with Mommy

I enlisted HRH's assistance in making cookies today.  Now that I made a new batch of peanut butter, I need to use it.  So what could be better than peanut butter cookies?  There is something nostalgic about those little fork-squished cookies, and they sounded darn good to me this morning.
But how to make them slightly better for me.  Now, don't get me wrong - when I want a cookie, I still want to know that I'm eating a treat (if it were meant to be really healthy, it would be called broccoli).  But that doesn't mean I can't make it slightly better.
Enter whole wheat peanut butter cookies.  What I like about this recipe is that it is not really much removed from a "traditional" recipe save for the whole wheat.  I used real butter; I have this thing about using substitutes.  But since I was using homemade peanut butter and homemade vanilla, a lot of the garbage that might be found in even a homemade cookie using traditional store-bought ingredients was still absent.
That being said, HRH is remarkably suspicious of anything that is good for her (unless it's fruit - she does love fruit).  So I had to make it a little sexier to the toddler palate.  And what better to do that than chocolate chips?  I mean, come on - peanut butter, chocolate... match made in heaven.  I will note that I did NOT measure them out; I just dumped "a fair few" into a bowl to use.
Before I even asked her if she wanted to help, I measured out and prepped all the ingredients (while she, oblivious, watched an episode of Dora the Explorer).

Then, I asked her if she wanted to help Mommy make cookies; she sprinted right over and climbed up the step-stool, ready to take charge.
Now, while HRH does love to "help" and be with me as much as she possibly can, she isn't really inclined to listen to directions.  And, at only 2, she still needs plenty of guidance, so I had her help me hold/pour everything that I had in the little bowls.  In spite of her attention to the project, and my attention to her, she still managed to swipe plenty of the mini chocolate chips.
She dumped the sugar, poured in the egg and vanilla, and watched intently as I scraped in the peanut butter (I turned off the mixer just in case little fingers got curious).

Once the flour was mixed in, the chocolate chips were added.  One by one.  Not my preferred method, but it worked for her.

The best part, however, was when I showed her how to use the fork tines to create the ubiquitous criss-cross pattern on the top of the cookies that I had shaped into little balls.  HRH giggled the entire time we smushed the cookies into shape and was thoroughly disappointed when the last cookie had been flattened.

The recipe calls to leave the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes, but since my oven appears to be a speed demon, I only set 12 minutes on the timer, and that seemed to work well.

Uh-oh!  One of these things is not like the other...

Quality control piece

Did you know that your stand mixer can double as
a barrier between your coonhound and your cookies?
Alas, thus far she isn't fond of them, but considering that the last time I made muffins, she wanted nothing to do with them until there were about 2 left, I'll keep working on her.  Not that she needs to eat more cookies, but I just want her to try new things.  Today it's a cookie, but tomorrow, it might be calamari.

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