I know there are a million recipes for cookies on the internet but this is a little different so hang with me on this….. You see a really good homemade cookie can connect you with your child like nothing else in the World! I am going to give you a super easy and flexible recipe that any Dad (or Mom) can make, freeze and make again later when needed.
So let’s start with the Why first! My kids love a good cookie not because they knew the difference when growing up between an Oreo and homemade. They know the difference because they now understand that when I make them a cookie its MORE then the cookie. Sure they are delicious and smell incredible but they also make a connection between myself and my daughters. As parents we all have those feelings of knowing when your child might be happy, sad or depressed just by our superpowers of intuition. With one of my daughters dealing with high anxiety issues, this simple fact of picking her up from school with a warm cookie says “I love you”, “I care”, “I am here for you” and more. She will open up talking about her day and share other deeper issues (that you sensed) might be bothering her in general. I did this exact thing last week and the first thing she said was “Thanks Dad….I needed this.” To most people they think whatever right? But for us parents…..that is Gold! We struck through all the barriers and from this minute on we then have a real conversation.
So let me give you a quick recipe that is easy and flexible. And flexible meaning you can change or add basically anything you want.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened) – regular butter will work too
- 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk only
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (always have in kitchen)
- 1 cup old-fashion rolled oats (think Quaker Oats)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (always have in fridge)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Flexible adds: Chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, pecans, walnuts, M&M’s, broken pretzel pieces OR whatever else you want.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- Grab a large bowl or stand up mixer and beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk along with vanilla and beat it all together.
- Now add the flour, oats, salt and baking soda and then cinnamon . Last this is the Flexible part: Add 16 oz chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips or pecans or walnuts or broken up pretzels or M&M’s……whatever you basically want. Mix it up until well blended.
- Now….IMPORTANT….I do not make the cookies right away after mixing the dough. I also don’t make all the cookies at once or else I will eat them all! If you are going to make the cookies that day, cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator for at minimum 30 minutes. I find a cold dough forms and cooks more evenly without them flattening out.
- To make the dough balls, I will use a teaspoon to scoop and then form with my hands and put on cookie sheet. Left over dough I will do the same thing except then will put in a zip lock bag and place in the freezer. Now you have cookie dough ready anytime needed.
- Bake cookies on a cookie pan with a silpat cookie liner. (They are in most grocery stores) If no silpat then you can use parchment paper too. Bake 11-15 minutes depending on your oven. Note my kids like them just a little doughy in the middle so I will pull them out when browning and let them sit on the pan to cook for a couple more minutes. Experiment and figure out what works best for you.
- Sprinkle a little sea salt on top for texture and slight salty crunch.
So there you go…. cookies equal your child’s love! Well…..I am stretching that a bit but you will be on your way to at minimum showing your love while hoping to break down the barriers to a good conversation with your child. I think today I will pull out two dough balls from the freezer and make each of my daughters a cookie for after school. I know when I pick up my 12 year old after cross country practice she will let out a sign of relief and give me a smile.