How embarrassing is it, when you write a blog with the work “baking” in it, and your son’s idea of baking cookies is to break apart grocery-store premade dough, put it on a baking sheet in the oven, and, voila, chocolate chip cookies? That was Carter’s plan when he woke me up at 7 a.m. to get Santa’s snack ready. (He never, ever sleeps in on weekends. And he never, ever wakes up Daddy.)
I have fought off my cookie-baking phobia (remember the chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies) in the past, and on Christmas Eve, I was determined that the cookies were going to be homemade. It was the only option anyway, since I had no premade dough on hand. We made blondies. Yes, I took a shortcut opting for bar cookies and skipping doling out dough. Worse, though, I planned to cut them into squares. Carter saw that as an attempt to thwart his next notion about making cookies: once, you actually make the dough, cookie cutters follow.
Fortunately, the dough was soft enough that he could cut out a stocking, a gingerbread man (always seems sexist to say that, but “person” just doesn’t seem the same), a star, a tree, and a squiggly circle, the last compliments of his PlayDoh set. All for Santa Claus.
Tonight, Carter was following Santa’s progression online. When Santa got closer to California, Carter popped out of bed to remind me to pour milk for Santa. We had enough trimmings and squares to nibble on with Grandpa and Aunt Janet, and to share with neighbors. So to all, it was a good night. Hope yours was, too.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4–1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Melt butter and pour into a separate mixing bowl. Add sugar to butter and whisk to blend. Whisk in eggs one at a time and then vanilla. Add flour mixture in several small batches until incorporated.
Spread batter in baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake until the edges are browning and a tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 25–30 minutes. Be careful not to overbake. Cool and cut into squares or use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
Kid tip: To grease the pan, Carter likes to “paint” the butter on with a silicone pastry brush, which may appeal to other kids.
Adapted from Epicurious Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate Chips