When my kids were small we used to read a book called A Difficult Day.
Written by one of our favourites, Eugenie Fernandes, it was the story of a little girl who just couldn’t seem to get anything right. She got in trouble at school, ended up in the mud, and sassed her mom. Upset, she hid under her bed, sure nobody loved her anymore. Her mother, unbeknownst to the girl, was feeling sorry that they’d quarrelled and that her sweetie was having such a difficult day. So she baked cookies and brought them up to her room. But the girl was nowhere to be found (because she was hiding under the bed, of course!) Frantic, the mother searched everywhere, eventually finding her and crawling in with her, where they shared a snuggle and a cookie.
This was the book my kids wanted to hear when they had a difficult day too. It reminded them that no matter what, they always had their mama to come home to, and that affection and a hug (and a cookie made with love) could make even the bleakest situation just a little bit better.
The other day was such a day. My youngest son had a rough morning. I woke up to him and his Dad quarrelling in the kitchen. Which was a disaster, when I made it downstairs. He spilled egg everywhere, cut his finger, and was running late. He couldn’t find his socks. Nothing was going his way.
It was a difficult day.
Since he’s too old for picture books, I sent him a text. Cupcakes or cookies? We went with cookies. These are our absolute favourite chocolate chip cookies. In fact, I’d hazard to say they’re the ultimate cookie. Baked just right and chock full of every kind of chip in the aisle, they beat store bought and are comparable to bakery made (if I don’t say so myself…) But you decide for yourself and let me know. Are they not completely addictive?
The best part? EASY. 10 minutes of prep.
Note: they’re adapted from the recipe on the back of President’s Choice Decadent Dark Chocolate Chips. Which I eat by the handful when nobody is looking.
The BEST AS-MANY-CHIPS-AS-YOU-CAN-STUFF Chocolate Chip Cookies
What You’ll Need:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into quarters
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 heaping tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups mixed baking chips (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, skor bits, mini m & ms, whatever you like, really)
What You’ll Do:
Prepare 3 baking sheets. If non-stick, don’t do anything. If they’re all cruddy like mine, line with parchment. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Blend the rolled oats in a processor or blender until they’re almost as fine as flour
Cream the butter and two sugars in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until they’re nice and fluffy. Add the eggs one-by-one, beating between. Add the vanilla, and mix to combine well.
In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to mix. Add to the butter mixture about 1 cup at a time, blending on low-ish speed (say 2 or 3 on the stand mixer) in between additions. Scrape down the sides if necessary. Dough will be thick and luscious looking. Add the chips 1/2 cup at a time just stirring in between to combine.
Take the bowl off mixer and use a wooden spoon to quickly mix and make sure there isn’t a pile of chips lurking on the bottom.
Using clean hands, roll about 1/4 cup of cookie dough into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet and press down till it’s a disk (this gets the melty action on it’s way). Your sheet should fit 12 cookies easily. Alternately, make smaller cookies or giant cookies, following the same process. Just make sure there’s about an inch between each cookie.
Place in preheated oven. AND DON’T GO ANYWHERE. Your cookies will take about 10-12 minutes to bake and you need to pull them out at the critical time so they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. But how do you know? They’ll just start to turn golden. Sort of sunkissed even. If they start to get dark around the edges, then they’ll be hard when they cool. Don’t worry, they’ll still taste as good crunchy, but my fam jam likes ’em soft. Start checking them at the 9 minute mark
Remove from oven when they’re JUST done (which might mean looking a bit underdone to a neophyte). Let sit on the cookie sheet for about 3-4 minutes, then using a spatula, remove to a cooling rack.