cafe mama's kitchen

inconvenient eating

children, eat these cookies

An oatmeal chocolate chip cookie for breakfast can, has, will be a source of guilt. When I was a teenager, we ate the enormous chocolate chip cookies the high school cafeteria served, with a never-big-enough dollop of soft-serve ice cream, for lunch. If we were lucky, they hadn't been baked quite long enough and were so gooey you could practically taste the separate elements -- white sugar, shortening, gloriously soft white flour -- with every spoonful. In my twenties, I put away childish things, I went healthy: oatmeal, of course, would set me aright. If there were raisins, too, it was practically a four-course meal. How many cookies have I eaten for breakfast? The number is unknowable.

chocolate chips in their cookie dough

I cannot say that I have never opened the door to my messy home, struggled with tangled hair and last night's tomato sauce-stained shirts, found socks (somehow, always-paired socks a quest for a heroine braver far than me), tied or velcro-ed shoes, pull squirm lose temper take breath and no you don't need mittens!, remembered (somehow) my wallet, my coffee thermos, done breakfast coffee shop-style. Cookies bigger than any of our hands, wrapped in the most efficient bit of plastic wrap, one-dollar-seventy-five apiece.

The coffee shop closed in December, pulling my crutch out from under me, painfully. Since then, I've been perfecting (if you could even call it that) this, a whole grain almost sugar-free chocolate chip cookie about which you can nag your children, a chocolate chip cookie that the neighbor kids will make disappear if you let them and your husband (in his far too severe-these-days spurts of kitchen purging) will throw away, thinking them too messy to be edible. They are; they're not. They're delicious and good for you and you must eat them with one hand underneath to catch the crumbs.

truman always wants to help with the cinnamon

We put cinnamon, in them, too, just because Truman likes to have one ingredient that's wholly his. You understand.

one. Cream six ounces of butter (3/4 cup), two ounces of coconut oil (about 1/4 cup, or a little more), 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice or similar rough-hewn organic sugar, and three ounces honey (or 1/3 cup). Cream it good. Use all your armstrength.

two. Two eggs. You know what to do: mix them in, one at a time, until they're good and integrated.

three. We'll need a little more than three cups of wholegrainy stuff here. What I usually do: 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour; 3/4 cup rye or barley or spelt (rye is the family face); and 3/4 cup oat flour. We don't buy oat flour, so the thick-cut rolled oats get whizzed in the coffee grinder until they're powdery. If there's a little coffee bean residue, great. I pour all this over the butter mixture, sprinkling over a few teaspoons of baking powder, a half-teaspoon of sea salt, and whatever spices the boys insist upon. One-half to one teaspoon cinnamon; a few shavings of nutmeg; a pinch of cloves if I'm feeling (the boys say it) epic. Spicy.

four. First using fingers or a fork to mix the spices, salt and soda into the dry ingredients, mix the butter mixture with the flour mixture using a wooden spoon until well-combined. Don't beat it vigorously, now, it really doesn't need all that.

five. Turn the oven on about now, to 375 degrees. You have chocolate chips, right? We always keep malt-sweetened chocolate chips from the co-op in the cupboard. We don't measure: a cup or a cup-and-a-half will do. Mix gently, then start taking big gobs of cookie dough, handfuls really, until your mother tells you with all the calmness she can muster that it's enough.

six. Turn in big spoonfuls -- flattening a bit into nice cookie-shaped disks with your fingertips -- onto cookie sheets. Bake, watching carefully, 7-10 minutes, until turning brown on the edges. They'll need to stay on the pan a bit to rest before you eat them, to reduce the crumbliness a bit.

08 july . 2011 . comments

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