I have recently tried to encourage Ben to behave at school by promising we’ll bake something yummy (or if I feel lazy buy him a hot wheel) every weekend if he has kept his golden time safe at school. At the end of the week year one gets 1/2 hour free play (golden time) but can have time removed as a punishment, I’m not sold on the advantage of punishing a child on Friday for something he did on Monday but am doing my bit to support the teachers through bribery.
An unexpected advantage has been that my periodic baking of muffins has resulted in the freezer being stocked with treats I can defrost in the microwave or bung in Ben’s lunchbox avoiding the hysteria when I discover there are no treats in the house to put in the box. Initially Ben had asked for smarties cookies and as my freezer was stripped of treats I agreed we’d try to bake cookies.
In the past my cookies have not so much expanded as much as exploded into a solid baking sheet of cookie so I agreed with some trepidation. I looked at various recipes and decided kitchen monsters recipe looked both child friendly and idiot proof. I didn’t have smarties but had a couple of bags of cheapo chocolate chips (if I cook for adults I use green and blacks, the kids are interested in quantity not quality so they get what ever is cheapest in the shops!) and some cheapo cocoa powder so I adapted the recipe to make triple chocolate monster cookies.
Normally my rule for cocoa is that you can substitute cocoa for up to half the flour but need to throw in baking powder if it was self raising flour, given my previous disasters I ignored my own rule.
225g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
Handful of chocolate chips
Handful of white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 180 and line 2 baking trays.
2. Throw everything apart from the chips in the bowl (letting the kids try cocoa powder off my finger was a good learning experience for what “bitter” means and both boys practiced numbers and mental arithmetic with the digital scales).
3. Mix, my proper whisk was MIA so I put the whisk attachment onto the hand held soup / blending stick. Nothing happened. It’s been a while but I had never seen such a stiff mixture, maybe the flour was too cold but all the stick did was sweet Fanny Adams so it was back to elbow grease. When I’d done the bulk of the work the kids tried to move the spoon in the mixture – learning what “too bloody stiff” meant.
4. Add the chips, stir as best as you can.
5. Use a tablespoon to fling large wodges onto the sheet. Given my paranoia of spreading, I just made 12 over the two trays. Apply children’s faces to the leftover batter in the bowl and on the spoon.
6. Bake for 14 minutes. They didn’t spread much (maybe because I hadn’t flattened them, maybe because I didn’t add baking soda or maybe the flour was acting up) but they didn’t seem any the worse for it. If you want the half cooked American style cookies you could cut the cooking time a few minutes.
Taste testers have given this the thumbs up. In theory cookies can freeze so hopefully I’ll be restocking my treat bag in the freezer if they don’t eat them all! They’re quite firm (proper chocolate cookies rather than soggy ones) so I think they’ll freeze well.