Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kindergarten Cookies


Yesterday was Reese’s first day of kindergarten! I wanted to have some nice, warm cookies waiting for him when he got home, so I got started on one of my favorite cookie recipes. But when I went to my baking pantry, I found it bare. You see, while my mom was here visiting we baked up a storm. I think we made a treat just about every day! And I haven’t been to the grocery yet to replenish my cupboards. I was out of EVERYTHING, which, if you know my ingredient hoarding habits is really saying a lot! I don’t feel safe unless I have a stockpile of chocolate and baking stuff. I was out of powdered sugar, Pam, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, almonds, yeast. . . the list goes on and on! I’m going to have to raid the entire baking aisle when I finally get to the store!


So, since I was out of pretty much all the extras that go into these cookies (and only barely had enough of the base ingredients!), I’m going to rename them Kindergarten Cookies. That’s the great thing about this recipe, it’s wonderfully adaptable. You could also call them Kitchen Sink Cookies! The original recipe (which came from a Diane Mott Davidson murder mystery) calls for dried tart cherries, almonds and two kinds of chocolate. (And it is divine.)  I used cranberries, walnuts, a scant bit of semi-sweet that I had left, bits and bobs of dark and milk chocolate bars I had lying around, and white chocolate, and they were just wonderful!


Also, this recipe makes about a bazillion cookies. It calls for 3 pounds of extras aside from the base batter itself! So it’s a great recipe to portion half of it out and freeze the little balls of unbaked dough because you’ll still end up with 3 dozen or so freshly baked cookies. Then, anytime you want a snack you can pop however many you want out onto a baking sheet, bake ‘em up and have warm, gooey cookies with no effort!



Kindergarten Cookies

Adapted from Chocolate Coma Cookies in Diane Mott Davidson’s Tough Cookie

(The original ingredients are in parentheses)

1 cup walnuts, chopped (1 cup blanched silvered almonds)

4 oz. white chocolate (4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (Godiva Dark, Lindt bittersweet))

1 cup dried cranberries (1 cup dried tart cherries)

 12 oz. assorted bits and bobs of dark, milk and semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips)

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ lb. unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract




Preheat oven to 350.

Chop chocolate into small chunks and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine dried fruit, chocolate, nuts, and oats, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In your mixer’s bowl, beat butter until creamy.

Add sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.

Add the flour mixture, and beat at low speed until well combined.

Add chocolate mixture. Mix on low until incorporated.

Drop in 1 tablespoon balls on baking sheet, about 12 per sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes* or until cookies have set and are slightly flattened and light brown. Cool on sheet for 2 min, then transfer to rack.


*Note: I like to bake my cookies for about 10 minutes or until they are juuuuust set and let them finish on the hot sheet out of the oven. I think it makes them softer and chewier, but feel free bake them all in one go if that’s not how you like them!




P.S. Do you read Diane Mott Davidson? I love her mystery series! There are 15 books in all and of course, I have all of them.  It’s about a caterer in Colorado who solves local crimes, while cooking up a storm! And the books all have recipes in them. I need to try more of them out, the ones I have done are ALL keepers! I really should have mentioned them at the beginning of the season because they make great summer reading!


P.S.S. Yum. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! Yum!


Carol said...

Lucky Reese!

Crystal said...

Nicely done with the picture tease! By the end of the post my mouth was watering! Yummy!

Elz said...

Hope Reese had a fabulous day! What a wonderful treat to come home to.

Emily said...

Hi! great to find another fan of Diane Mott Davidson!

You can find me baking from her books here: