The Magic of One

Baking is a favorite Sturday afternoon activity. It's a great treat, especially on days when the kids have had a strenuous morning (in our case, swimming or park time.) Today, we cooked up cookies, with a bit of a short-bread taste. The following recipe has an elegance to it, that comes from the uniformity of the ingredients we use. It comes from memories of baking with my own mom, as well as various other sources (I'm sure you'd find many online recipes that look a little like this one.) It's just something I cook up with my kids almost instinctively.

Simple Cookies
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 egg
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 tea spoon strawberry essence
1 half-teaspoon salt
(All about the number 1, see?!)

  • If you're working with multiple kids, make sure that they know ahead of time what their roles are. In my case, D is in charge of the "wet" ingredients (eggs, sugar and butter batter), and K in charge of the dry ones. They also know that they need my help when using the hand-held beater. Have them choose their favorite decorations, etc., to build the anticipation
  • In a glass bowl, beat the butter, sugar and essence together till crumbly, then add the egg and beat till smooth. I love my little Cuisinart 9-speed hand-held beater
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together
  • Mix the dry ingredients (second bullet) into the wet (first bullet above), a spoon at a time, beating all the time
  • Start pre-heating the oven to 350°
  • Spoon the batter onto baking sheets, a table-spoon of batter should get you a nice-sized cookie. Leave at least a half-inch around all sides of each dollop, since the batter will spread out as it cooks. I tend to use Reynolds wrap on the baking sheet since that makes it much easier to clean up, and you don't need to butter the baking sheet
  • An optional step is to have the kids add in their decorations. D uses her dragon sprinkles, and K uses his rainbow sprinkles
  • Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, till they get to be a nice golder-brown. Take them out, and pop them off the sheets to serve!

You should have about 20 cookies (depends on how big the dollops are - ours are never uniform!) It's loads of fun, and if you draw out the prep time, you can make this into a 1 hour activity. If in a rush, it won't take more than 20 minutes of mommy cooking time!