When we go visit “the family” in Airdrie, Alberta, I always pack with me a cookbook that I haven’t had time to read, and new recipes that I have clipped and need to try out on discerning, fussy kin (grandkids and kids). Experiments, here I come. Some of the meals were a bust because of the texture, a different spice, and a new vegetable! So when the 7-year-old complained that there were no cookies in the house, mmmmm, that brought back memories with the same comment from his Dad when he was that age. So, we went to action stations and, for the next four days after school, myself and my kitchen lackeys (and non-stop samplers) spent time learning how to make cookies, and making ones that were healthy, and of course, not so healthy. The fun parts for a 7- and 4-year -old were breaking the eggs, using the mixer, and then using their hands for mixing and rolling the dough into balls (and tasting dough of course). The best part were the smiles of the two boys when the cookies came out of the oven and they had to taste test them. (after the ongoing tasting there were not a lot left.)
My smile was for their future empowerment in cooking and eating real food.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe was day one of our cookie baking marathon. You have to use butter and the extra egg yolk to keep the cookie textures soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but are still just as good cooled or coming from the freezer.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled until just warm
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside
3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.
4. Use a small scoop for measuring and roll the dough into a ball (this was the best part, I had two extra set of hands rolling the dough). Place the rolled dough balls on the prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly with a fork.
5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, and the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies , eat at once or put them in the freezer for Christmas.
*You can switch them up by adding 1 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut and 1 cup toasted sliced almonds with the chips, or substitute1/2 cup white chocolate chips for 1/2 cup of the semi-sweet. Add 1 cup chopped pecans.
Lemony Whole Roasted Cauliflower
This was one of the recipes that was a hit. Maybe it had to do with the extra hands that smeared the sauce all over the cauliflower! Make extra sauce because the thicker the better (more flavour and a crispy crust).
1 head cauliflower, outer leaves trimmed (size depends on how many people you are feeding)
2 Tbsp olive oil or sunflower seed oil
2 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Add cauliflower to glass or ceramic baking dish that will fit the size of your cauliflower.
In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, maple syrup and salt. Rub evenly over cauliflower.
Bake 40 minutes to 1 hour, until cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with parsley. Slice into wedges and serve.