Cookies are one of the few things you can easily make with kids at pretty much any age. For the very little ones, you can let them measure and mix ingredients. Older kids can help break the eggs, whisk, and do other more sophisticated tasks.
The kids and I have been making quite a handful of cookies in the last few months. Our favorite is the chocolate chip oat cookie. I adapted the recipe from The Great Big Cookie Book (Hermes House, 1999), which I bought years ago when I was still in Hong Kong. It’s a humble-looking book and not written by any famous chef or food writer. But I found most of the recipes very reliable. While you won’t find any groundbreaking ideas, the basic, easy-to-follow recipes have become my go-to resource when I simply want to make some cookies with the boys.
I like the idea of adding the oats to the cookies, which gives it more crunch. I called it no-fail because the steps are really easy. I normally don’t use an electric mixer, especially when I’m making these with the kids. For them, a big part of the fun is being able to mix things together with their own hands — well, we actually use a fork or a whisk 🙂
Below is the original recipe from the book. I listed the adaptations I made in the notes that follow.
Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine*
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar*
- generous 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar*
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease 3-4 baking sheets*.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer*, cream together the butter or margarine and the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly blended. Stir in the rolled oats and chocolate chips. The dough should be crumbly. Drop heaped teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until just firm around the edge but still soft to the touch in the center. With a slotted spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.
- Every time we follow this recipe, we make about 2 dozen cookies, not 60 as suggested. I think if you do use an electric mixer, the dough would be fluffier and could yield more. Nonetheless, I would say our version still taste really good.
- Because of health and nutritional issues, I never use margarine, and I don’t recommend using margarine in any kind of cooking. It’s proven not to be the healthiest oil afterall.
- I normally cut down the amount of sugar by about 1/4 to 1/3 in most recipes, simply because I don’t like overly sweet sweets. I guess even after a decade of living here, I still manage to keep my Asian palette. For this recipe, I use a total of about 3/4 cups of sugars. You can adjust the amount according to your taste.
- I usually line my baking sheets with parchment paper, instead of greasing them.
- As I mentioned earlier, I only use a fork or a whisk to cream the butter and mix the ingredients. An electric mixer would probably work better.
Happy baking, everyone, and have a fabulous weekend!