Tuesday, August 28, 2018

S'Mores Chocolate Chip Cookies

While Emma and Matthew are in Montana with their grandparents, I had the pleasure of spending the entire week focusing on Lucy and Daniel. With Matthew and Emma not around to fill the silence with their endless chatter, things have been much more quiet and a bit more peaceful. Lucy does seem to miss her older siblings but simultaneously is enjoying getting all the attention to herself. As I mentioned earlier, the main focus of the week has been potty training and, overall, things are going really well! Lucy has taken full advantage of the fact her parents are so desperate to get her out of diapers that they are fully open to any bribery necessary to make it happen. As a result, Lucy has been showered with all the sugar, sweets, and ice cream she wants each and every time she successfully uses the bathroom. In fact, whenever she has to go, she normally stands in the middle of the room, in her underwear, and declares loudly: "I need to go pee on the potty right now. And after I pee....I am going to get an ice cream cone." And, of course, since we are beyond desperate to only have one kid in diapers, Paul and I have to acquiesce to her requests.

In addition to dishing out endless amounts of sugar, we also took both Lucy and Daniel to the movie theater to watch Christopher Robin. It was so much fun taking Lucy - she is still mostly unspoiled and so fun to treat! She got a kick out of having the entire movie theater basically to ourselves. We went to one of those nicer theaters that are super clean and have large, reclining seats which made the whole experience very enjoyable because we could cuddle comfortably with the kiddos during the entire film. We made sure to also get Lucy a very large popcorn and an even larger cup full of root beer, the latter of which made us very nervous that a certain type of accident might occur. Thankfully, it didn't and we all enjoyed the movie - it was such a great, family-friendly film with a wonderful message. Go see it with your little ones!

Lucy and I also made cookies together to get ready for the school year. I find it very useful to make a huge batch of cookies that I can freeze and use for school lunches - or work lunches for Paul -  over the coming weeks. It also gives me an opportunity to eat a ridiculous amount of cookie dough while I test out a never-before-tried recipe. Lucy, like her sister Emma, also relishes any opportunity to eat butter by the spoonful. During the execution of this particular cookie recipe, I'm certain Lucy ate her weight in the raw dough since I entrusted her with scooping the cookie dough at one point as I straightened up the kitchen. Ten minutes later, the kitchen was sparkling and Lucy had yet to scoop a single mound of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. However, she was licking her chops and telling me how "Deeeeelicious!" it tasted. After that, I fired her.

But Lucy's right! The raw cookie dough for these S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies was delicious but the BAKED version is even better. Chewy, thick, full of chocolate and marshmallow bits, and boasting a delectable graham cracker flavor...these are the cookies of which dreams are made. Dorky, but true. This recipe is going into my regular cookie rotation!

S'Mores Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Note: I found the marshmallow bits at Target for a little over a dollar. Check the Target website for local availability as well as for information about where in the actual store it is located. Otherwise, they can also be ordered from Amazon. Regular marshmallows will NOT work. Thankfully, this recipe is worth the hunt! Also, as always, at altitudes above 5500 feet, cut the baking soda in half for higher-rising cookies!

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup (7.5 ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour (see note)
1 cup (4.5 ounces) graham cracker crumbs (about 9 rectangle crackers crushed)
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup (1.75 ounces) miniature marshmallow bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, add the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix together until very light and creamy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until evenly combined.

Add the flour and graham cracker crumbs and mix until just barely combined.

Add the chocolate chips or chunks and marshmallow bits and mix until incorporated.

Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing at least 2-inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until just golden on the edges and a little crackly on top. Let the cookies sit for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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