One of my struggles as a Mama is giving my little guy a sweet treat from time to time. If he is getting a cookie, I prefer that is homemade by me. That way I know exactly what is in it! Of course, I try to be healthy, but I don't want to deny him completely. (We have all been there!) But I never want to fill his tiny frame with preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors and flavorings. I have worked so hard to build him up with the healthy foods in our household. Homemade is better than store bought every time!
When buying cookies or pre-packaged foods from the grocery store, consider the chemicals & preservatives which gives them such a long shelf life or funky colors. They have to make it all the way from whatever factory they are made in, travel on a truck to the supermarket, then sit on the shelf for who knows how long? I don't want to be feeding him a food that can stay "fresh" for two years. Is it really food after all? I would rather make my own batch of something that can only stay fresh for a week. That way I know the ingredients that went into it, and I have a better handle on the freshness, no preservatives, no artificial anything. Just real deal ingredients. Sure, it may still be sugar, but at least it is more pure than the store-bought cookies.
With all this being said, time is usually a factor for most of us, and for me included. How can Mommas find the time to bake in the first place? Newsflash, you won't. We are all given the same 24 hours a day to work with. Then how come I can bake and maybe you feel you can't? Well, YOU CAN, once you learn how to bake faster and more efficiently. What if I told you I only dirtied 2 bowls? Yup, 2! And I didn't need to scrub my baking sheets or cooling racks afterwards because they didn't even get dirty. TRUTH! Also, this batch made so many cookies I froze half of them, so next time I want a sweet treat I can just bust out the freezer batch. So many Mom Hacks in one recipe! Here we go!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
MOM HACK #1
Prepare 2 baking sheets with Reynolds Kitchen Parchment Paper
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1 cup butter softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
STOP HERE & mix these 3 ingredients in your Kitchen Aid, if you have one, or use an electric hand mixer. Once complete, move on to the next ingredients.
2 eggs: mix in one by one with the mixer
1 tsp vanilla: mix into batter with the mixer
In a separate bowl, stir together the following dry ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Give this a good stir with a fork, then slowly add it into your bowl above using the electric mixer of your choice. (This is why I love my Kitchen Aid because it is mostly hands free.)
Once mixed, slowly add in 3 cups of quick-cooking oats. Here is the fun part where you can throw in any add-ins that you like. For this recipe, I added 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. In the past I have added raisins, peanut butter, or walnuts. No need to measure on these. You can just go by whatever looks good to you!
MOM HACK #2
It would take forever to sit there & roll the dough into balls. Instead, grab your ice cream scooper & start-a-scooping!
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Spaced about an inch apart on your prepared baking sheet, so they have room to flatten out as they bake.
Bake for 8-10 mins depending on your oven. While they are baking, this is the perfect time to wash those two bowls you just dirtied. Run a tight kitchen and keep things moving, Momma!
Once you take them out of the oven, keep them on the baking sheet for an extra 5 minutes. This will allow them to continue to bake a teeny bit without burning the bottoms. They should be nice & puffy right about now.
MOM HACK #3
Now drag your parchment paper over to your cooling rack. Boom! These cookies can cool without touching the rack. And take a look, your baking sheets are clean! Whoo hoo! This is my little secret and they can go straight back into the cabinet. Time saver!
MOM HACK #4
This batch made so many cookies, like 30, it was way too much for my little family of three. So, I cut the batch in half and put some on a plate and the rest in a seal and zip bag for the freezer. But I put paper towels around them first, so my husband wouldn't see them in there. He loves frozen cookies! Next time I want some sweet treats for my family, and I don't feel like baking, I can bust out my freezer batch, provided I hid them well enough, and they are still in there. ;-) Happy Baking!
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