I always have–can’t help myself. So of course I let my kids have one small spoonful also. And I usually let them have 2-5 chocolate chips if we are baking with those. It dawns on me while Sammy and I are baking today–her first time really baking–that duh of course they enjoy baking. It is one big sweets fest. I turned away for a minute and found Sammy stealing handfuls (yikes!) of the brown sugar, loudly proclaiming “I LIKE brown sugar!” I have been massively cutting down on this (Alex has started thinking she needs to repeatedly sample all baking ingredients–NOT that I ever let either of them steal handfuls–that was a new one and trust Sammy to manage it), but it suddenly occurred to me just how much of a bribe it was. Come enjoy Mommy’s great hobby–you get to eat chocolate and sugar!
Anyway now that you all think I am Mom Of The Year, I’ll share another story related to today’s treat in which I don’t look so good. Do those of you with 2 toddlers close in age have this problem? Alex has been “helping” me bake since she was about 2. She is now quite proficient at those tasks which she has been allowed to do for a while and improving at some new ones. However, given her interest, I have found it very difficult to have Sammy help too. Sammy is definitely interested, but she is naturally slower at everything (having never done it before and being a over a year younger which is eons to a toddler) and even when I have them take turns the outcome is that Sammy does very little and then it is Alex’s turn again. Plus, since Alex has done it all before, she understands, at least a little, each step, whereas Sammy has no idea what I am doing. I’ve been feeling badly about this for a while.
So today when John decided to run errands I asked him if he could please take Alex with him. I think I have been a… hard mommy lately anyway because my entire being feels drained over losing Loki. So I thought maybe some one-on-one time with either of my kids might be good for all involved. And everyone knows that small children are balm for a bruised heart.
Both kids received Sesame Street cookbooks for Christmas from my parents. I forget who received which, but they have the snack book and the cookie book. Sammy in particular loves looking at cookbooks. If I let her she would remove my entire collection for browsing. I had purchased some Valentine’s Day M&Ms in anticipation of using them with the cookie book, so Sammy and I set out looking for a recipe. I was thinking oats, since I think oats work well with M&Ms; I have never liked M&Ms in regular chocolate chip cookies–something about their texture jolts me, kind of like nuts, and I don’t usually care for either. But I thought it might be different in a chewy oat-based bar.
And I was right. These were a pleasant surprise. I was not sure what to expect from a Sesame Street cookbook, but these are very tasty. Chewy with a hint of crispness from the M&Ms. As a matter of fact, next time I think I would use all M&Ms.
1 cup (126 g) AP flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 T water
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups total of chocolate chips, chunks and/or M&Ms
Preheat the oven to 375 F with a rack placed in the center. Grease and then line with parchment paper a 9 inch square baking pan. The grease will help the parchment paper stay down.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat the sugar and butter until creamy (it will not get fluffy). Add the egg, water and vanilla and then beat until well blended.
Add the oats and the flour mixture and stir in. Add 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks, chips or M&Ms into the batter and mix in. Do not over-mix. Spread the batter–it will be stiff–into the prepared baking pan with a spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks, chips or M&Ms.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.