I’m smack dab in the middle of doing report cards, and I just want a cookie.
I’m marking the last few straggling assignments. All the grades are entered in the grading system and effort codes have been added. Now that half of the job is done, I just have the last half to look forward to – comments. I thought I’d reward myself by taking a break and writing a post about what I really want to be doing – making cookies. I’ve also been calculating in my head just how much work I’ve done, how much I have left to do, and whether I was more efficient this round of report cards than last. I think the answer is that I get more efficient with each round. I get better at time management, better at purposeful assessment and evaluation, and feel more comfortable with the entire process.This is the same thing I’d say for my cookie-making skills.
Report cards are not my favorite part of my job – not going to lie. Now cookie making, I really like that. This round of report cards, I’ve been all about finding comfort in Chocolate Chip Cookies. I like them soft, chewy, chocolatey, not too big, and warm. I also like a glass of milk or a hot chocolate to go with them. I’ve made this recipe so many times now, I can almost make them off the top of my head. Just like report cards, the formula is the same and I get better at making them every time I try. Unlike report cards, the process of making cookies isn’t long or difficult. Once I decide on making cookies, I can have them within 20 minutes. Report cards will always take much longer than that.
I wish I could have one of these cookies now. They’re not in my future though, at least not today. I’m out of chocolate chips – the key ingredient! If I’d been prepared for this moment, I’d have frozen dough in the freezer just for this kind of emergency. Alas, I used that emergency dough last weekend when I needed cookies immediately. Then on Friday, I used the last of my chocolate chip supply to make cookies during that report-card induced craving.
Amidst my report cards, I offer you this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you feel like your cookies never turn out, being the teacher that I am, I have found a link to help you improve your technique. Check out The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie – they have recipes, variations, and a trouble-shooting section to help you solve common problems. May your cookie report card now look like this: an A+ on your cookie-making skills, an Excellent for your positive attitude and participation in the kitchen, and have shown improvement in technique since the last time you made cookies. And since I need to include 2 comments for every student, I encourage you to take risks in your cookie making. Try new variations, get creative. Most importantly, make lots of cookies, share with your friends, and eat lots of them too. Enjoy!
Lactose-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen 3″ round cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 10 minutes for each dozen
1 cup lactose-free butter or vegan margarine
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (most semi-sweet chocolate is already lactose-free)
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F with rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a slipat. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter or margarine with the paddle attachment.
3. Add both the white and brown sugars. Cream for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the beat well after each egg.
5. Add the vanilla and blend.
6. In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
7. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until all flour is incorporated.
8. Add the chocolate chips and mix just until they’re spread evenly throughout the dough. If the dough at this point is very soft, put in the fridge until firm – about 30 minutes.
9. Using a 1 tbsp or a small ice cream scoop, drop cookies on to the lined baking sheets. Using a measuring utensil here will help you make cookies that are more uniform. Make the cookies as big or as little as you like.
10. Bake cookies for about 8 – 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack – if you can wait!
Note: Cooking time will vary for a number of reasons – smaller cookies take less time than larger cookies. I’ve also found that lactose-free margarine causes baking to take longer to cook. Always watch your cookies, and take them out when you feel they’re done. A timer doesn’t always have the right answer!
(Adapted from my boyfriend’s personal recipe collection book, and I don’t know where he got it.)