My sister took refuge in baking long before I joined her. While I retreated from our volatile family life with a book in hand, she baked. Chocolate chip cookies, dozens at a time, made in our grandmother’s no frills kitchen. And when my grandmother chirped “chocolate chip cookies again?!”, both a question and a criticism, she remained intent on producing another dozen of warm, gooey, crisp chocolate chip cookies. Unwavering and focused at just 10 years of age.
Flour, baking soda, salt set aside in a small, banged up metal bowl. Butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla mixed in a large, partially chipped glass bowl until fluffy, while a timeworn hand-held mixer rested on a white and gold-speckled Formica countertop. Ten year old hands eager to the add the chocolate chips and sample the raw dough.
She immersed herself in a simple formula, soothed by nearly the same, pleasing results every time. Her quiet, almost mechanical process allowed for an escape from our uncertain reality. Just three years her senior, I admired her peaceful focus from a distance, unable (or unwilling) to fully understand it. And though I enjoyed every sweet bite, dozens after dozens, I never asked “chocolate chip cookies again?” Unspoken air and a smile were enough.
Twenty-five years later and I bake for the same reasons she began baking: a refuge from that which we cannot control. I should thank her. And yet, once again, unspoken air and a smile seem to be enough.
Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies
A crisp and light chocolate chip cookie with the addition of a nut-free granola makes for a fun twist on a classic combo!
recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 2 dozen
3 cups of bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup or 2 sticks, unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, cold
1 tablespoon of milk (any kind)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 + 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup of granola (Your favorite recipe, store-bought or the recipe listed below)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Grab a medium bowl and whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it comes together as one. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat for an additional 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and 1 tablespoon of milk. Do not over mix! Stir in granola and chocolate chips. Place dough in an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375F. Scoop out a 1/4 cup of cookie dough with your hands and roughly shape it into a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch between each cookie. Continue with remaining dough. Bake until a light golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stored in an air-tight container will last up to 2 days. I think these cookies are best the day they are made. Serve with a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!
recipe adapted from Cookie + Kate’s Healthy Granola
makes about 6 cups
4 cups old fashion oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup millet, rinsed
1/2 wheat germ
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine, oats, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, millet and wheat germ. Add the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until every oat is covered in the oil and maple syrup.
Spread granola evenly across prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Allow the granola to cool completely, undisturbed, on the sheet pan. Break into chunks and store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
5 Bake Sale Hits You Should Check Out!
Looking for a gluten-free cookie option for your next bake-sale? Head to My Gluten-Free Kitchen for a chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe that will win the hearts of all kids.
Brownies are always a hit. Head to Alexandra’s Kitchen for Fine Cooking’s rich, fudgy brownies recipe.
Cupcakes make people smile. Head to Sweetest Kitchen for a chocolate cupcakes with fudge frosting recipe that is sure to pull in some fast cash!
Sugar cookie bars with lemon cream cheese frosting. Just make them. Head to Two Peas and Their Pod for the recipe.
Check out Baked By Rachel’s snickerdoodle blondie bars. They are on my must make list!