19 August 2009

A Monkey Makes Cookies

The monkeys have been learning to cook and bake this summer. Among other things, I taught the Goose to make her great-grandmother's spaghetti sauce and Tinker Bell to make her grandmother's meatloaf. I also let them experiment with box mixes. Now, you would be hard pressed to find a box mix of any kind in my kitchen before this summer, but it is a great way to get the girls starting baking. It's how I learned, after all. Tink makes the most amazing Chewy Bars from a Jiffy cake mix. (I'll have to post pictures of her making them!) The Goose has been making brownies from a box, but I found a recipe on another food blog, Life's Ambrosia, for making cookies out of a brownie mix. I was intrigued and the Goose said she would love to make them. What fun we had!! Okay, she was a little annoyed at me hanging over her shoulder taking pictures, but I'm that kind of mom. :)

You will need:
1 box fudge brownie mix
1 1/4 cup King Arthur flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter (Smart Balance), melted
2-4 T water
1 cup (or whole bag) of chocolate chunks

Put your brownie mix in a large bowl and add the brown sugar...

and the flour and mix together.

You need to add the eggs one at a time. Always break an egg into a small bowl before adding to your batters or mixes. This way you can check for shell or other anomalies. Our chickens lay perfect eggs, of course. :)

After the eggs, add the butter and start with just 2 T of water. I actually ended up needing to add 4.

At this point the batter is pretty stiff. You might have to help your monkey stir.

Now it's time for the chocolate chunks. The recipe calls for one cup, but Goose thought it would be more fun with the whole bag.

CAUTION: Monkeys have been known to steal chocolate! Keep your eyes on them at all times!!

Dang, I turned away for one second!

Stir in all the chocolate chunks that are left after the bowl is raided by monkeys.

Grease your cookie sheets with a bit of cooking spray. I use Smart Balance, of course.

Here's what I changed about Life's Ambrosia awesome recipe-- I lowered the oven temperature to 325 because I...well, I just never bake cookies at a higher temp. Probably doesn't make a hill of difference, but it's just what I do. We did not refrigerate the batter for two hours either. The starving monkeys were too impatient and I figured with the lower temp they would be chewy without chilling. And they were!

Goose put heaping soup spoons of dough on a standard size cookie sheet. She got 9 on each sheet. Press down on the cookies just a little bit. Don't flatten them, but just help them look more like cookies and less like balls. (hee hee)

Since I had the oven turned down a bit we had to bake them for 14 minutes instead of the recommended 8-10 at 350. Let them cook on the cookie sheets for two minutes so they will set. Then you won't be able to stop eating them!

Goose said, "the chunks melted and make the cookie creamy. The edges of the cookie are crisp like a cookie, but the middle is squishy and chewy like a brownie. And they smell like pure chocolate!"

Tink said, "heaven with a side of heaven."

So...a hit, I think! The cookies got that amazing brownie crust on top that is sooooo good. Try them today and head over to Life's Ambrosia and check our her great blog.

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