Friday, November 30, 2012

Melting Chocolate Chips / 3X Chocolate Cookies

We had quite the surprise Thanksgiving morning. We'd just finished cleaning up the Thanksgiving breakfast dishes (turkey sausage, turkey bacon, pumpkin pancakes and all the fixin's) when there was a jolly "Ho Ho Ho" at the door. In came Saint Nick complete with bells and a red sack over his shoulder. 

My kids' eyes about popped out of their head. 
What made it even better was that Santa gave me a huge hug and said, "Good to see you, Chrissy." 
I think Rub was about to have a heart attack. 
As Santa moved on to greet the rest of the family, Rub cupped his hand around his mouth and whispered, "Santa knows your name!"

"Of course he does. I was on the Really Good List."

The kids each got a turn on Santa's lap. 
Here is my cousins' youngest daughter deciding if she likes him or not.

We sang Jingle Bells complete with jingle bells from Santa's sack. 

Then Santa sat down and read the kids a story about a grumpy Santa Clause who has a bad day at work. 

Click here to purchase your own copy.

Are You Grumpy, Santa? by Spiridellis, Gregg; Spiridellis, Evan published by Hyperion Paperback

!!!Spoiler Alert!!!
At the end of the story Santa's grumpy state is turned around by a thoughtful plate of cookies and a note of love and thanks. 


Since we haven't picked the cookies we will be leaving out on Christmas Eve, the kids and I have been testing new recipes. Here's one we particularly liked that is stuffed full of chocolate. Be sure and read all the way through for the bonus tip at the end. We happen to think Santa is a bit of a chocoholic around here. Well, maybe more Mrs. Clause than Santa himself.

This is a fantastic recipe to teach kids how to melt chocolate chips in the microwave. I was working with Roo, who is 4, so she and I talked about textures as we worked. 

"Is it lumpy or smooth?"
"Then we need to cook it a little longer."
"Is it lumpy or smooth?"
"How can you tell?"
"I don't see any bumps."
"Let's put it in the dough."

If I was working with my older kids, I would work on using the defrost setting for the microwave and programming in different cook times. 

Click here to print this recipe.

3X Chocolate Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies

1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, sugar and brown sugar.
3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
4. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
5. Put the butterscotch chips and the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Use the defrost setting to melt the chips and butter for one minute. 
6. Stir the butterscotch chips. If they aren't melted all the way then place them back in the microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir again. Continue cooking them at 15 second intervals until they are smooth.
7. Add the melted chips to the batter and mix well.

8. In a small bowl, mix together the semisweet chips and the white chips.

9. Shape the batter into rounded tablespoons and press the top of them into the chips.

10. Place the cookie dough balls evenly apart on a cookie sheet.

11. Cook for 8-11 minutes.

 What started out as a moment to cool off... 

...quickly became an opportunity for three kids.

BONUS: How do you tell if a chocolate cookie is cooked through? Use a hot pad to lift the pan out of the oven and smack it on the counter. If the cookies fall, they are done. If they stay puffy then they need more time.

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