What’s your favorite sugary thing, Vinny?” Isla asked me one day at the cottage.
“That’s a tough one, Honey,” I said, scratching my head. “I try not to cook with sugar, remember?”
“Sugar’s in everything!” Isla’s brother Will said. “It gives us ENERGY,” he proclaimed, pumping the air with his fist.
“True,” said Vinny. “Sugar is the molecule the body breaks down to make energy. What I try to avoid is adding refined sugar. Too much of it does us damage.”
But sugar is Will’s favorite food group. When he can get away with it, he eats his meat smothered in catsup, where sugar sits atop the ingredient list. He eats his pancakes swimming in maple syrup. He likes his veggies dipped in honey. Will is sugar’s biggest fan.
“Well, my favorite sugary thing is Will’s own cookie-candy,” said Isla, tired of waiting for me to answer. “He invented it himself. It . Is . Awesome!”
“Will! You’ve invented a recipe? Do tell,” I said.
“Well, it all started at the beginning of a regular batch of chocolate chip cookies, like, literally, the first step,” Will explained. “The recipe said to melt a 1/2 cup butter, but I thought we needed MORE! So I melted one cup and poured it onto the sugar with the egg and everything.”
“A few minutes later when the batter had finished (and was taste-tested delicious), I decided it was ready to go in the oven. It looked slightly darker than usual (but only I noticed that),” Will continued.
“About 10 minutes later the cookies were ready, except, where the cookies were supposed to be, all that there was… was a sheet of candy! Thus I created the wonderful invention that most of you won’t have had the privilege to taste yet. I call it Cookie-Candy. And now, you can make it for yourself!”
“So… butter is your secret ingredient?” I asked.
“Precisely!” said Will. “Just use double the butter as in a regular recipe for chocolate chip cookies and you get… yummmm… cookie-candy!”
- 3 ounces (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg (omega-3 if possible)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (real if possible)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the butter into pieces. Heat the butter gently in a glass dish in the microwave oven until it has just melted (about 30 seconds on power level 6). Stir the lumps until they dissolve or heat another 30 seconds on power level 6 and stir again.
- Combine the sugars in a mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter on top and stir with wooden spoon.
- Mix the egg with the vanilla in a small bowl, then stir it into the butter mixture.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, then stir them into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto the lined cookie sheets, leaving a small space between. These cookies spread, but for cookie candy it’s best when they connect into one huge baked sheet of goodness.
- Using oven gloves, put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the dough turns golden brown.
- Using oven gloves, remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookie-candy cool. After a minute or two, cut the cookie-candy into squares and let cool completely. Then lift the squares off the sheets and store in an airtight container.
But is it healthy?
Getting kids interested in cooking is the first step to healthy eating. This recipe is big on sugar, refined white flour, and saturated fat. So it tastes sweet and crunchy. But Will made it himself, with his own twist.
I think I can work with this to get Will thinking about a few issues. And maybe together we can morph cookie-candy a little closer toward healthy eating.
Stay tuned next week for our conversation about the hard-working Mr. Pancreas. In the meantime, Will and Isla are happy.
“What are you humming, Will?” I asked.
“I don’t know Vinny, just whatever was in my mind.”
“I think it was from Frozen,” Isla suggested.
“Arg, Noooo,” Will hollered with his hands over his ears. “If it was, I didn’t like it!!!”