Girls just want to have cookies

“Mom, since we don’t have school tomorrow, can I make cookies? All by myself?”

That was the question my daughter asked me Thursday evening. She had asked a few days before, too, but I always managed to successfully change the subject.

My girls is 11-years-old and completely capable of making cookies by herself. I was baking cookies and cakes and brownies at her age — I was probably even younger. I didn’t have any safety concerns, but cleanliness concerns.

As I’ve stated many times, I am neat. Very neat. My kitchen is spotless and the best way for me to keep it that way is to keep my family out of it. They can make their breakfasts and lunches just fine, but anything involving multiple bowls and measuring cups makes me tense. I imagine clouds of flour and smoking hand mixers.

The smoking hand mixer thing actually happened. Ask my husband. (In his defense, it was probably time for a new one, but this explains why he’s scared to even look at the Kitchen Aid Mixer.)

That being said, I know I need to let go and let my kids use the kitchen. How else will they survive college? Especially when one of my kids refuses to eat cereal?

My daughter poured over several cookie cookbooks Friday morning, finally choosing Midnight Cookies as her inaugural cookie recipe. Aside from a mix-up with the butter, which led to us doubling the recipe to save it (“I have to use math making cookies?!?” she cried), I think the cookies turned out pretty well. We all ate more than we should, which is always a good sign. The kitchen was messy, but not horribly so. My girl cleaned what she could and my husband, bless him, washed the bowls and cookie sheets while I was at the grocery store.

He’s still making up for that mixer incident.


  • 9 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in the flour, cocoa and baking soda, and beat until well mixed.

With dampened hands, roll walnut-size pieces of the dough into smooth balls. Place of baking sheets, spaced well apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.


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