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Cooking with kids: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

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The July 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine shared a story about twin sisters who decided to start a home business after viewing a TV special about child entrepreneurs.

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When daughter Emily asked her mother, Alison, if kids could really start their own business, she told the reporter she responded to this effect, “… sure, but rather than make money for herself, I suggested she and her twin sister, Amy, do something for others. They might want to think about the families in the homeless shelters where the girls donated toys and books they collected at their birthday party every year.”

That summer the 7-year-old twins attended a week-long cooking camp in their Cincinnati hometown. The day they returned home with the dry ingredients for oatmeal cookies provided the impetus for the idea of giving departing shelter families a jar of cookie mix so they could inaugurate their new home by baking cookies together.

Alison and her twins perfected a dry recipe for their favorite cookie – oatmeal chocolate chip – that fit into quart-size Mason jars. The “Bake Me Home Tote Bag Program” was launched in 2008.

The tote bag contains more than cookie mix, however. Each bag also includes kitchen utensils, toothpaste, toothbrushes and a $10 grocery store gift card so the family can purchase butter and eggs.

The program continues to grow and now works out of its own building, complete with offices, conference rooms and a kitchen. The girls have also added Picture Me Home, Bake Me Back Home and Bake It Forward Programs.

To learn more about the “Bake Me Home Tote Bag Program” or to make a donation, visit bakemehome.org. Meanwhile, why not whip up a batch of Amy and Emma’s signature Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. This recipe yields 24 delicious cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal (quick oats)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup Nestlė® semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together with a large spoon.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough (2 tablespoons per cookie) onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. (The twins recommend using non-insulated cooking sheets.)
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before moving cookies to a cooling rack.