This time of the year, my grocery list expands with an added category, "Food to Bring Places". With three children, ages 7, 10 and 13, we have a very busy calendar and many opportunities to bring food to share. During the last week, this included:
Pasta Salad for a family picnic. Check.
Licorice for a Candy Party during Art (Seriously? A Candy Party? But this one was easy.) Check.
Frozen yogurt for a post-soccer treat. (I remember my days of playing soccer when cut up oranges were the standard treat.) Check.
Veggie Pizza for a Gymnastics potluck. Check.
Hummus and pita chips to a neighborhood bonfire. Check.
I silently cheer when I am assigned to bring a baked good to an event. Bars or cookies? Bring them on! Many times now, due to allergies, safety, and sanitation concerns, schools and other venues require baked goods to be store purchased and sealed. But whenever I have permission to bring a home-baked item, I go for it with gusto! Made-from-scratch baked goods always deliver a fresher flavor. They also tend to be more preservative -free. Plus, they are fun to make!
My ten-year-old daughter, McKenna, and her Girl Scout Troop are working on their baking badges. The girls planned a bake sale. (Yes, Girl Scouts sometimes sell cookies of the non-boxed variety.) We searched together for a suitable recipe and came to the conclusion that Cookie Jar Cookies are the perfect fit.
Cookie Jar Cookies are sturdy, flavorful cookies with an interesting texture. The ingredients are items that I normally have on hand: flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking soda, salt, rice cereal, coconut, quick-cooking oats and walnuts. Not everybody loves coconut, but my family sure does. Coconut makes me think of Hawaii. What’s not to like? Recipes, like this one, that contain oats just seem healthier. Using the crisp rice cereal helps me use up a box that my non-cereal eating kids have ignored for a few weeks.
McKenna and I got started. This recipe’s directions are simple and easy for a child to follow. She washed her hands while I pre-heated the oven to 350.
First, we set out all our ingredients.
We set aside the oats, rice cereal and coconut, because they don’t get stirred in until later.
Next, it was time to combine ingredients. The recipe calls for softened butter, so we set it on the counter about one hour in advance. McKenna measured each ingredient and added it to the mixing bowl. I notice that my kids have a better memory than me of how many cups of a particular ingredient they have added. I’m always asking myself, "Did I already dump two cups of flour or was that three?" Kids seem to mentally keep an accurate count! Here, McKenna added the flour.
The flour was followed by the butter, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Brown sugar is always a delight for kids to measure and pack. It reminds them of creating sand castles!
Now, it was time to crack an egg, another kid favorite. We have learned to always crack an egg into a small bowl to eliminate any potential shell pieces getting mixed into the recipe.
We chose not to add any nuts. McKenna mixed the dough on low-speed for about two minutes, scraping the bowl a few times.
When everything was mixed well, McKenna stirred in the crisp rice cereal, oats, and coconut.
We took a tablespoon and plopped the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets about two inches apart. McKenna even experimented with forming some of the dough into balls to see how they would come out. That’s part of the fun of baking! Twelve cookies fit onto each sheet.
Our cookies were ready after 13 minutes, but may take an additional 3 minutes to come out lightly browned.
The directions did not mention this, but we let them cool on the pan for 3 minutes before we transferred them to a wire rack.
This recipe yields 48 cookies, but I was pleased to get an additional 4 cookies.
The cookies were a success at the outdoor sale. They held up really well and received rave reviews. Many people commented on the fun texture. Even those non-coconut eaters did not seem to mind the addition of this ingredient. We will be traveling six hours to a family reunion this summer and Cookie Jar Cookies will definitely be a treat to bring along and share.
Give these Cookie Jar Cookies a try and makes sure to come back and rate and review the recipe.
Tami is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.