Sunday, July 13, 2014

Not cookies: The power of suggestion

Yesterday, at our friends' wedding, the wedding favors were gorgeous, custom decorated cookies wrapped in charming gift boxes.

The boys knew the drill and didn't pout to eat them, though M did ask if we could make some cookies at home later instead.

I will probably always say yes to that request.  I love when they want to solve a problem rather than just complain about it, so I try to support any realistic solutions they can come up with.

This afternoon, we settled in to make some "cookies". We didn't have any flour, butter or sugar, or even baking mix on hand (we still haven't gone grocery shopping since we came back from the beach), but I had a sneaky plan.  We mixed equal parts sunflower seed butter with ground sunflower seed "meal" an egg, a few spoonsful of cocoa, a sprinkle of baking powder and about a tablespoon of honey, then added a handful of mini chocolate chips.  (This is not a cookie recipe.  Follow at your own risk.)

We baked them like peanut butter cookies, and when they came out, they smelled, looked, and tasted exactly like warm, hardened sunflower seed butter.

I had warned the kids that we were making up our recipe as we went along and we couldn't be sure how it would turn out.  I even said if they weren't great we'd just try something else.  But there was no need.

They were completely hoodwinked.  They had absolutely no sense that these were not cookies.  I tried them: they were just sunflower seed butter and egg with a few chocolate chips every other bite. 

No matter!  They dunked them in milk, cheers-ed, and ate them with gusto.  They sighed and smiled. They experienced cookies in that moment, no matter what the recipe says. (I have to say, they had great cookie-like texture, held their shape, didn't crumble or puff up- they were nicely browned outside and just a little chewy in the middle.)

I don't have a thing against sweet treats now and then- not one thing.  But if my kids are every bit as happy eating warm seed butter dressed up as a cookie, then I'm going to go with that sometimes.  I can't speak for every kid, but as long as it's not actually foul, I think my kids like the cookie-ness of the cookie more than the actual taste.  I have seen the same thing with cake.

If I am making these myself next time I will leave out the honey and baking powder, since they were just for show anyway, to feel like we were really baking cookies.   This is the cheapest, easiest, quickest cookie "recipe" ever, not to mention being totally health-neutral, if not healthy. 

I would give them these cookies every day and not think twice about it, except that they ate the whole batch within 20 minutes!


  1. Your boys are such an inspiration. I love their solution for baking cookies and I'm impressed with your on the fly baking skills! (PS: I will totally try these when I have a home again...)

    1. Try at your own risk. They are pretty blah! ;)