Hi, Elizabeth here. Happy Valentine’s Day! We don’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day in our house, but we do give the girls each a small gift. Valentine’s Day is a nice opportunity to establish some family traditions. And it gives us an opportunity to pause and remind our children (and ourselves) what we cherish about them and to think about what they love about themselves, their friends, and their families.
I usually bake something with Caroline and Ellie. Last year, we made heart-shaped rhubarb turnovers. Those were a big hit! (We'll make them again sometime and post about them). We don't wait for holidays to come around to have sweets or to bake. It's important to me to raise my daughters to be conscious, competent eaters. Part of this involves being able to navigate baked goods, chips, candy, and other similar foods. If we only give our children cookies on special occasions, our children can't learn to regulate themselves around these types of foods. We put our children at risk of over eating the cookies when they do get them, or sneaking them all because they don't know when they'll get cookies again. Instead, if we offer foods like cookies more regularly, we make these foods neutral. When the food isn't built up to be something super exciting, it allows children to pay attention to their own internal hunger and satiety cues.
Valentine's Day Cookies
This past weekend we were invited to friends for dinner. They asked us to bring dessert. Saturdays are typically pretty busy with activities and errands, so the day called for baking something simple. The host said she might make ice cream with her kids if she had time. What goes well with ice cream? You guessed it; we made cookies. We were going to Ellie’s friend’s house for dinner, so Ellie helped me decide what we'd take: chocolate chip cookies. Since it was a few days before Valentine’s Day, we decided it would be fun to use the pink, red, and white M&M’s you find this time of year instead of chocolate chips. My favorite chocolate chips, by the way, are Ghirardelli semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips. But use your own favorite if you already have one! Both girls helped me bake the cookies and they were a hit. Luckily there were some leftovers! We enjoyed them throughout the week. Sometimes I put leftover cookies in a ziplock bag and freeze them for later.
Over the years I've made so many different versions of the chocolate chip cookies. I personally like a chocolate chip cookie that is a little crisp on the outside and chewy inside. I also prefer them not too sweet, so I tend to use bittersweet chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. This recipe is adapted from Emily Luchetti’s chocolate chip recipe in Star's Desserts.
Cut your butter into large pieces and place in the bowl of your mixer. Use the paddle attachment.
After you cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together, turn off your mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl.
Next, add the eggs and mix on medium-low to combine. Stop the mixer once the ingredients are combined and scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl again.
Measure dry ingredients into a bowl. Gently whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
I like to mix the M&M's in by hand so they don't get crushed. If you like them broken up, use the mixer on medium low to mix in the candy.
I tend to use parchment paper on a half sheet pan for baking cookies. Then I don't have as much to wash afterward. I also like to use a medium ice cream/or cookie dough scoop to form the cookie dough.
Gently, slightly press down on each ball of cookie dough. You just want to flatten them slightly.
What do you make for Valentine's Day? I'd love to hear if you make these cookies!
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Valentine Confetti Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-11.4 oz bag of M&M's
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.Cut butter into large pieces and place in the bowl of your electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment and cream the butter on medium for 3-4 minutes until it's light and fluffy.
- Add both sugars and the vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until combined. Then beat on medium high for 3-4 minutes. While the butter and sugars are mixing, measure the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Gently whisk dry ingredients to combine and set aside.
- Turn your mixer off and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add both eggs and mix on medium until combined. Turn off the mixer again and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl once more.
- Add the dry ingredients and turn the mixer back on to medium low and mix until just combined. Turn of your mixer and remove the bowl from the stand. Now add your m and m's and mix by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. I like to use a medium ice cream/cookie dough scoop. Place the the cookie dough a few inches apart and gently, slightly press each ball down with the palm of your hand.
- Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until they are beginning to brown a little. Remove from oven and allow them to cool a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
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