Today we kicked off our level one cooking group for 4-H. We had 8 kids that came. Most of them have been coming for a few years--so they know how things work!! I can pretty easily handle them all by myself now. Maybe I am getting better at multitasking and thinking!! Or maybe they are just getting older!! At any rate, it ran quite smoothly today!
We had 4 girls and 4 boys. Usually I break them into 2-3 groups, depending on what we are making. Today, I just needed two groups. Typically, I mix up the genders--boys do NOT do well in groups by themselves--it's the whole attention span thing--or lack there of!!
But today I was in a good mood-and they PROMISED that they would mind well if they could do boys vs. girls. So we did. Even Cami got to help a little. We used to make our own snacks before we cooked--but with the 4 day school week and a longer school day, that means that we only have 1 1/2 hours to work before they have to leave. Now that may sound like a long time. . .but when you have 8 cooks in one kitchen. .it really is NOT!!
We had popcorn for a snack. October is national popcorn month. Often times we make a popcorn inspired recipe to celebrate. But not today. . for a change of pace we made Monster Cookies and hot cocoa mix! And the cookies were MONSTROUS!! We used 18 cups of oatmeal (not including the other 2 or 3 cups that landed on the floor--it was a little like walking into a Texas Roadhouse--except we walked on oatmeal instead of peanut shells :-) and 8 cups of assorted candies and chips to go in them!! We saw first hand what happens when you don't get your cookies the same size :-) And I learned that you can take an underdone cookies and finish cooking it in the microwave! See, even I learn things when I show up to the meetings! The kids were so proud as they walked out the door with a plate full of the huge cookies and a bag filled with supreme cocoa mix to enjoy tonight!! We enjoyed ours!
These are not a cookie that I would just make for my family--no particular reason, it just wouldn't be our first choice. This was a new recipe that I pulled off the blessed internet last night--if you are so inspired by the month of monsters--try some for yourself-they scored a 10 by our team of taste testers!
3 cups brown sugar
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups creamy peanut butter
9 cups oatmeal (must be old fashioned rolled oats)
2 cups plain M & M's
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tsp. baking soda
(you may also substitute any type of chip or combination of chips and m&m’s to get 4 cups of goodies)
1. Cream eggs, butter, sugars, vanilla, and peanut butter.
2. In a separate bowl; mix oatmeal, M&Ms, chocolate chips, and baking soda.
3. Combine dry ingredients with creamed mixture and mix well.
4. Drop by large scoopfuls on to greased cookie sheet. (we used 1/4 cup measuring cups--heaping is TOOOOO big!! Dough flush with the top of the cup is just right!)
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.