Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are many traditions that every family has that make them unique. Through my years of working with families through a social services agency I came to realize that no matter how dysfunctional a family is there are still some sorts of traditions that bond them together. My husband’s family is quite close. Most of their traditions involve hunting, fishing and food.
My husband had three brothers and a sister. The brothers get together several times a year to go fishing and hunting. These hunting and fishing trips always involve meals and snacks. Over the years they have found favorites that they want to repeat each year. My sister-in-law makes coffee cake that they want for each trip and I make chili and chocolate chip cookies. They always want the chili extra spicy with several kinds of beans. The chocolate chip cookies are loaded with oatmeal, shelled sunflower nuts, peanut butter chips and of course chocolate pieces. I have tried different recipes over the years, and I always throw something new into the mix, but I finally found a combination that they love and request for each outing.
The chocolate chip cookies are more than just good tasting. They do have the oatmeal and nuts in them for additional fiber in the diet and the peanut butter and chocolate chips provide energy. I have done some experimenting with the ingredients for the chocolate chip cookies regarding using shortening, oil or butter. I have found that the oil produces a harder crunchy cookie, the butter cookies are very soft the blend of half butter and half solid shortening produces a cookie that packs well and remains soft. I have also experimented with the oatmeal. I use quick cooking oatmeal in which I process half of the amount used in the chocolate chip cookies in the food processor so that it has a finer texture. This helps the cookies to be moister. The addition of the shelled sunflower seeds adds a saltiness that goes well with the sweetness of the chocolate.
Several times a year I make huge batches of the chocolate chip cookies I bake some of them and freeze the rest of the dough in an ice cream pail. This way there are fresh cookies readily available for the planned or impromptu fishing or hunting trip. I am proud that I have added a special touch to the family traditions. My husband always starts talking about hunting and fishing stories when he smells chili simmering or the cookies baking.