A few months ago, at my lovely friend Molly's house, Sam was introduced to The Cookie. These weren't your run-of-the-mill chocolate chip but were instead "smart cookies," which are good for you AND taste good. This obviously means you're a smart cookie for eating them instead of a package of high-fructose-corn-syrup-infused Oreos.
So, Molly shared her recipe with me and after a few practice batches, I managed to bake a superb batch of smart cookies and the Rieger household rejoiced. We now have these cookies at our fingertips atleast once a week. We are also gaining weight in places we would rather not. But, I keep making them despite our tight-fitting jeans because the Samster is crazy about them and we happen to be crazy about the Samster.
Three or four batches of smart cookies ago, Sam started pointing at things around the house and we were enthralled, because anything our one and only child does is pretty much amazing. Two or three batches ago, Sam started pointing toward a blue tupperware container housing cookies on our kitchen counter. He would sit in his high chair and point across the room, his pointer finger and thumb poised mid-air looking a little like a baby finger gun (this amuses me for some reason). Pretty soon, he was toddling into the kitchen to position himself in front of the counter and dramatically point up at the tupperware container of cookies. And soon after that, he started to "talk" as he pointed, letting us know that something on the counter was apparently in need of his attention. This behavior quickly escalated as the power of the smart cookie began to take hold.
A few days ago, I opened the container of cookies to get one out for Sam and heard him give a shout from behind me that sounded something akin to all his dreams coming true at the same time. I turned around and there he was with both arms in the air, staring at the cookie in my hand. He could hardly contain himself. The wild look in his eyes was one I had seen before: my reflection in the glass of a chocolate shop window.
In addition to all their other magical qualities, smart cookies have turned out to be the catalyst for my son's venture into the English language. Just the other night, Sam was, once again, pointing at the tupperware container and staring a hole in the side of it. I looked at him and said something very mom-like, "Eat your beans and you can have a cookie." Sam smiled and then said in a soft, breathy baby voice, "Cooh-keeh." Matt and I looked at each other in total awe. The First Word. I am seriously considering shellacking one of those cookies and placing it in a decorative shadow box.
Just last night, after a weekend of being sick with a high fever, Sam sat in his high chair eating a little chicken noodle soup I'd made. After a few bites of broth, he was done and because I give him anything he wants when he doesn't feel good (that's ok, right?), I pulled out a cookie from the tupperware and put it on his high chair tray. I watched as he picked it up, held it with a grin on his little face and said to himself "Cooh-Keeh." It felt a teensy bit like Gallum and his "My Precious," but I tried not to think about that.
So, smart cookies, with their whole wheat flour and applesauce, have given me cause to consider Sam's college fund and his scholarship chances. I'm also aware that we can't hoard the magic of the smart cookies any longer. The world needs this recipe, and so, with Molly's gracious permission, I give to you The Smart Cookie Recipe:
1/4 cup of applesauce
2 tbsp of butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour (I usually add an additional 1/4 cup of flour to make them more fluffy)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar and add other wet ingredients. Mix. Add dry ingredients. Place spoon-fulls of cookie on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Makes around 18-20 cookies.