My kids are 8-years old. They will be 9-years next month. They don’t believe in Santa anymore, and that’s for sure, but all of us just play along so that they can have their gifts!!
Two years back, they started having a question in their mind at this time of the year….
“Mamma, is Santa really there? Or have you been buying us gifts on Christmas Day?”
“Why do you ask?”
“My friend ‘XYZ” said, his mom told him there is no Santa and he doesn’t go around Christmas eve distributing gifts. Parents buy gifts for their kids.”
Somehow I didn’t have to answer the question that time, don’t remember how that happened exactly. But I remember that hand-painted greeting cards were kept under pillows for Santa, which are now secretly stacked away in my closet and in return “Santa” left gifts in their place.
Same time last year, I was posed with the same question. That time, my counter question was different.
“What do you think?”
Ans 1. (My girl ‘T’) – My mind says Santa cannot be true. But I really hope he is there somewhere and he will come here to give me a present. And I want to give him a return gift. See, I have made this nice elf doll for Santa!!
Ans 2. (My boy ‘A’) – I know Santa doesn’t come all the way here from North Pole and neither does he go all around the world himself. He has appointed Aliens to distribute presents to kids around the world on his behalf. Actually, doesn’t matter if there’s Santa or not as long as there’s gifts at Christmas and it’s a Play Station for me.
Thus, an elf doll and a thank you note with Pokemon stickers were added to my Santa collection box last year.
This year around, the discussion actually hasn’t been around whether Santa exists or not. There’s no such thing like Santa, however, it’s the time of the year, they get gifts and both of them have driven that home in multiple innovative ways.
Yes, they are going to get Santa’s gifts on Christmas Eve this time too and I have encouraged them to make return gifts too. (There is still some space left in my Santa box!)
What’s different this time is that last night we baked some yummy cookies together, to be feasted on while we decorate our little Christmas tree with handmade trinkets and baubles!
I wanted a simple, healthy cookie recipe that kids can help me with. Something that would taste absolutely yummmmm, I also wanted to use some very healthy ingredients.
Thus, we embarked on the mission of baking…. Choco Chip Oatmeal Cookies!!!
To make a batch of 16 Large sized delicious Choco Chip Oatmeal Cookies, I used,
2 cups Instant cooking Oats
1 ½ cups of Whole wheat flour
½ cup Chocolate chips
1 ½ cups sugar (generally powdered sugar is preferred, but my kids love the occasional crunch of granules in their bite when they munch their cookies, so I prefer to use sugar granules)
1 cup white unsalted butter (homemade butter washed thoroughly with water about 7-8 times is the best)
½ cup of coarsely pounded nuts (I used Cashews, Almonds & Walnuts; you can lay your hands on Pecan nuts or Macademia nuts too at the fine food stores around, they taste really good in cookies)
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
Pre-heat the oven at 350 deg F.
In a large mixing bowl, blend butter and sugar till it is mixed well. Add Vanilla essence and egg. Beat till the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the oats, flour, soda, salt, choco chips and the nuts.
Knead well together into soft dough. Make equal 16 portions of the dough. Roll and flatten each portion with your hands and place them on a baking plate. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
My baking plate could accommodate 8 portions at a time so I had to make 2 batches. I like to bake big cookies, if you prefer smaller cookies, you can make smaller portions suited to your liking.
Keep checking on the cookies to ensure they are browning evenly. Baking time may vary depending on the oven, so to check if your cookies are done, tap gently on the centre of the cookie with the tip of a knife. If the tip goes in, you need to keep baking. If it doesn’t, your batch is almost ready, just bake for another minute or so before you remove from the oven.
Place the cookies on a plate to cool before storing them in an air tight jar.
In about an hour and fifteen minutes, we had 16 most amazingly yummy and nice big cookies ready. One cookie could well be one mini meal! Kids helped me with the blending and mixing to start with and then with making the 16 round flats from the dough. And of course, watching my oven over till both batches were done!
By the time I stored them away in a jar, there were only 14 cookies left! An evening well spent and two happy faces!! What else would I ask for!
A cookie a day will keep grumpy faces away ….. All through the Christmas holidays!
You all have a great Christmas vacation too and here’s wishing you and all your loved ones a Very Happy New Year!
And I will connect with you again next year with loads and loads of YUMMY EXPRESSIONS!
Love you all….