Maternal Ingenuity

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This was a busy week for sports in our household.  My youngest daughter is on the school softball and football teams, each of which called for a full-day tournament.  And, being a writer who works only for myself, I had the luxury of attending both tournaments.

“Luxury” may be a relative term here.  The football tournament was held on Thursday, and the weather was, uh, poor.  I won’t say the rain was torrential, but I did notice Gene Kelly hanging off a lamppost one field over.  And between the wind and the biting cold, it was tough on players and spectators.

Fortunately, the coaches had brought along a tent to keep the girls’ belongings dry.  Unfortunately, no one had brought tent pegs, so periodically the wind lifted the poles in the air and threatened to carry the tent away.

Here’s where the maternal ingenuity comes in.  One of the girls’ mothers lives across the street from the field.  She didn’t have tent pegs, but she gathered pieces of firewood from her backyard.  And to knock them into the ground, she brought her hippo-shaped meat tenderizer.

Photographic evidence, in case you think I’m making this up:


I always take a batch of cookies to tournaments.  On Thursday, I baked Buttermilk Chocolate Chunk Cookies, the recipe for which I found on the terrific website Baking Bites.  Will you like them?  I can only tell you that the girls’ football team unanimously loved them – and, powered by these cookies, they won their tournament!



Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(adapted from Baking Bites)

1/2 cup butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. 
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter (still warm) with cocoa and stir until very smooth.  Whisk in sugar, vanilla extract and buttermilk.  Gradually stir in the flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain.  Stir in the chocolate chunks.
Drop dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about two inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges.  Cool for 2 - 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 20 - 24 cookies.

28 comments:

Valerie said...

Women are so resourceful! :~D
These cookies sound great. Buttermilk + chcolate...what's not to love?

natalia said...

Ciao ! Perfect cookies in every way !!

Victoria K. said...

Yummy!! These looks great :)

katerina said...

I am a chocoholic so these cookies are just perfect for me. Congratulations to your daughter's team for their victory.

Faith said...

What a beautiful treat! looks so yummy and delicious!. Congrats to your daughter:)

Jess said...

Your blog is the perfect fix for my baking fetish! Um, and that hippo meat tenderizer? Priceless :) (seriously, I'm going to look for one online right now as a Christmas gift for a friend)

Julie said...

Those look delicious!! Congratulations to your daughter's team.

Cakelaw said...

Love your cookies - they are full of chocolatey goodness. LOL at the hippo tenderizer/tent peg hammer.

Pam said...

The tenderizer is too cute! Love the cookies and I bet they are addicting.

Barbara said...

Now there's a good mom...sitting in a cold rain to watch your kids! I remember it well. :)
Love the hippo tenderizer...

Your cookies look delish. I bet everyone loved them!

Joanne said...

the one thing that I always hated when I played softball was having to play in the rain. These cookies would certainly have made the whole thing seem a lot less terrible! I love the sound of the buttermilk chocolate combo!

Shannon said...

a hippo meat mallet? love it :) and buttermilk chocolate cookies sound like a sure winner! glad your daughter's tournament went well despite the rain :)

shaz said...

Squeal, you come into contact with the cutest utensils! That hippo is gorgeous. And well done for sitting out there in the cold and the rain, go team :) The cookies sound fab too.

Reeni said...

Your cookies look scrumptious! I bet the girls were happy to have them after playing in the bad weather. The hippo mallet is too cute!

Jeanne said...

Congrats on the football win! It's always rewarding to win when playing in the rain, it makes playing in the miserable weather somewhat worthwhile. I'm sure that those cookies played a large part in the victory - they look heavenly!

Shandy said...

Congratulations to your daughter and her football team for winning the tournament!!!! WoW! The cookies are a given for everything good in this world, chocolate on chocolate, YUM!

theUngourmet said...

Now, that is quite the meat tenderizer! How funny! Bringing chocolaty good cookies along is always a great idea! :)

Jaime said...

you know i am not a fan of chocolate cookies. regular cookies w/chocolate in them are ok but not choc. cookies in general. though....Dorie's world peace cookies i love, as well as her malted whopper cookies :) so, maybe this would appeal to me too

Mimi said...

Those cookies would be welcome after a good slosh on the field. I have 3 kids who have all played winter sports, so I feel your rain.
Mimi

Lisa said...

That meat tenderizer is so funny. I didn't realize you could buy them in different shapes. As for the cookies, anything that says "melt in your mouth" is good enough for me. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Katrina said...

Those look really good and I love the uniqueness of using buttermilk.

Kristin said...

Those looks mouthwatering. I have never seen a meat tenderizer shaped into anything other than the square.

Sweet and Savory said...

So much chocolate is overwhelming but I want to make these.

Please stop by and pick up something from my blog.

Sweet And Crumby said...

These sound so decadent. Hippo tenderizer, huh? That is just too weird. Can't wait to make them.

Martha (MM) said...

These are awesome! Love the hippo :-)

Sue said...

The cookies look great! No wonder they won the tournament! Funny Gene Kelly comment, and I'm glad you included the photo of the hippo:)

Zachary Cooper said...

So, this is a strange question, and a bit of a long shot I'm sure, but do you know where on earth the woman you mentioned acquired her hippo shaped meat tenderizer? Despite my efforts, I am having no luck with the internet, but perhaps am just looking in the wrong place. Any help at all would be appreciated, or, if the woman wouldn't mind, I could contact her directly.
Thank you for your time

Beth said...

Sorry I can't help. She was a chef, so probably got it at a supply store for the business trade. Unfortunately, I didn't know her all that well and haven't seen her in a few years. Good luck with your quest!

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