And now I am the mother of two high-schoolers.
My oldest is in her final year. The next few months will be full of applications, and campus visits, and decisions. Next fall, her first day of school will be celebrated on a university campus yet to be determined.
My youngest is in her first year. Her next few months will be full of meeting new friends and getting used to a challenging new routine.
For one last year, I had two girls bursting in the front door to tell me about their first day of school. So it’s no surprise that I marked the occasion with a plate of fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies. Unable to decide which was a better back-to-school choice, chocolate chip or peanut butter, I settled on both. These peanut butter and oatmeal chocolate chipsters were a perfect way to ease into the fall.
I remember first days of school when either of them had missing front teeth, and when I held their hands to meet their teachers. I remember my oldest daughter’s first day of grade one, when she marched confidently into the school without looking back. I remember my youngest daughter’s first day of junior kindergarten, when she proudly walked onto the playground, finally one of the big kids. Her JK teacher, retired for five years, attended her grade eight graduation in June to watch her former students graduate.
Whether or not you have kids, and no matter how old those kids are, these cookies are perfect for the first day of school, first day of a new job or first day of the rest of your life.
|First day of school, September 2005|
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours)
Note: This is the recipe for a half-batch of cookies; the original recipe can be found in her cookbook.
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips or 4 1/2 ounces chopped chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the egg, beating for one minute, then beat in the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients, just until blended. Mix in the chocolate. If you have time, cover and chill the dough for about two hours.
Form the dough into balls and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes.