Aaah, the New Year. 2012. What should I resolve to do this year? Work out more, pick up some new skills, learn another language? These are all good options. However, I have resolved to make more cookies with my children. I think this is a great resolution. It reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon – Calvin asks Hobbes – “If you could have anything in the world right now, what would it be?” And Hobbes says, “a sandwich.” And Calvin says, “Talk about a failure of imagination! I’d ask for a trillion billion dollars, my own space shuttle, a private continent.” And then in the last frame you see Calvin upset and Hobbes saying, “I got *my* wish” while eating a sandwich.
To create a resolution that can be easily accomplished is a good idea. Resolutions should be small and doable – because you will gain more by accomplishing a little thing than not accomplishing a big thing. I heard a teacher once say that it’s easier to accomplish a small, quantifiable, time constrained resolution. So – I will make 1 batch of cookies with my children for the first 4 weeks of the New Year. Then after January, I can re-evaluate my resolution and choose to continue it or not.
Why would this be a good thing? Because making more cookies with my children is an activity I know we can do, that they will like and I can infuse the activity with lots of learning (and hence feel good about it). There’s math skills (1/2 plus 1/2 is one cup), fine motor skills as little hands mix and pour, and we can just have general happy memories together (and then we get to eat the cookies after they are made!).
In our first week of making cookies – Nava and I made a healthy cookie. I thought, if we can make a delicious healthy cookie, we can make them and I can use them as snacks and feel good about it. This, I still think, is a great idea. However, although I liked them (and ate them), I made a shocking discovery. The “cookies” (which, I might add, even had chocolate chips in them) were left on the table (with one bite missing). You have to give them kudos, they were willing to try it. However, it didn’t excite them and they didn’t eat them. I suspect, the real downfall of this cookie was the lack of sugar. Everything tasted fine, but it might be better described as a healthy snack (at which point, I’d rather my children eat carrots – no need to force my children to eat chocolate chips).
Did my children go hungry? Did they only get to eat carrots? Will there be no more cookies in the Shor household? Dear reader, don’t worry, we will not let this attempt derail us from our brilliant (?) resolution. We tried again. For our second venture of healthy “cookies” – we did much better. Our second venture was (dare I say it?) a success. It was: “Make your own granola bar”!!! Not only are these *vastly* cheaper than store bought brands, they have no preservatives (other than the natural kind in honey). You can use any nut butter, dried fruit, and nuts you like. I put my preferences in the recipe.
No Bake Granola Bars Recipe:
- 2 cups Rice Krispies (or whatever rice cereal you want to use)
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup chopped dried craisins and apricots (you can use any dried fruit)
- 3/4 cup chopped cashews (you could use any nut)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (you could use any nut butter)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Combine Rice Krispies, oats, fruit and nuts in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan mix the honey and brown sugar and then heat to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and stir until coated. Press into a sprayed 9×13 pan or sprayed mini muffin tins. (If you press the mixture in by hand you can spray your fingers so that the mixture doesn’t stick to you. If you’re using a spatula – spray the spatula.
- Cut into 12 bars if you used a pan, or how many ever you want (you could cut them into 24).
- Store them in the refrigerator.
- If you want to make these a little fancier – you can drizzle chocolate on top. Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Put the melted chocolate into a zip lock bag and close. Snip a small hole in one of the bottom corners and then drizzle on bars.
Bracha Shor is the co-owner of Sweet and Good Catering that specializes in kosher gourmet exotic foods and may be contacted at email@example.com.