I was deciding on Facebook which of the imaginary, literary houses I would live in for the rest of our sheltering in place.
The writing prompt may have been tricky for some members of the Elephant Academy’s private group, but I was hands down choosing house number three. As I began to add my witty, little comment, I heard a firm, panicked shout, “Mom, what. the. heck!”
My head popped up, eyes darted toward the kitchen only to see smoke engulfing my son. He was frozen until he realized what was happening and quickly turned off the oven. Even still, the thick smoke kept billowing out of its door. We cranked open all the windows, and then the fire alarms decided to declare “Fire! Fire!”
His sisters ran in with their phone cameras rolling until they realized what had happened. Yes, everyone was safe. No, the house was not about to burn down. However, the beautiful chocolate cake they had stashed in the oven to hide from our dog before dinner appeared to be aflame. The laughter immediately ended. The oven had been turned on to warm up for my son’s delicious dough for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but the act ruined their cake.
Only, it didn’t! A ring of melted frosting had been torched on the bottom of the oven, yet the cake itself looked warm and tempting. Childishly naughty smiles curled quickly up our faces.
There, at 2:30 on a Monday afternoon while sheltering in place, we ate a frosted chocolate cake, warmed to perfection…and by 6:00 p.m., we sampled the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that had ever crossed our palettes.
For anyone else baking their way through a stay-at-home order, we’re with you—and invite you to try a teenager’s tossed together, original recipe.
The Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever, Quarantine Style.
1 ½ c Gluten-free flour (we used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Rounded, ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. Salt (scrounged from tiny, left-over take-away packets)
1 cup Salted butter, softened
1 cup Light brown sugar
1/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Old-fashioned oats
1 cup Quick oats (We ran out of the other oats)
1 cup Chocolate chips
1 ½ Hershey chocolate bars, cut into little squares (Creative cover for missing more chips)
Directions: In a small bowl, whisk up flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add vanilla. Add the flour mixture until fully combined. Hand roll dough into two inch balls. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Cool cookies on a rack until you cannot resist them one more second.
Vegan Tip: Substitute unrefined coconut oil for the butter, and try mashed banana or applesauce (or soaked flax seeds) instead of the eggs.
My family’s tip: Use all organic ingredients, and remove items from the oven before turning it on.
Lastly, for anyone needing a new, mental house for quarantine you are welcome to join ours or one of these: