Maren brings you rare or fun recipes and news of funky, out-of-the-way places to dine or buy treats. She is a teacher, mom, and foodie.
Chocolate, Nuts, and Oatmeal - Yum!
Children Ages 2 Through 8 Learn While Making These
This is a yummy cookie which does not require an oven, but does require boiling of some of the ingredients. Therefore, a responsible teen or adult must be involved in the creation. So, grandmas, parents, and caregivers, pull out your aprons and let's go.
I have made this in a childcare center with mixed groups of kindergartners through third graders. I have also made it at home with preschoolers. It is a marvelous way for children -
- to see how food is made
- to hear mathematical words such as “one half“ (fractions), “two” (cardinal numbers), “ tablespoons,” and “cups” (geometry - volume)
- to use of motor skills and eye-hand coordination in dumping the ingredients into the mixing bowl.
(Yes, I am a teacher!)
Safety is essential to the kid-friendliness of this recipe. In order to do this, the recipe uses a few more bowls or pots than adults would use to make these cookies, But, this method eliminates the need for any child to be stirring a heated saucepan. Safety keeps the process fun and worry-free. If you can use non-breakable measures and utensils, that also is recommended.
- 2 and ½ cups of uncooked oatmeal
- ½ cup of soynut butter* or peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons of dry cocoa powder (the unsweetened, strong stuff)
- ½ cup of milk (whatever kind and fat percentage you like)
- 2 cups of white sugar
*soynut butter has a little less fat
You choose -
Utensils And Supplies:
- Measuring cups in one cup and one-half cup sizes
- Measuring spoons in one teaspoon and one Tablespoon sizes
- Large mixing bowl (about 12 inches diameter)
- Large stirring spoon (wooden or about 15 inches long)
- About 3 table knives and 2 soup spoons
- Waxed paper
Stove top and small saucepan
Microwave oven and 4-cup sized microwave safe bowl/Pyrex container
Once again, you choose -
All the pouring listed below can be done by a child.
Pour dry oatmeal into the big bowl.
Add the nut butter to the big bowl in little hunks. Then, use the table knives to stir, pound, slice, and mix the nut butter into the oatmeal. If you think these knives are not good for your child, go with large spoons. The result will be nut butter coarsely cut throughout the oats, but certainly not a totally uniform mixture.
If using stove top, the child can put the milk, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract into an unheated saucepan (NOT the big bowl) at a counter or table.
Now the ADULT takes the saucepan to the stove top and brings it to a boil. While watching it and adjusting the heat level to prevent a “boiling over event,” boil for one minute. PLEASE stay by that pot!
Or, If Using Microwave Oven
If using microwave oven, the child can put the milk, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract into the separate microwave-safe bowl. Stir well.
Now the ADULT takes the bowl and places it in the microwave.
Then WATCH CAREFULLY as you bring to a boil in microwave and boil for half a minute. A boil-over can happen (I call it erupting) near the end. You want to hit the Clear/Cancel button on the microwave the moment you see rapid bubbling of the liquid.
(CHOCOLATE MOUNT VESUVIUS can happen! It has happened to me when using a microwave.)
Under either heating method, the adult brings the melted cocoa mix to the large bowl and pours it into the bowl with the oatmeal ingredients.
The child and adult may take turns to stir it well.
The heat of this liquid cocoa mix melts the nut butter and helps it spread throughout the batter.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.
The cookies will cool at room temperature, however if you want to cool them faster because you JUST CAN’T WAIT TO TASTE THEM, you can put them in the refrigerator or freezer.
To do this, use a cookie tray or other hard, flat dish under the waxed paper so that you can lift it and carry it without dropping all the cookies on the floor.
Enjoying food is one of the gifts of being alive. Maren has had many a special moment, not only in eating with friends and family, but especially in preparing foods with her sons which always included adding that special ingredient: love.
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© 2009 Maren Elizabeth Morgan
Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on August 20, 2013:
I think that using Nutella would be scrumptious!
JosieJohnson from Where Life Takes Me on August 19, 2013:
Best idea ever. I wonder can I use Nutella instead my son is allergic to peanut butter and loves Nutella?
Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on December 11, 2011:
Gibger, I am sorry to hear that. without knowing anything about which options you chose (boiling versus microwaving) (what kind of peanut butter), I would suggest that you try putting this batch in the freezer to firm them up. Thanks for your feedback.
Gibger on December 11, 2011:
Mine didn't get hard
Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on March 22, 2009:
Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on March 11, 2009:
I'm glad it was useful.
frogger on March 11, 2009:
thanks this helped me with my speech class and homework