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I asked my daughter if she wanted to bake holiday cookies with me. She said, “We can't make cookies, we don't have cookie mix in the cabinet!”
I knew right then I needed to work on baking from scratch more often. Sure, I love the convenience of cookie mixes and cake mixes, and we've made delicious treats, such as our cake cookie bars. Rissa has been showing more interest in helping in the kitchen, so I told her we'd bake more.
I didn't realize how controlling I am in the kitchen until I attempted to bake with a four year old. I get nervous about measurements being accurate, the mess, egg shells, etc. However, the only way she will learn is to practice. I'm working on letting go and letting her be more hands on. We baked cookies together for Thanksgiving. I showed her how to measure out ingredients, discussed reading the recipe, and let her crack the egg all by herself. She got to pour almost all of the ingredients into the bowl after I double checked measurements.
Before we got to all of that, I hopped on Pinterest and asked Rissa to help me pick a recipe to work from. I wanted a base recipe to work with and we'd figure out our own mix-ins. We decided the Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocoloate Chip Cookies by Averie Cooks looked yummy!
Softbatch Holiday Cookies Recipe
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1/4 cup regular cream cheese (I used part of a block, softened)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and broken pretzel pieces
- Recipe calls for 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – I was out of this and they still tasted fine.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If butter is not softened from sitting out, put it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Don't melt it completely though.
- Add butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, white granulated sugar, egg, (and vanilla extract) to a mixing bowl. I used my electric hand mixer for about 5-7 minutes to a creamy consistency.
- Mix in flour, cornstarch, and baking soda. This is quick, you just want all the ingredients to be wet.
- Fold in your choice of mix-ins (chocolate chips, candies, etc.)
- To make the dough easier to work with, I stuck the bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Use a 2 inch cookie scoop (or a tablespoon from your measuring set) to form the dough and place on a greased cookie pan or line it with parchment paper. (I used parchment paper this time!)
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. If cookies are left in round scoops, they may need the full 10 minutes. If you flatten them before baking, they may be done at 8 minutes. Each batch I checked at the 8 minute mark and added time if needed.
This recipe made about 22 or so cookies. We started out making nice little balls of them, but they gradually grew larger. While baking, they didn't flatten out very much, so the last batch I pressed down a little with the back of a spoon. These cookies were a big hit with the whole family! They were SO SOFT. We had zero leftover after Thanksgiving. I'm not even sure who snagged the last cookie — it wasn't me!