The Best Kept Secret Ingredient…according to my Kids

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the holidays are over!
   For us, the month of December is a time for family gatherings, gifts, shopping and often times, stress and packed schedules. In the middle of all these activities I try to make time for my kids to make some home-made gifts of their own. This year, it was last minute, but I seized Christmas Eve Eve as the Day! The kids dressed in their aprons, the counters cleared and the broom and mop ready for the mess that would follow, we began. I think we started more enthusiastically than we ended, but still, considering it’s the holidays, I consider the day a success! 

   But something struck me as I look back on all the cooking we did that day…for I could’ve just gone to the store and picked up a box of cookies or a loaf of bread from Collin Street. Why bake? Why take the time and effort to mix the flour, chop the apples, measure out the salt? According to my family, it just tastes better! They always say, “Mom, it just tastes better when you do it.” Have you ever gone to Grandma’s house, where there’s a fire heating the room, laughter in the air and the smell of fresh cornbread hits you the moment you walk in? Why is it her food tastes so much better than Cracker Barrel? For it claims to be homemade too. I think it’s an ingredient not listed on the box or the recipe. It’s love. Yes, L-O-V-E. How we love trickles down into the very food we make and serve our family. Do we have to LOVE to cook? LOVE the fact that it’s 5:30 and the LAST thing we really want to do is fix something for dinner…no. We don’t. But just know, my kids say my love for them and how I serve them by preparing food for them make my food taste better. Just food for thought….!
Now, back to holiday food pictures!! And, my gift to you is a recipe at the bottom for reading the whole thing! 🙂
Mom: “Zach, don’t put that on your mouth!”
“Or your head!!!”
“Never mind!”
Now, on to the recipe…
Somehow, boys have the amazing ability to turn stirring into helicopter sounds…
But finally, the bread is ready for the oven. 

While those are cooking, Caleb comes in from outside to help me with the next batch. And I am so grateful!

Finally time to put these chocolate chip pumpkin muffins in the cooker!
Ya know, Zach just wants to make sure everything tastes OK. We wouldn’t want to serve poisoned muffins!!
Merry Christmas to our neighbors & friends from the Steck kiddos.
Ahhh, you made it. Just like in the middle of these amazing chocolate crinkles, there’s a surprise at the end of this long post!! Don’t those look amazing!
Well, Adam…what’s the verdict??
“Yep, it’s the LOVE!”

Chocolate Crinkles

3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 buckets full of love!

In large bowl, mix together melted butter, cocoa powder & sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, stir the four, baking powder & soda & salt. Use a large spoon to slowly add the dry ingredients to the choc mixture. Stir in the chips. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350. Form the dough into 1″ balls, the roll them in powdered sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Dust with remaining powdered sugar if desired.

Putting it In Our Own Words,


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