When Maddie was younger and getting to the age when most children are starting to put together sentences, it was pointed out to me by my family and her pediatrician that she wasn’t “behind” but could be doing better with her vocabulary. I knew this myself but I also knew the main reason: not all children develop exactly the same. Some walk at 8 months and some at 15 months. Is one behind? No, they just do things at their own decided pace.
Maddie is one of the children who has always decided her own pace. She has always fallen in the middle somewhere, crawling at 7 months, walking at 12 months and so on. Don’t get me wrong, she is very smart — figuring out things like a little detective. She is just a little Irish woman, and therefore very stubborn. If she wants to do it, great! but if not, forget it, she will do it when she’s ready.
I decided to get her some flashcards (the kind with a word on the front and a picture on the back) to encourage her vocabulary growth. Well, of course one of her favorite cards is the one with a picture of a big m&m cookie on it. She would always pick it up and pretend to eat the cookie right off the card. Since I found this so adorable and knew that it was her favorite cookie (like it is most kids’), I asked her how she would like to make some.
Boy, did she jump out of her skin at that idea!
So I prepared the dough, which is just any plain chocolate chip recipe but left out the chips. When this was done I scooped out balls of dough on to the baking sheet while she watched with wide eyes. Finally, I poured some beautiful spring colored m&ms into a bowl and let her push a few down into each ball of dough.
She enjoyed this immensely. She would eat one, decorate, eat some more, decorate — you get the idea. Then we popped them in the oven and I turned on the oven light so she could watch them bake. She could barely wait watching them rise and get ever so slightly puffy in the warm heat.
As I was placing them on a cooling rack she was picking out which one would be hers — the biggest m&m cookie with the most m&ms, naturally. She was so proud of what she had accomplished that we took a picture of her staring at her proud work. When her daddy got home she had to show him and announce her work, “daddy, I make it cookie!”
For this recipe I use the chocolate-chip cookie recipe out of my cook book but we call it our “m&m cookie recipe.” It is as follows:
Mix shortening and butter then add the sugars and baking soda. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Then slowly add the flour. Drop small spoonfuls of dough on an un-greased baking sheet. Add your m&ms to the top (about 5 per cookie depending on size). Bake at 375′ for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack
Now you and your little one can enjoy making and eating Maddie’s favorite — m&m cookies.