Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me - and Extreme Chocolate Cookies

You know how birthdays are really not a big deal once you’re grown up? Try spending your big day with a classroom full of third graders who all think you’re great; I just had the best birthday I can remember since I was a child!

I’ve been substitute teaching these children while their teacher has been out on maternity leave. They are really sweet kids. We’ve gotten to know each other quite well over these weeks. And they were so excited to celebrate my birthday! All day long handmade cards were delivered to the teacher’s desk at the front of the room. One little girl even made me a bracelet by straightening out a jumbo paper clip and bending it into a curve. She fashioned a paper charm for it that said Happy Birthday. We talked about my birthday all day long. I think the subject came up every few minutes. By the end of the school day, I was starting to think that my birthday really is a big deal, just like it was when I was in third grade.

I took treats to share with the class. They loved them and they all want the recipe.

Extreme Chocolate Cookies

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups white sugar (granulated)

1 lb. real margarine or butter (I use Western Family brand Real Margarine)

5 extra large eggs

2 tsp. almond flavoring (1 tsp. if using real almond extract)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream together above ingredients.

3 (12 oz.) packages milk chocolate chips

Mix chocolate chips into above mixture.

1 cup cocoa powder

6 ½ cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Don’t burn out your mixer; you might have to finish mixing by hand. Scoop dough using an ice cream scoop. (I use one with a two inch diameter.) Pack well. Flatten dough slightly with hands. Put some granulated sugar in a bowl. Press formed cookie dough into granulated sugar to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 or 8 minutes. (Oven temperatures vary; do not over bake. If cookies crack, you're baking them too long. If you use a small scoop, bake for about 5 ½ to 6 minutes, but watch for cracking!) Remove cookie sheet to cooling rack.

This recipe makes 4 ½ to 5 dozen big cookies. Sometimes I form the cookies, freeze some of them on a cookie sheet without baking, then dump them into a Ziplock bag and freeze them for later. You can also bake them all and then freeze some. Or, just eat them all!


  1. I thought of you this year on your birthday! I'll always remember it because you and Jenny Lynn are birthday buddies, and now my mother-in-law. Great day to enter the world I guess. Hope you had a great day, sounds like you did :)

  2. Happy Birthday, Melinda! I hope it was great! Sounds like you're having fun with the 3rd graders! (I'm sure they're much more fun than the Jr. High kids I see every day!

  3. Sister Gassman, can I go back to the third grade with you? Especially if anything you made is involved!! I hope that you had a great birthday! I can't wait until someday when I can try some of your recipes.... Someday soon!

  4. Now you know why teaching is SO rewarding. It's stories like this that make me miss the classroom. What a good sub!