Baking, though, is not so easy with a little one. Even though I'm super-lucky in that Munchkin has absolutely no interest in crawling, and therefore still stays put when I place him somewhere, there's a lot of time involved. Each batch takes 5 minutes to prep, 12 minutes to cook, and 5 minutes to cool, and my recipe makes 4.5 dozen. That's 110 minutes just on the baking end; it doesn't count making the batter.
I actually started these cookies two days ago (I softened the butter during the day, then mixed in the sugar and brown sugar after dinner, and all of a sudden it was time for bed). The butter and sugar mixture has been waiting for me in the fridge, which meant I had to soften it again before I could resume stirring, or I would have broken my hand. And I've been saying I was going to make cookies for a week.
The Munchkin has a pretty good routine set up, see, and it's very difficult to fit something as time-intensive as baking cookies in between naps and meals and diaper changes and play. Add to this the fact that he's only usually awake for about an hour and a half to two hours at a stretch, and you see why that 110 minutes of baking time becomes difficult.
Here's how it went down:
- wake up
- change diaper/potty
- breakfast for us both
- clean up & put Munchkin in Exersaucer (aka "Circle of Neglect")
- take out butter & sugar mixture and realize it's hard as a rock
- turn on oven; leave mix on top to soften
- surround Munchkin with toys in living room and resume putting ingredients together
- keep checking on Munchkin in between adding eggs and sifting dry ingredients; change toys around and play a little
- Munchkin's regular nap time passes
- keep bringing bowl in to show Munchkin what new ingredients I've added
- Munchkin really wants to eat raw cookie dough and starts to get surly
- my hand starts to fall off from mixing in oats and chocolate chips (it's hard!)
- Munchkin starts to get really pissed off that I keep tempting him with forbidden cookie dough; keeps trying to clamber on me and ignores all other toys; commences boob dive
- go back in kitchen with Munchkin hanging off me
- turn off stove
- cover cookie dough and refrigerate until more opportune time
- Munchkin naps
- Munchkin wakes from 2 hour nap on my lap while I watch Doctor Who from 1967
- diaper change/potty
- turn on stove
- lunch for us both
- place Munchkin back in Circle of Neglect and prep first dozen (talking to him constantly...)
- first cookies in oven
- Munchkin tires of* Circle of Neglect
- put Munchkin in doorway jumper
- take first batch out of oven, leave to cool
- Munchkin tires of* doorway jumper
- place Munchkin back in living room surrounded with toys
- transfer cookies to rack
- prep second batch and put in oven
- eat first cookie. Still warm. Oh. My. God.
- separate out some cookies for a nursing neighbor friend
- Munchkin tires of * living room toys
- bring Munchkin back to Circle of Neglect; explain it's only temporary
- pull out second batch and leave to cool
- Munchkin wants to know why the hell he is back in circle of neglect
- transfer cooled cookies to different rack and warm cookies to wire rack
- Munchkin is like, "What the hell???"
- prep third batch and put in oven
- take loudly complaining Munchkin into bedroom for a story while eating 2nd cookie
- read 2 books
- realize I may have left cookies in too long, rush back to kitchen with clinging Munchkin
- put Munchkin back in Circle of Neglect, promise it won't be for long (he doesn't believe me)
- pull perfect cookies out of oven & leave to cool
- bring meltdown-nearing Munchkin back into living room; rotate toys again
- transfer cooled cookies to top of first cookies and warm cookies to wire rack again
- keep poking head out of kitchen to engage Munchkin (who is starting to get really tired and mouthy)
- eat 3rd cookie
- prep 4th batch and place in oven
- ants begin to find crumbs from cooling cookies
- play with Munchkin, who now wants only to stand and walk holding my fingers
- wish for au pair
- remember most au pairs are young and hot and erase wish
- put Munchkin up in ring sling to nurse
- put Munchkin back in Circle of Neglect ("last time, I swear") and take cookies out of oven to cool
- rescue Munchkin back up to sling nursing
- transfer cooled cookies to top of other cookies and warm cookies to wire rack
- give up, turn off oven, leaving last 1/2 batch for another day
- place super-fussy Munchkin in carrier
- walk cookies down to neighbor as Munchkin nurses to sleep.
You see from the photo that it was all completely worth it in the end. (Recipe is here: http://tinyurl.com/2enafyx.) At 2 or 3 (or 4) cookies a day, I have reserve supplies to last me nearly 3 weeks of Mommy-gushers! I'm already starting to feel the effects of today's treats. But next time, I think, I'll do this a little differently - maybe only two batches at a time, so the poor little guy doesn't feel as neglected - and definitely on a day when Daddy's home to help.
*Any time you read, "tires of," imagine him screeching like a pterodactyl in short, repeated bursts at full volume.