I remember the moment vividly. I had been a mommy for exactly three weeks. Friends were coming from out of town to meet my itty-bitty new baby boy, and I was going to make cookies.
Had I been using half the brain I had left after giving birth, I would have realized that I didn’t need to make cookies at all. I had a newborn baby after all. I’m pretty sure my friends didn’t expect freshly baked cookies when they came to meet my new son.
But, I was using the irrational side of the remainder of my brain which told me I needed to be the “hostess with the mostess.” So, a few weeks after Asa was born, I remember standing in my little kitchen, trying to figure out how in the world I was supposed to find time to make cookies for our friends who were coming over in a few hours. As a brand new mommy, I was just beginning to figure out how to manage the schedule of a nursing baby, cooking meals, doing laundry…and maybe just maybe, finding time to sleep.
Usually when I made cookies, I took the time to scoop cookie dough out onto cookie sheets, baking for 10-12 minutes per pan, then repeating the process several times until all the cookies were made and the dough was used up. Depending on the size of the batch, this process could take quite a while. What would I do if I needed to nurse the baby, and the timer for the cookies went off, and the cookies burned and….
Yeah, I should have just skipped the cookies.
Ah, but then I remembered. Sometimes, when my mom didn’t have time to make round after round of cookies, she would just spread the cookie dough into a 9×13 inch pan, put it into the oven, and walk away. That is exactly what I would do. Instead of cookies, I would make cookie bars for my friends. That would save me time and help me be more flexible so that I didn’t have to keep scooping cookie dough onto cookie sheets if the baby needed me.
I’ve had my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe memorized since I was a fourth grader, so even with my post-partum brain – I could mix them up quickly. I threw the 9×13 pan of cookie bars into the oven, carried on with my day, and had freshly baked treats to serve my friends when they came over later.
Guess what they said when they arrived? “You did NOT need to bake us cookies! You just had a baby!”
Yeah well. Some things never change. Apparently, I just can’t not feed people. ;)
Moms of newborns, what have you learned from this little story? Do not make cookies for your friends. It is highly unnecessary.
Everyone else, if you are making cookies and find yourself in a bit of a time crunch, simply spread your cookie dough into a 9×13 inch baking pan, and bake them into bars in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Here is my all time favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. It makes awesome cookie bars, which I proved in June of 1997, right after becoming a mommy.
For the record, in case you were worried, this picture is from 2013. My son may be 15 1/2, but the cookies on this plate are fresh. Or at least they were a few days ago. Now the plate is empty. Go figure.
What hard lessons do you remember learning when you had a newborn?