Back in high school, I wrote an essay about the meaning of home. I don’t remember much about the essay, other than two things. One, the sheer panic I felt when I had to read it to a massive crowd at a real estate convention. Eek! And two, the fact that I wrote a detailed paragraph about the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies greeting me as I arrived home from school – and about how little things like that are what make a house feel like home.
It’s probably no surprise, then, that when my daughter started school last year, I baked chocolate chip cookies for her to arrive home to on her first day. It was a habit that was not sustainable, however. Who has time to make homemade chocolate chip cookies every day?! (If you do, you rock! And can I come over?)
So I started freezing the dough, then just baking off a couple of dough balls at a time right before she was due to arrive home. Voila – almost zero work for me, and the aroma of freshly baked cookies to greet her when she got home. Win.
This particular cookie recipe was devised back when my kiddo was younger, even pickier, and in need of some heartier foodstuffs in her diet. So I added wheat germ, oats, and ground flaxseed to her favorite chocolate chip cookies, and bingo! Fiber Cookies were born. Or “Fiver Cookies” as her then-toddler self called them.
Now, they’ve evolved into “After-School Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies” with candy-coated chocolate and sprinkles for color and fun. They’ve got the sweet stuff that makes them a treat but some added good stuff that gives them a bit of hearty nutrition that helps me, as a mom, feel a little more satisfied when she eats them.
After her first day of school this year, I paired these cookies with some apple slices and crispy pea snacks. I love these snacks because they satisfy my daughter’s craving for crunch but they also have some protein in them to hold her until dinner. Me, too, for that matter. You know I can’t resist a couple of handfuls!
Chocolate chip cookies = home. Chocolate chip cookies with a bunch of extra awesome organic stuff in them = best home EVER.
After-School Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain salt or table salt
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ*
- 1/3 cup flaxseed meal (aka ground flaxseeds)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (plus more for topping if desired)
- 1 cup candy-coated chocolates (plus a few more for topping)
- 1/4 cup candy sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Mix until well-incorporated, about one minute. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, wheat germ, and flaxseed meal. Mix JUST until combined (do not overmix). Add the oatmeal, chocolate chips, candy-coated chocolates, and sprinkles if using. Mix just until incorporated.
Option 1: Bake ’em all now
- Scoop into 1.5-inch balls and top with two or three extra chocolate chips or candies if desired. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until slightly golden around edges, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.
Option 2: Freeze now, bake later
- Scoop into 1.5-inch balls and line them up right next to one another on a cookie sheet. Top with two or three extra chocolate chips or candies if desired. Transfer to freezer. When frozen, break apart the cookie dough balls and place in a freezer bag. Put back in freezer until you’re ready to bake.
- To bake, pull as many cookie dough balls as you want to bake out of the freezer. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until slightly golden around edges, 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.