School’s out!  For the first week at least, we’ve been BUSY!  One daughter had an overnight class trip, one is working ahead on her required volunteer service for next semester and my son is, um, “taking it easy” for a few days.

I know things will slow down next week to a nice summer speed (after our annual family Memorial Day weekend reunion) and I’ll get the inevitable “I’m bored” comments.  But I’ve got a list going of good activities for kids in the summer, and if I get organized enough I’ll share it here.

Meanwhile, cookies.  We need an easy-to-grab dessert for the family BBQ on Saturday, and cookies are the perfect go-to (because you can serve them with the other must-have dessert, ice cream). Apparently one of the high school teachers makes THE BEST COOKIES my children have ever had and we HAD to try to make them at home.  Without the actual recipe, we found a similar one and tried to make it as good as Mrs. Russell’s.  Annie says we came “close” – so here it is!  A nice break from our traditional chocolate chip, and my 6-year-old niece loved them because of the name.  (I’m still trying to figure out how to add marshmallows….)

Hot Chocolate Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1 C white sugar
2/3 C brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 C flour
4 packages of hot chocolate mix (not sugar free, we used Swiss Miss)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 C each of white, milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350.  Cream butter and sugars together until smooth, then beat in eggs and vanilla.  In another bowl, combine flour, hot chocolate mix and baking soda.  Add to wet ingredients in parts.  Fold in all the chips.  Chill the dough (about 45 minutes).  Line baking sheets with parchment or foil and scoop dough onto sheets using a large scoop/ball of dough (around 1/4 cup per cookie).  Bake for 9-11 minutes and remove from oven to cool.

The key here is don’t over bake!  I ruined the first few batches by watching  for them to turn “golden brown” – which is nearly impossible with chocolate dough.  So we started pulling them out at the 10-11 minute mark and they were delicious.

Happy summer.  Hope you’re planning at least some quiet and lazy days just enjoying your family and friendswith a book or by the water or on the beach or in your own backyard.


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