Cookie Monster

When I was pregnant the thing I craved the most and almost exclusively (hot dogs aside) was cookies, cookies, cookies. Seriously, there was no way to satisfy the need for gooey chocolate melting from just out of the oven peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, the crisp of oatmeal coconut cookies, or even the darkening milk that comes with dipping your Oreo. Is there any better smell than baking cookies? I love my daughter, but even she doesn't smell as good as that!

Bed rest put a kibosh on my cookie fetish. I wasn't allowed up long enough to bake and the diet nazi, a.k.a. my hubby, refused to buy me the cookies I wanted when he did the grocery shopping. He always told me I could thank him later when my ass didn't get too big. If it wasn't for the mom and mom-in-law coming down to help every week or two I would have been completely cookie deprived.

Now that my ass is back to its pre-pregnancy size, thanks to cookie and juice deprivation, I feel it is necessary to welcome fall with baking and some overdue cookie indulgence. Mom's group is also a good excuse to bake. This week I relied on my old standard, the very first cookie I learned how to bake: Chocolate Chip Slab Cookies. Yup, one giant, crumbly, buttery, and rich cookie. It is also the easiest cookie you will ever make. No wonder my mom trusted the kitchen to me when I was only 8 or 9.

I cannot lay claim to this recipe, for it comes from "The Best of Bridge" series of cookbooks. I have made it for over 20 years now - for sleepovers when I was a kid, for chick flick nights in my youth, for break-ups and sad songs in my twenties, and for just about any other reason. Try it once and you will be making it every time you just feel like some cookies. You can even halve the recipe, just bake it in a small, square pan instead.

Chocolate Chip Slab Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease a 9 by 13 pyrex or simple cake pan.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
chocolate chips, M&Ms, skor bits, etc.

1. Cream together butter and suger.
2. Add vanilla.
3. Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time. Mixture will be slightly crumbly.
4. Stir in chocolate chips or other treat.
5. Pour all the batter into the greased pan and pat flat with your fingers. Personally, I also sample a little bit of the cookie dough at this point.
6. Bake in oven for 18-25 minutes until lightly browned.
7. Let cool 10 minutes then slice into bars.

The cooking time will vary depending on the pan you use and your oven. Please, please let them cool before you dig in. I can't tell you how many time my impatience resulted in a burnt tongue from molten chocolate.

Happy Baking!