Homemade Lunchbox Cookies

By ERIN TURNER

After last week’s blog about frugal school lunches, I couldn’t help but keep the theme going this week.   I’m going to share with you a recipe which your kids will absolutely love and they will be so delighted when they open their lunchboxes and discover you packed a “little love” in there!

I always like to include a special treat when my kids take their lunch to school.  It just feels good as a mother to include a little “love” in your child’s lunchbox which you know will make them smile.  This item doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, it can be their favorite flavor of homemade pudding or jello or a fresh apple off your tree in the back yard.  So when I stumbled across this recipe, I knew this would be a perfect special treat from my boys!  Now, the only problem is these cookies disappear from the baking sheet so fast that I can’t get them cooled down and packed into lunchboxes.

Chocolate Cookie Dough

The cream cheese makes the texture a little different than your run-of-the-mill chocolate chipcookies.

The recipe I found was for Chocolate Chip cookies.  I have been making Chocolate Chip cookies for a long time but this recipe is the ultimate.  The secret ingredient is cream cheese.  It makes the cookies so soft and rich.  The other key is to chill the dough for a minimum of 2 hours.  This doesn’t make it real convenient when you just want to whip up a batch but it does improve the quality of the cookie so it IS worth the wait.  Although, I can speak from experience…if you just need your cookie fix immediately you can bake a batch up while the rest of the dough is chilling.  The unchilled cookies are slightly different in texture but still yummy!

Actually, what I do is make up a big batch of dough, put it in a container and then put it in the refrigerator.  This way I can just make a few cookies at a time depending on what I need.   It’s perfect to just plop a few cookies on a baking sheet as we are clearing the dinner table and by the time we are done with dinner dishes, we have fresh baked cookies!  You can also freeze the cookie dough and do the same thing.

When I tested the recipe I knew I had a winner when I pulled out two dozen of these cookies from the oven and within 30 minutes I had only crumbs left!  This is a winning recipe and definitely one worth sharing!  This recipe can easily be doubled …of course I would know nothing about doing that! Ha!  Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, beating to combine, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cream Cheese

Your kids will love you for makingthese!

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop 2- to 3-tablespoon mounds of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing the mounds at least 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

I don’t have to tell you the difference between store bought and homemade cookies!  The taste just doesn’t compare nor does the cost!  For roughly $3.50 you get 3 dozen fresh, warm and soft homemade cookies while you’ll pay $3.00 for 18 store-bought cookies from the bakery.

So, add a little love to your child’s lunchbox this week by including these cookies.  You’ll get high marks for sure!

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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