Happy Birthday! Now with cookies!

Today is Danica’s birthday.

It’s not just any birthday though, today my little girl turns thirteen. Thriteen. Wow. So now I’m officially the mother of a teenager. And not just any teenager, a freaking awesome one.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure to meet Dani, let me tell you a little bit about her. Danica is clever, funny and creative. She loves rice, ice cream and tofu and up until recently wouldn’t eat a green vegetable without a significant amount of coercion. She’s a huge fan of horror movies (her favourite movie when she was 3 was Interview With a Vampire), enjoys singing, drawing and hanging out with her family. The most remarkable thing about Danica, however, is the size of her heart.

Last year at the end of the year her teacher passed out personalised presents to all the kids in her class. On each of them she’d chosen one word she thought applied to that particular person. On Danica’s she’d written “Benevolent” and I think she hit the nail on the head. Danica has got the biggest, kindest heart of anyone I’ve ever met.

I love her to pieces and I’m so very proud to be her mother, and honored to have been able to watch and help guide her as she grew up to become the wonderful young lady she is today. The teenage years are challenging ones, there is no denying it, but they are also exciting and full of potential. I have no doubt Danica will navigate through them with style and grace and continue to make me more proud than I could ever express.

I love you Goober, happy birthday!

Ever since Dani was very, very small we’ve baked together. At first she was actually so little she couldn’t sit up in her highchair without help and I’d have to tuck towels in around her to keep her upright, so she was just sort of watching what was going on. Now, she is more often than not to be the one in charge of the baking with me acting as supervisor and sometime assistant. It’s a happy coincidence then that my friend Beth is asking her friends to share some of their favourite recipes over the next few days in order to celebrate the publication of  her baking-related story in the Mountain Magic anthology coming out on the 9th.

I’m going to share my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I know, that’s kinda mundane, everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but to be honest, whenever we make chocolate chip cookie dough around here odds are we’ll nom it before it ever gets baked. So what follows is a recipe I’ve found is fantastic in both the cookie and dough states. And Danica agrees. Enjoy 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup butter (salted and softened)
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup white sugar
1 tsp of sale
2 tsp vanilla extract (real, not imitation. It matters, honest.)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 Cups of flour
Chocolate chips
Skor bits (optional)

If you can do this in a mixer than you get bonus points. I sometimes start out with the hand mixer and then switch to a fork for lack of a funtastic uber mixing machine.

Cream the butter and sugars together, then add the salt and vanilla and mix it until its fluffy. Add the eggs and the baking soda and give it another mix, then start adding the flour. Finally add the chocolate chips and skor bits if you’ve got them. Drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and back at 350 for about 11 minutes.

Nom nom nom!

Check out Beth’s recipe at her blog: Catch A Star As It Falls.

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