Monday, July 28, 2014

Packing Cookies for The Bus and My Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

My baby boy turned 17 yesterday. Sigh. Just saying that out loud feels like an out of body experience. Seventeen? That's practically grown up! His sisters are already lamenting the inevitability that one day he will leave them and go off to college. They find themselves in the unending conundrum of wanting their big brother to stay at home forever and wanting to place dibs on his room. The way I see it, they are likely to lose both those battles.

Fortunately, my boy still has a little more time at home.  Today he left, not for a lifetime, but for a  week-long missions trip. To Florida. Now, if the suffering is not in the destination, it might be in the transportation. A 27-hour bus ride to be exact. It just so happens that Florida is a lot further away from Minnesota than it is from Atlanta. I know. I'm good at geography like that.

Since his birthday was yesterday, I decided it might be nice to send a little birthday treat for the 48 people making the trek - something not too crumbly, not too sticky, not too melty, not requiring any utensils but completely and entirely delicious. I went back to the basics: My Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies!

In an attempt to make the cookies cute and transportable, I decided to package them in individual-sized portions. I love these glassine bags from Uline! I know. Some wives love it when their husbands buy them jewelry. My husband buys me cases of cute food packaging supplies. This is why we've been happily married for 20 years. I'm just saying. He knows me.

Let me introduce you to another one of my very favorite newly discovered products:  Avery Kraft Brown Round Labels. No skill required. Simply go online to and enter the product number. Up pops hundreds of designs. All you do is type in your customized words!

Since I like the kraft brown paper to shine, I chose a simple design with black ink.

Next, I put three of these perfectly delicious chocolate chip cookies in each glassine bag, folded the top, and sealed it with a birthday sticker.

These labels are so foolproof, they even work when you put the paper in the wrong way!

 The individual bags made passing out treats on the bus clean, easy and festive!

Happy 17th Birthday, Samuel!

My Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Rachel @ Simple Girl

1 1/3 cups Earth Balance, room temperature
(Butter tastes good, but creates a different texture)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you like it!) 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whip Earth Balance and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Continue to beat until smooth and creamy.

Gradually add flour, soda and salt. Beat until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop a heaping teaspoonful on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 12 per sheet.  Bake 8 minutes or until the cookie just starts to brown. This is the key to creating a soft, delicious cookie. Don't over bake.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and repeat until all the dough has been used.

Makes 48 - 60 cookies, depending on the size.

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