Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today, I submit grades. This is always a bittersweet day for me. The first time I did this, I was in my first year of grad school (MAYBE second year). I certainly didn’t have a master’s degree yet, but I was teaching an intro-level college course that essentially was a weed-out class. Many of my students were as old, if not older, than I was. Thankfully the class was small–capped at 40–so grading anything was relatively easy. But on the downside, I actually got to know them all. So when I realized there was no way the numbers could lie enough to make a particular senior actually pass the class, or when I realized the kid who had an A going into the final choked completely (or perhaps honestly never retained any information–the final was cumulative, after all) and now has a B-…I felt really bad.

This semester I’ve been particularly nervous about teaching. For starters, it’s been two years since I was in a classroom (thank you, research grants). I have been teaching two classes and running an independent study. Precisely one of these three subjects I’ve actually taught before. Oh, and then there’s the whole culture shock/adaptation to life in the Big Rock Candy Mountain. So, it wasn’t like this ever felt like a herculean task.

But again….I got to know the kiddies.

I’ve never been known as an easy professor. Contrary, actually. I demand a lot from my students, and I push them to and past their pre-conceived notions of “limits”. That’s kinda my job. And I am NOT someone who frequently exhibits anything resembling “warm fuzzies”.

Maybe it was this particular group of students. Maybe it was the whole “first semester in a new place” effect. Maybe it was the “first time teaching in two years” thing. But…last day of classes…I baked for the kiddies. Now, if I were actually intelligent I would have done this prior to course evaluation day, but…I suppose that just goes to show how I wasn’t trying to bribe, was actually just being nice, and was experiencing warm fuzzies.

Here’s what I made them. Highly recommend these–pretty good, if I do say so myself (and there were no leftovers).

CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cranberries (raw, whole)
  • Chocolate chips (dark)
  • Brown sugar
  • White, granulated sugar
  • Butter–at room temperature
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take a stick of butter, and sugar and cream it. I typically use at most one cup of sugar, with at least 1/4 (at most 1/2) cup brown sugar.
    20141209_180035
  2. Add your egg, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder.
  3. Mix in 1/3-1/2 cup flour at a time, until the batter becomes think and like the consistency of…well…cookie dough.

    Don't dump all flour in at once!
    Don’t dump all flour in at once!
  4. Fold in the cranberries and the chocolate chips.
    20141209_180841
  5. It’s in your best interest to cool the dough–put it in the refrigerator for a bit (makes it easier to roll).
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Bake cookies in a preheated 350* oven for 10-15 minutes.
    Post-oven
    Post-oven

    And, because I'm a real sweetheart, I also made them pumpkin bread.
    And, because I’m a real sweetheart, I also made them pumpkin bread.
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