Yesterday morning I grabbed my nice hot cup of coffee and my little boy and I got in the car to head to school. I drive him in the mornings and for a few minutes it is our peaceful little bit of time together. I always listen to the radio while we make our way down the road. Sometimes Evan reads. Sometimes he talks my head off. There is never much in the way of traffic since we live in a rural area, so Evan and I just enjoy the scenery. I enjoy my coffee.
But as we near the local elementary school the flow of cars on the road thickens. All of a sudden people forget that the lever to the left of the steering wheel is a TURN SIGNAL and it does something amazing. It lets people know that you intend to turn! Imagine that.
When we close in on the entrance to the parking lot, cars are coming from both directions and it is a battle to not only get into the parking lot, but to be in the right hand lane. Because if you get stuck coming out of this knotty mess of minivans in the left hand lane, you will not make it home until sometime tomorrow. Fortunately my driving is a little more aggressive than your average carpool mom’s, and my car is small which enables my clever maneuvering. I look ahead at the line of cars waiting to turn right into the parking lot and prepare to make my move. But the cars don’t seem to be moving.
“What is the problem????” I’m thinking to myself as I clutch my coffee and try to remain calm. “Why are we all just sitting here????” are the words rattling my carpool intolerant brain. Then I spy the answer:
Some moron (that was my dad’s favorite insult when he encountered the dummies of the world) left a U-haul truck parked not only in the driveway to the school, but in the highly coveted right hand lane!!! I’m irritated just writing about it. Just then, Evan chimes in with, “Why do people drive stupid big work trucks and moving vans to school? Why can’t they just drive a regular car?” My sentiments exactly.
I finally managed to scoot my little car into the parking lot and just as I was dropping my little guy off the principal went running towards the offending U-haul truck, walkie talkie in hand. I made it out, but not before I cut off some unsuspecting woman in a Honda (sorry). This little early morning fiasco paired with the fact that it took me thirty minutes to pick my son up from an afterschool activity last week (thirty minutes! gah.) made me realize that I should never ever enter a carpool line unprepared. My solution? Carpool cookies.
Dry ingredients go in one dish…
Melted butter, sugars and vanilla are mixed together in a large bowl. Add one egg and one egg yolk. Beat until the eggs are just combined and then gradually add in the flour mixture.
You will need 2 cups of whatever happiness you can find in your cabinets: any kind of nuts, chocolate chips or chunks, raisins, M&M’s, dried cranberries, candies etc. I used 1 1/2 cups of store bought trail mix (with cashews, almonds, raisins, peanuts, dried cranberries and M&M’s) and then 1/2 a cup of semi -sweet chocolate chips. Just pick what will make you smile, Remember the goal here is to survive whatever carpool might throw at you.
You’ll want to mix this part by hand. This dough is thick and the cookies turn out nice and chewy so these last few stirs will require a little extra elbow grease. Don’t worry. You will replenish these nutrients as soon as the cookies are done baking.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 cups assorted nuts, chocolate, dried fruit or candies
Preheat the oven to 325 and lightly grease your cookie sheets. In a medium sized dish combine flour, baking soda and salt. I a large bowl beat together the melted butter, sugars and vanilla. Gently mix in the egg and egg yolk until just combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture. Mix in by hand the chocolate, fruit candies and nuts of your choice. Drop by heaping tablespoons full onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes. The edges will be light brown. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Make sure to have these cookies on hand whenever you head for a carpool line and when someone parks a U-haul truck in your path, just take a deep breath and be glad you brought chocolate.