• 70°

Fill up a back-to-school lunchbox with love

Yes, school starts back next week. Your child is either excited and won’t hush up about seeing all their friends or sulking around the house dreading next week.
I was trying to think of something that might help them through their first week back. To me, nothing is more wholesome than oatmeal.
No, this is not for breakfast, but rather for snack or dessert with lunch. I know it sounds too simple, but oatmeal cookies just sound and smell like, “Mommy loves you and hopes you have a wonderful day!”
So, bake up a batch, put several in their lunch or in a bag next to their lunch money with a note of encouragement and send your little ones off to school.
Your older ones will appreciate them, too, even if they don’t tell you so.

Mama’s Love Oatmeal Cookies
3 sticks of real butter
1-1/2 cups of firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp butter flavoring
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp all-spice
1-1/2 tsp salt
4-1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup of your favorite chocolate chips or raisins (optional)
3/4 cup of your favorite nut (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add your eggs, vanilla, and butter flavoring and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, all-spice and salt.
Add the mixed dry ingredients to the wet ones you already have mixed and mix well. Then, stir in the oats, chocolate or raisins, and nuts; mix well.
Drop by the tablespoon fulls onto the lined cookie sheet about 1 to 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for about a minute and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Yields about 6 dozen.
While still warm, pour up a glass of milk or a cup of coffee and enjoy a few yourself. Go on, you deserve it!
If you can’t boil water, much less bake, call up that friend or family member who can, buy all the ingredients and have her bake them and split the batch!
Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.
Laura Clements is a contributing food columnist for The Demopolis Times.