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Thursday, 15 March 2018 11:54

Kids’ night was interesting

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One of two things happen when little kids are left at home with the babysitter.

Either A) Pint-sized Napoleons suddenly become miniature Ghandis. Or B) Mommy's little cherubs morph into devils in footie pajamas.
It's a common phenomenon.
Still innocent of the social graces that allow adults to falsify their moods at will, little ones can be prone to practically bi-polar swings in behaviour. They shift from naughty to nice, depending on who's in charge and how they feel about it.
And, as whole legions of freshly minted babysitter class graduates will soon learn, whatever a child's disposition, preschoolers are no pushovers. They can reduce a teenager to frustrated sobs before you can say, "Fine, have ten cookies! Just, for the love of Scooby Doo, don't tell your parents!"
Unfortunately for a young babysitter, the certified survival guide tilts heavily towards the side of toddler safety and first aid. Vital, of course. But skipped over are entire volumes on surviving to babysit another day. And without that, the certificates issued should probably come printed on white flags.
The problem can happen when twelve and thirteen year olds are sent into the fray thinking they’ve been hired as surrogate parents, complete with wisdom that’s decades beyond them.
What’s nearer the truth, however, is that babysitters are more akin to camp counsellors: responsible “big” friends. They can and should be expected to keep the house rules, be good role models and know when to call for help. But it’s important that they’re given enough latitude to keep things fun. After all, the parents’ night out is the kids’ night in.
So, for example, if the Oreos are ordinarily kept in a time lock safe that only opens for birthdays and Easter, parents might consider bending a the sweets statute just a bit. Set out a roll of pre-mixed cookie dough or cupcake mix. Or a stick of butter along with peanut butter, some flour and sugar and a recipe for easy organic peanut butter cookies from scratch.
As reward that comes with only the most important strings attached (respectful behaviour and some veggies for supper) baking with the babysitter ranks as more than just a way to whittle down the time. It’s a learning adventure. And for everyone involved, it counts towards some very valuable brownie points for next time.
Chunky Organic Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup chunky organic peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter until combined and pale in colour; about 2 minutes. Add brown and granulated sugar and mix until combined. Mix in eggs and vanilla, then gradually add in flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in chopped peanuts. Chill for 15 minutes.
Drop batter from a 1 ounce scoop onto Silpat-lined baking sheets. Flatted each cookie slightly with a fork. Bake at 350F for about 10-13 minutes, until lightly golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to three days.
Note: dough freezes well and can be stored, frozen. Shape into rolls and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place wrapped dough in freezer bags. Thaw rolls slightly and slice into cookie-sized rounds. Place on baking sheets and bake.

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