Recipe For Disaster: Making Chocolate Chip Cookies With A Cranky Toddler

Israeli military digger works on the border with Lebanon in the northern Israeli town of Metula, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. The Israeli military launched an operation on Tuesday to "expose and thwart" tunnels built by the Hezbollah terror group that stretch from Lebanon into northern Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

You Will Need:

  • One toddler – preferably one who has no interest in baking and is cranky for reasons known only to him but that seem to involve the desire not to wear pants.
  • One mommy – preferably one who has already basically had it with this day and has made the mistaken assumption that this would be a fun activity because, actually, she just wants to eat a plateful of chocolate chip cookies.
  • One chair for your toddler to kneel on to reach the table – preferably one which is kind of precarious and requires you to use your knees and elbows (because your hands are covered in cookie dough) to keep him from falling on the floor.
  • One iPod playing the same four Sesame Street songs over and over again  because “Mommy, Elmo!”
  • All the stuff listed on the back of the chocolate chip package


Preheat oven to 375.  This is best achieved with your toddler already kneeling on the precarious chair so that you have to keep one hand on him while you stretch your entire body across the full width of the kitchen to reach the oven knob with your other hand because you forgot to do this step before getting him all set up at the table and now he is yelling, “kneel!” over and over again and won’t get down.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Make sure to leave the open container of salt within reach of your toddler as you are measuring out the flour so that, when he grabs it and begins shaking it up and down and flinging salt everywhere you are forced to dump three quarters of a cup of flour onto the floor in order to grab the salt canister. Pause here to throw vast handfuls of salt over your shoulder in an attempt to ward off the bad luck that has clearly already found you.

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Make sure you terrify your toddler by turning on the mixer without warning and, when you realize he’s petrified, be sure to be so startled that you lift the mixer out of the bowl before turning it off, splattering half-mixed cookie dough all over the walls. Then spend some time talking to the mixer for your child’s benefit, telling it how mean it is for scaring him and how we don’t want to see it ever again, goodbye! Then mix the rest of the dough by hand.

Beat in the eggs. Definitely let your toddler crack the eggs himself and then get super annoyed that there is a bunch of eggshell in the bowl and, while you’re trying to fish it out (why is this so impossible?), miss the fact that your toddler is licking his palms, thereby ingesting large quantities of raw egg.  Take a moment to worry obsessively about salmonella while wiping his hands with a questionable dish towel that is the only thing you can reach from where you’re standing, holding your child on the stool.

Mix in the flour mixture and the chocolate chips.  Allow your toddler to taste just one chocolate chip so that he has a big meltdown when you tell him he can’t have any more and tries to cram enormous fistfuls of uncooked dough into his mouth to get at the rest of the chocolate chips.  Make sure he wipes his hands on your shirt and then on his own shirt and then on the wall.

Spoon the batter onto cookie sheets. It’s best to let your toddler do this, otherwise the cookies would be the same size and cookie-shaped.  Also it would require you to stop crying long enough to locate a spoon.

Bake for 9-11 minutes. It’s best to put the cookies in the oven while your toddler screams “not fair!” over and over again because you won’t let him climb into the oven. Think about using the time while the cookies are baking to clean up the enormous mess you’ve made in the kitchen but then give up and decide you’ve been wanting to move to a larger home anyway and there’s no time like the present. Instead, strip your toddler down to his diaper and toss his clothes directly into the garbage. Dab at him halfheartedly with a baby wipe.

Remove cookies from oven when they are golden brown and you are a sobbing puddle on the floor. Offer one to your toddler but be sure he has absolutely no interest in tasting one and is whining for some goldfish crackers instead. Give him the goldfish, eat a few cookies, drink a glass of milk, and think: this wasn’t so bad. Maybe tomorrow we’ll try oatmeal raisin.