Monday, July 15, 2013

A Perfect Day on Lake George and an EASY Cookie Recipe!

For a few weeks, I've been looking forward to a beach day at Ushers Park on Lake George with my friend Cassie, her Mom Linda, and Cassie's twins, Penelope and Carter. The twins are 15 months old. As the day approached, I thought it would be nice to take Pete (2 1/2) along, since his brother Henry has swimming lessons every afternoon this week. Besides, Pete and I haven't had any real 1:1 excursions, so today was the day. Katie packed up a beautiful lunch for Pete with all his favorites -- PB&J, strawberries, blueberries, and yogurt, and I stopped for a sandwich-to-go and drink on our way to meet up with them.

Earlier this morning, Pete came upstairs to say "Good morning, Meena!" (Meena is his made-up word for "Grandma" and it has stuck!) He asked to make cookies, and I knew it was going to be a 90-plus-degree day today, so I said OK, but we had to do it quickly and get it over with. What's quicker than a pouch of cookie mix? Yes, I do resort to one now and then, especially the oatmeal variety. So, we took the pouch of cookie mix and doctored-it-up with the rest of that toasted coconut and chunks of dark chocolate. Oh man, are these cookies GREAT! You would never, ever, know that I didn't labor away at a from-scratch recipe to produce such a terrific cookie! I always keep a pouch on reserve in case there's an immediate cookie emergency, as we had this morning!

So, one nice addition to our picnic lunch (in the shade of a big old tree) were some of these cookies for dessert. Pete said he helped me, but actually, I helped him. He dumped the contents of the pouch, the toasted coconut, and the chopped dark chocolate into the bowl. He cracked the egg and stirred it in along with the softened butter. He dipped the cookie scoop and squeezed the handles to deposit the generous portions of dough onto the cookie sheet. (Is Pete our version of the Little Red Hen?!) He really did make these cookies (with a bit of help) AND he helped load the dishwasher. I'd say I assisted Pete rather than the other way around, and he was very proud of himself, and rightfully so!

Here are some photos of a lovely day at the beach, and the easy recipe for Oatmeal Cookies with Toasted Coconut and Dark Chocolate Chunks:

Pete looking out over beautiful Lake George!

A momma duck and her babies!

Carter and Peter

Carter and Penelope!

Million Dollar Beach at the south end of Lake George in the distance.

Oven - 375 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
Makes 30-36 large cookies

1 standard-sized pouch Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1 cup toasted coconut - (350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Don't let it get too dark!)
6 oz. dark chocolate, cut up in chunks

4 oz. softened butter
1 egg

In large bowl, combine cookie mix with toasted coconut and chopped chocolate.  Add egg and soft butter.  Mix with a large wooden spoon until it all comes together and is completely combined.

Drop by tablespoon-fulls onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, about a dozen (evenly spaced) to a sheet. Squish down with 2 fingers to flatten cookies a bit, so they'll bake more evenly.  Bake 11-12 minutes or until bottoms JUST begin to brown.  Ovens vary so check at 10 minutes.

Cool for a minute or two and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  I sure enjoyed the day!

Easy and Delicious - can't be that!


  1. Love this recipe!! ANd love the photos--and getting to see Cassie's Penelope and Carter

    1. Marla, this is a GREAT beach for little kids! Your adorable family would love it!

  2. I'll have to make those cookies with the Grandkids...they sound amazing! Glad you & Pete were able to get in some 1 on 1 time...there's nothing better!

    1. I agree, Diane, and you should know with #5 due in the very near future! Thanks! <3

  3. http:Sue ValentiJuly 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    How much fun for you and Peter to enjoy a day at the lake -- my favorite place to be and I know that it is yours. To spend it with your grandson is even more special. I too have taken to using cookie mixes (more than I can to even admit) and find them convenient. I will take your suggestion to add ingredients to make them even more interesting and personal. I do enjoy your blog, happy to see you did not stop postings. Where would I get all of my delicious bakery recipes.!

    1. Thanks so much, Sue! When I concentrate on the blog itself and not on keeping up with the blogging-Joneses, I am much better! :) Love ya!