August 27, 2013

New recipes for the classic after-school snack of milk and cookies

Kids will love the sweet treats, and parents will savor the time together before homework starts.

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With the kids back in school, we know that time with our children is more rushed than it was during the relaxed summer months.

If you plan ahead, there’s time for a quick family indulgence during those precious moments between the last school bell of the day and the start of homework, sports practice and music lessons.

Take a trip back to a time when milk and cookies were the only items on the after-school schedule. Four local bakeries share recipes for some of their most popular kid-friendly cookies, including cinnamon-spiked, gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies and trail mix cookies that serve as a terrific disguise for healthy ingredients.

Get the kids involved in making them, or you can have the old-fashioned treats ready for them, alongside an ice-cold glass of milk, when the bus drops them off. Then, put the phones away, turn off the TV and savor the treats — and your time — together.

Main Street Bistro & Bakery

Colorful cookies just seem to brighten the eyes of a child, especially when the treats are large and studded with multihued M&Ms like these from Main Street Bistro & Bakery.

The historic downtown Grapevine bakery (which will add dinner hours and be renamed Bistro M this fall) uses mini M&Ms for better coverage, manager Rex Bouteller says.

Add to the rainbow of color by pairing the cookies with chocolate- or strawberry-flavored milk for a festive after-school snack.

The Black Rooster Bakery

These flourless peanut butter-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies have been in Marche Ann Mann’s family since she was a child.

“We always had them growing up, and we loved them,” says the owner of The Black Rooster Bakery, the Berkeley neighborhood’s go-to spot for European-style breads, fresh pastries and pies. “They’re so easy and so good.”

Named for her Louisiana stepgrandmother, the cookies are sold in oversize portions at the bakery and are one of Marche Ann’s favorite kid-friendly treats. Pour a tall glass of milk for these.

Artisan Baking Co.

You can easily hide healthy ingredients like oats, nuts and dried fruit in these salty-sweet trail mix cookies from Gwin Grimes, baker and owner of Artisan Baking Co. in Fort Worth.

“I use a variety of chips, nuts and dried fruit so that each cookie is a little different,” she says. “The cookies are customizable to any kid’s taste.”

Get creative with add-ins like crushed pretzels, sunflower seeds and yogurt chips, or let the kids come up with their own list of trail-mix favorites. You’ll find Artisan Baking Co. products at Cowtown Farmers Market, in addition to the bakery.

Stir Crazy Baked Goods

“My kids like the classics,” says Robbie Werner, owner of the Near Southside’s Stir Crazy Baked Goods and the mother of two small children.

A particular favorite is the snickerdoodle, the cinnamon-sugar-coated soft cookie, which Werner makes using a gluten-free recipe.

The bubbly baker prefers to put together her own gluten-free flour mixture rather than purchase a premixed commercial product. The cookies bake up golden and crackled, and they match up well with a chilled glass of almond or soy milk.

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