Cookie dough balls are fun to make, safe to eat

  • It helps to line up all your ingredients for a recipe (the French call this mise en place) before you start mixing so you don't find out when it's too late that you don't have enough flour.

      It helps to line up all your ingredients for a recipe (the French call this mise en place) before you start mixing so you don't find out when it's too late that you don't have enough flour. Deborah Pankey | Staff Photographer

  • You can eat this eggless cookie dough straight out of the bowl or roll it into balls to enjoy for dessert or an after-school snack.

      You can eat this eggless cookie dough straight out of the bowl or roll it into balls to enjoy for dessert or an after-school snack. Deborah Pankey | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted3/7/2015 2:00 AM

Today marks a changing of the guard -- a passing of the pen and whisk, really -- as Jerome Gabriel, now a high schooler more interested in computers and water polo than cooking, hands his Suburban Parent cooking column to his younger brother, Henry.

I guarantee these two boys, born three years apart, came from me, yet their palates could not be more different. While Jerome would dive into a never-before-tried bowl of soup or plate of sushi, Henry turns away, vowing nothing would pass his lips except peanut butter sandwiches and chicken nuggets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

And even though I vowed I wouldn't treat them differently, I do. I've learned that sometimes less is more with Henry (as in the less he knows about a dish, the better), and that sometimes trying a new food has to be his idea (or so he thinks).

Now 12, Henry's getting a wee more adventurous, yet he still has a long way to go in expanding his palate. This column will continue to focus on kid-friendly fare, but I'm the one in the lead, pulling Henry (sometimes kicking and screaming!) into new culinary territory. Sometimes that territory will be a new dish or ethnic cuisine, other times it may be a technique or piece of equipment.

Today we focus on a technique the French call mise en place. Translated as "everything in place," it's the practice of measuring out and lining up ingredients before a recipe comes together.

Cooking with young kids I've found this step especially important. Not only do they learn how read a recipe and measure correctly, but you won't be wrist deep in batter only to realize you're short cup or flour or out of chocolate chips because your oldest used them to make mousse.

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To demonstrate mise en place we made one of Henry's favorite recipes, Cookie Dough Balls. Henry loves making cookies, and loves eating the raw dough; it's one of the few food passions we have in common right now. But as a food professional, and a mom, I have to warn against eating raw eggs (even though statistically speaking, the risk of salmonella from raw eggs is small). So he found a recipe on YouTube for eggless cookie dough balls.

Once the ingredients have been measured, this recipe comes together lickety-split. We note that it makes 18 balls, of course that depends on how big you want to make them. In terms of servings, Henry and I again agree: It serves just two.

• Daily Herald Food Editor Deborah Pankey is the mother of two boys. Her youngest, Henry, is a sixth-grader and a picky eater who's finally beginning to explore new foods.

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