Three babies and a good cookie

January 11, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

WILLIAMSPORT -It isn't clear when Casey Bowman, a first-grade teacher, had time to create a cookie in honor of her 14-month-old triplets, Joanna, Nathan and Reid.

But one thing is for sure: Those were some really good cookies.

Bowman entered her Triple-mint Chunksters in The Herald-Mail's 2008 cookie contest. The cookies didn't win, but they quickly gained fans among nonjudges - the newsroom folks lucky enough to nosh on the contest leftovers after the winners were picked.

On first glance, the cookies look like double-chocolate chip. It's actually a combination of crushed Cool Mint Creme Oreos and Andes Mints and semi-sweet chocolate chip. The labor isn't any more cumbersome than making most other cookies.

We liked these cookies because they combine two things that go well together - mint and chocolate - and they have a fabulous backstory.


Bowman, 28, of Hagers-town, teaches at Rockland Woods Elementary School. She's a young, new mom who was surprised to learn she was having three babies and not one.

"We joke that they're a pair and a spare," Bowman said.

She said she wanted create a cookie in honor of her babies.

"This was their first real Christmas that they can remember," Bowman said. "They'll know that a cookie was named for them."

Joanna, the trouble maker and leader of the three, could be the bite of mint, Bowman said. Reid, the "ham" of the group, is reflected in the cookie's "colorful" flavor. Nathan, the mellow one, is the "sweet" part of the cookie, she said.

As they get older, and their tastes change, "the ingredients will probably change with each of them," Bowman said.

Bowman chatted with The Herald-Mail about her cookies, motherhood and what it's like to raise triplets.

Q&A with Casey Bowman

When did you ever find time to come up with this recipe?
I joke with people that I teach first grade to unwind and relax - it's quiet there. Part of me entering the cookie contest was getting to be able to do the things other young moms do. When I was pregnant, people used to say I was going to have it so hard ... but my church and family have all been very supportive.

How often do you cook?
I probably cook four nights a week. Other nights, I'm lucky enough that my mom and dad will fix dinner. My main goal is that (the triplets) get the best nutrition possible. I've been making their baby food.

You make their baby food?
Yes. It's been an experiment. You'll make one thing and only two of them will like it, then one of them hates it. They seem to like sweet potatoes and turkey. I'm so proud that my Joanna likes spinach.

What made you want to make your own?
I used to go grocery shopping late at night and the babies went through 30 diapers a day, 36 cans of baby food a day. I felt so sorry for the poor cashier - I had to explain that I had triplets to the woman each week because each time it was a new person. One day, a lady behind me was frustrated from waiting in line and said, "Just make your own." I thought, that's not a bad idea.

How do you make baby food?
Just making sure it's soft and looking at their (the triplets') faces.

They are babies, after all. How much do you take into account whether I like it or not?
Well, they've learned to shake their heads no and they've learned to say "ummmm." Now broccoli - I've not won the battle on that yet.

Triple-mint Chunksters

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons mint extract
2 cups flour
1 cup powdered cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 crushed Cool Mint Creme Oreo cookies
16 crushed Andes Chocolate Mints
1/1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mixer set to medium speed, beat butter, shortening and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and mint extract until blended.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until blended.

Stir in the Oreos, Andes mints and chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart, onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies have barely set. They will seem kind of muddy. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields 3 dozen cookies.

- Courtesy of Casey Bowman of Hagerstown

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