Friday, September 23, 2011

Cookies For Kids Cancer: A Cookbook for a Cause + A Recipe for a Smile

 Thumbnail image for Cookies for Kids Cancer High Res.jpg

Gretchen Holt-Witt is now a cookbook author.  But that's just her latest title.  Before this truly important and thoroughly delightful book was published, Gretchen was the director of public relations at Oxo (the Good Grips people), a wife, a mother and a force of nature.  When Gretchen's 2 1/2-year-old son, Liam, was diagnosed with pediatric cancer, Gretchen came to quickly understand that unless there was money for research, real money, this disease was never going to get attention.  And so Gretchen launched Cookies For Kids Cancer, a group that started with a small bake sale – a group of professional pastry chefs auctioned off cookies in pretty packages – and grew to be a movement.  There have been (and continue to be) bake sales across the country, the biggest, one that Gretchen dreamed up, dreamed of and made real, sold 96,000 cookies, there is aCookies For Kids Cancer website, where you can order cookies as gifts – good, delicious cookies.  And now there is this book, this wonderful book, all profits from which go to Cookies For Kids Cancer.

The book is a cookbook, for sure – there are more than 70 bake-sale favorite recipes for cookies and brownies and a few candy treats – but it's also a handbook for running your own successful bake sale.  The tips are terrific and bunches of them come from kids, who are veterans of school and scout and neighborhood bakes sales for Cookies For Kids Cancer.   

 I hope you'll buy the book.  I hope you'll support Cookies For Kids Cancer.  And I hope you'll even consider organizing a bake sale.  No matter what you do, treat yourself to a cookie … or three … often.

Tried-and-true sparkly giner snaps.jpg
Adapted from COOKIES FOR KIDS CANCER by Gretchen Holt-Witt
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies
For the sparkly ginger sugar;
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
For the cookies:
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons dark molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
To make the sparkly ginger sugar: Place the sugar and ginger on a plate and mix until combined.  Set aside.
To make the cookies:  Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle and beat until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg and molasses, one at a time, beating well between additions.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Place the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl and mix well.  Add to the butter mixture and beat until everything is well incorporated.  Scrape down the sides fo the bowl and beat again.
Break off small pieces and roll into 1-inch balls.  Roll the balls in the sparkly ginger sugar and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.  Using your hand or the bottom of a water glass, press down until flattened.  Transfer to the oven and bake until the cookies begin to brown at the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining dough.

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