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April 4, 2011

So I made a bundle of cookies last Friday to contribute to the Bakesale for Japan. The Bakesale was held on Saturday, April 2nd, in and around SF. Also participating on the same day there were locations throughout California and across the U.S. Last I heard the Bakesale raised over 76k, which is an absolute amazing result. You are still able to donate, so swing over to the site if you’d like to contribute. All of the money raised is going to a NGO group called Peace Winds Japan, who are one of many dedicated organizations bringing relief to the Japanese people affected by the earthquake and tsunami.


The cookies I made were loaded with sunflower seeds, rolled oats, raisins and apricots.

The cookie is called ‘Health Nut cookie’ and the recipe  comes from my Mom. She would make these tirelessly as I was growing up and I absolutely adore them. This is the first time I have ever made them, so of course I was curious to see how they would taste. Ultimately I was hoping they would taste exactly as how I remembered: crispy, spotted with raisins and flecked with tiny sunflower seeds. The recipe also calls for wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, a bit of butter, brown sugar, an egg and some baking soda and baking powder. All in all it is a somewhat healthy cookie and quite a good one. I made a test run early in the week and outsourced them to a few people. They seem to go down easy. I must admit I certainly ate quite a few as well. Quite a few.

My Mom’s recipe does not call for apricots but I decided to add a few in for variety. Prior to making these she mentioned she would add extra flour because her cookies ‘always came out flat’. When she told me this I chuckled quietly to myself. I do actually recall her cookies being flat and crisp. I really enjoyed them this way.

But what I know and what she doesn’t know, is that the reason her cookies would emerge from the oven ‘flat’ is because she probably over-worked the butter and sugar in the beginning stages of mixing. The butter and sugar should only be mixed for about 2- 3 minutes. Over-mixing the butter and sugar will usually yield a flat cookie. It is also a good idea to roll the cookies out and freeze or chill for about 30 minutes before baking. I actually rolled my cookie dough into logs and froze them. Then I sliced them off before baking them.

I bagged all the cookies in bunches of seven, as I decided that was a good half-baker’s dozen. Each bag was labeled with the ingredient list (as required) and name of the cookies, along with my contact info (via Twitter). I tied the bags off with scraps of fabric and denim.

I dropped the cookies off at the SPQR location as well as at Bi-Rite. It was amazing to see how many people took the time and baked off some really fantastic looking items. Had I not been working on a wedding installation that day, I would’ve certainly popped by one of the several locations and picked up some goodies. I can only hope my cookies were purchased by someone and that they were enjoyed.

And by the way, my cookies were not flat. They came out looking and tasting very good, but somehow I feel like my Mom’s version is better, as nothing beats a childhood memory taste…especially when it comes to cookies.

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