Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookies for a Cause

As fun as it may be for me to make, bake and give away batch after batch of cookies during the month of December, we unfailingly always seem to wind up with more than our fair share of the goodies in our cookie tins! Seeing as I tend to use the kitchen as both my personal psychiatrist's office and a "cabin fever" cure, I always ramp up the baking action during the last "crunch" of the school year and into exam week, counterintuitive as it may seem. According to the rest of the family, though, I rarely have a good reason for making the plethora of treats I do during the season - due to the "weird" read: unique, original, out-of-the-box, etc. nature almost nothing I make anytime during the year finds a home in the bellies of my family! The only treats that are eaten here (save for my mom's weekly breads, which she bravely takes for lunch) are what I term the boring ones... plain-jane chocolate chip cookies, box-mix chocolate cake, and occasionally a muffin or two if I can convince my sister they're the "normal" kind! For Christmas eve this year (co-inciding with my stepdad's birthday) I scaled way back on what I planned... partially because I will be more or less out of commission after some dental surgery (I will be a Christmas chipmunk! Aaaalllvin!!!) and partially due to the lackluster reception my Candied Chestnut Cheesecake got last year from the attendees at dinner and thereafter. Luckily I did get to secure some breadmaking duties which includes making something I've never tried before... ciabbatta... and a sourdough one (with luck) at that!

This year, though, thanks to the amazing organization and thoughtfulness of fellow foodies Andrea Chiu and Suresh Doss, my extra cookies have found a home... and helped out some others along the way! Starting as a tiny, Twitter-based event, FoodieMeet quickly blossomed into a program that those "in the know" could look forward to regularly. Most recently they hosted a huge bake-off and tasting session benefiting a local food outreach centre known as The Stop - calling out to anyone who cared to try their luck and bring some sugar to the party! Now, I missed the boat on this one - I was a little slow off the draw with this event - but two of my favourite local food bloggers (Joel and Bonnie) took part and by the looks of things had a blast! You can bet next year I will be right there next to them, covered in flour and sugar with the best!

So what does this have to do with me? Well, I had been talking with Joel about the fundraising that Foodie Meet had planned, along with the potential price he could levy on his awesome cookies (I highly reccommend the Pig Candy of you like bacon!), and I was whining that I had missed out on the fun. Well, turns out that my cookies would be able to find a home with his donations! I added not one, but two kinds of my Christmas cookies to his donation - some "Deliciously Chewy Double Chip Cookies" and my personal favourites from this year - "Red Wine and Espresso Bean Cookies" (which I adapted from Cookie Madness)!

Of course, these will both be shared with Eat Christmas Cookies at FoodBlogga as well... and definitely take a look at the worldwide goodies on her roundup!

Deliciously Chewy Double-Chip Cookies
Makes 30 big cookies
2 cups (200 g) flour
1 ½ cups (130 g) Kamut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
¾ cup (165 g) shortening
¼ cup (60 g) light cream cheese
1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
½ cup (100 g) Demerara sugar
½ cup (95 g) white sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tbsp egg replacer powder, prepared according to directions (or 2 eggs, beaten)
1 ½ tbsp vanilla
1 cup (185 g) chocolate chips
¾ cup (135 g) white chocolate chips
Preheat an oven to 300 F.

  1. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream shortening, cream cheese, both sugars and corn syrup.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, blending well.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chips, coconut and oats.
  5. Portion dough into roughly 2-tbsp sized balls. Flatten on ungreased sheets (though it’s useful to line with parchment!) to about ¼” thick.
  6. Bake 17 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 207.4
Total Fat: 8.9 g
Cholesterol: 4.6 mg
Sodium: 16.0 mg
Total Carbs: 28.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Protein: 1.6 g

Red Wine and Espresso Bean Cookies
Makes about 20
¾ cup (98 g) flour
1/3 cup (33 g) dark cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup (55 g) shortening
6 ½ tbsp (77 g) sugar
¼ cup (50 g) packed brown sugar
1 tsp egg replacer powder, prepared according to package (or 1 egg white)
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup dry red wine (I used Merlot)
2/3 cup (118 g) miniature chocolate chips
½ cup (100g) chocolate covered espresso beans
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F, line baking sheets with parchment or silicone.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars.
  4. Add egg replacer, vanilla and wine, beating well.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture, then chocolate and espresso beans.
  6. Space 2” apart on sheets.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on sheets, then remove to a wire rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 115.3
Total Fat: 5.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.3 mg
Total Carbs: 16.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.3 g


  1. Aren't those tweet-ups fun? And how wonderful that yours turned into a worthy cause. Cookies for a cause. Now that's what Christmas is about.

  2. The chocolate cookies look divine! And, red wine as the secret ingredient - bet that makes them delicious. I'm going to have to try these.


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