A Holiday Cookie Exchange That Gives Back

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We’re heading to a holiday cookie exchange on Saturday (hence my cry for help on Facebook) that I’m really excited about. Our friends thought this type of party would be a great way to mobilize a bunch of people to help the community while having a lot of fun in the process. I could babble on, but I think I’ll just cut and paste the invite instead so you can see the details for yourself. Feel free to use it as a template for your own party!

We invite you to  join us for our annual cookie exchange.  Our hope is to again send you home with a wonderful assortment of delicious holiday cookies while at the same time working together to help make the holidays a bit better for others in our community.

COOKIES

The idea is for you to take home about half of the cookies you bring.  Together, we will put the other half into individual tins to be delivered to seniors and shut-ins.  So bring as many cookies as you want to bake!  And if you do not care to bake nor to take home any cookies, please just bring more of the items needed for the food pantry.

FOOD PANTRY

We are also asking for your help with gathering items for local food pantries.  Listed below are those items which they need most.

Beans + Rice:  We hope that as many of you as possible will bring large bags of black beans (10#), pinto beans (20#) and/or rice (20#), all of which may be purchased at Costco.  We will then work together to break down the large bags into smaller individual bags, which saves the food pantries a great deal of volunteer labor.

Senior bags:  The Healdsburg food pantry assembles bags for about 35 seniors in our community and they are always in need of the following items in individual packages:

  • fruit/breakfast bars (soft to chew)
  • instant oatmeal packets
  • fruit and/or pudding cups
  • hot cocoa
  • bar soap or soft soap in pump bottles
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • cereal
  • jello + boxed pudding
  • macaroni + cheese
  • tuna fish
  • low sodium soups
  • peanut butter
  • dish detergent
  • toileteries: shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, deodorant
  • tea and coffee-individual sizes (like Starbucks)

We look forward to spending a fun and rewarding afternoon together and thank you in advance for your generous souls.

How cool is that? I’m bringing these oatmeal cookies as one of my contributions and would LOVE to know your favorite cookie/bar/brownie recipe. Leave a link below or on Facebook!

Need more creative cookie ideas? Alison recently when to a cookie exchange hosted by Food Bloggers Los Angeles. Here are some more recipes from our creative friends at FBLA:

FBLA 2013 Cookie Exchange Recipes

Non-Cookie Items

 

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Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

With a combination of rolled oats, whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour, these healthy chocolate chip cookies strike a nice balance between whole-grain virtue and traditional flavor. If you want to really boost the flavor, try making them with our DIY Ghee instead of regular butter. It takes the flavor and texture to a whole new level. You can change these cookies in any number of ways–substitute raisins or dried cherries for the chocolate chips, use different nuts, etc. When I have dried blueberries on hand, I’ll throw them in along with the chocolate chips and nuts. Have fun with it!

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The dough for these cookies comes together in less than 15 minutes, and chilling it for at least 30 minutes before baking allows the oats and whole wheat pastry flour to absorb moisture for better texture. You can make the dough and chill it up to 3 days in advance.

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter OR 4 ounces DIY Ghee, softened
  2. 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  3. 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  8. 1/2 cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  11. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  12. 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

Combine butter or ghee and sugars in a large bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Whisk together the flours, oats, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat until thoroughly combined. Fold in the chips and nuts. Chill mixture 30 minutes to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 16 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cool 2 minutes on pans. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.

http://nourishnetwork.com/2012/12/14/holiday-cookie-exchange/