Cooking Club Chronicles- Having Fun With Christmas Cookie Exchanges

A short while ago a very caring young guy (that’s you, Kevin!) asked several of us to join an event that another young person, Stacy Cameron, has been hosting for the last 5 years. She calls it “Caring With Cookies“, and this is how she explains it:

I ask volunteers to bake a few dozen cookies, maybe something that was a tradition for you growing up. If you aren’t a baker but want to help, you can pass this along to your friends, family or co-workers. Once I receive all of the cookies I (along with my helpers) package them up in bags of 6 or so and deliver them to the Cool-Aid Society homeless shelter in Victoria and this year in the Cowichan Valley as well. I have people in Parksville, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan and Victoria that are kind enough to act as a drop off center for cookies, making it easier to get them to me in Duncan. I’m accepting cookies NOW until DECEMBER 22nd. Many of you have made my dream a reality by donating every year and I thank you from the bottomest part of my heart!

Here is a picture of her kitchen during the packaging stage.

In response to questions, Stacy talks about her goals for this year`s cookie drive:
With all the interest I’ve been getting this year, I am hoping to deliver cookies to 297 people (in 5 different shelters, 4 in Victoria and 1 here in the Cowichan Valley)…that means I need at least 1782 cookies which is 148.5 dozen. Last year I had around 100 dozen cookies…help me reach this goal by passing this on to your friends and family…thanks everyone 🙂

Well, how could we resist when she sets out with a goal like that? Our cooking club was planning to do some Christmas baking anyway, so we decided to combine forces and give Stacy a little helping hand at the same time. Four of us met yesterday (my daughter joined us to help out), and each of the three club members contributed two cookie recipes. Of the 6 recipes, 5 were vegan, and for each recipe we aimed to make at least 3 dozen cookies. That gave us a grand total of 12 dozen cookies (of six different types) for Stacy, and another 6 dozen cookies to divide among ourselves for our own Christmas entertaining.

What a hoot it was, too! We each brought a few cookie sheets and our own supplies and GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAwe did the baking in my sister’s house, as she has two ovens right now. We paired up and had two recipes going at a time and it went incredibly well- our own little assembly line, as we mixed, baked, cooled, and packaged them into extra large freezer bags, chatting and laughing throughout. We were finished, with the dishes done and cookies packaged up within three hours (even with a break for some delicious spicy Mexican bean soup in the middle). I will share Sarah’s two recipes today and post the others tomorrow.

Vegan Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (modified from Savvy Vegetarian)

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (use half whole wheat pastry if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp baking soda

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2/3 cup vegan spread, room temperature (or 1/3c vegan spread + 1/3c almond butter)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped nuts

 Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and quick oats
  • Cream the vegan spread with the sugar until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the soymilk, lemon juice and vanilla
  • Mix dry ingredients with the creamed mixture
  • Stir in chocolate chips and coconut
  • Spoon the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 dozen to a sheet
  • Bake one sheet at a time for 10 -12 minutes, just until brown around the edges – don’t overbake, or they’ll be tough instead of tender
  • Remove from oven, and transfer to cooling racks

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (modified from: The Girl Who Ate Everything)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flourGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegan spread, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • vegan egg substitute (1 1/2 eggs worth)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegan white chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl then set aside.
  • Beat together the melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg substitute and vanilla with a mixer until creamy.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture until just mixed.
  • Stir in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips by hand.
  • Drop by the spoonful onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges look golden brown.
  • Cool on the baking sheet for at least 4-5 minutes so the cookies can set before moving to a rack.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
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2 thoughts on “Cooking Club Chronicles- Having Fun With Christmas Cookie Exchanges

  1. Oh wow!
    How beautiful!
    It is people like you that give people such as myself the mental strength to carry on in the rough turns life may bring…
    All with the power of your warming selfless love.
    God Bless you and your works!

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