Cookies with a Twist

One of my first friends in Kansas City was Megan. Like me, she was an old soul in a young body. We met while working on our Masters degrees at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. We also had a lot of fun exploring the city – dinners, plays, and concerts. Megan is so talented and has taught me so many things. I also owe the start of my nonprofit career to this lady. She helped me make a resume that visually popped. Her networking skills also helped me find my first nonprofit job as a grant writer. That job was one of the best teams I’ve ever worked on and a few of those fantastic women are still dear friends.

Megan is Martha Stewart. Not only is she an amazing cook but she and her husband are also master gardeners. They have turned their passion for gardening into a full-scale Kansas agri-business. If you are close, visit their Next to Nature booth on a Saturday morning at the Bonner Springs Farmers Market. They have everything from fresh seasonal produce to products made from honey. I love watching their business adventures on Facebook.

Megan_weddingI was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid for Megan and Chad’s wedding. Like all weddings, they had a hiccup right before their big day. Less than a week before their big day, the building where they were going to have their wedding reception was hit by a car. The good news is that structural engineers determined it was still safe to remain open. Their wedding end up going off without a hitch. And nine years later, they are still happily married.

For our wedding, Megan shared this recipe. I wasn’t sure what to think at first. Orange and chocolate chips? Sure, I’ve seen chocolate covered orange slices but I’ve never eaten them. But I trusted Megan. She’s Martha Stewart, right. I have to tell you, these cookies were so good I wish I had made a larger batch. I hope you love these super soft cookies as much as I did.

Orange Chocolate Chippers by Megan Gilliland
IMG_01601 c. shortening
1 – 3 oz. package of cream cheese
2 T. grated orange peel
2 c. flour
1 (6 oz.) package of chocolate chips
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Cream together shortening, sugar, and cream cheese. Add eggs, orange peel, and vanilla. Shift together salt and flour. Then, add to mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoons onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool and remove. Makes 4 dozen.

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I usually buy Pillsbury Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I figure if someone makes better cookies than you can, why not buy them? I ran across this recipe that uses cornstarch to soften up the cookies. I made them and felt like they were just as good as Pillsbury. I didn’t have enough chocolate chips so I used half white chocolate chips and half mini chocolate chips. My co-workers thought they were good judging by the fact they were gone by lunchtime.

Chocolate ChipsChewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by American Heritage Cooking
¾ c. butter, softened
¾ c. brown sugar
¼ c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips

Mix and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Hunger Sweats

Did you know that hunger sweating is a really thing? Google it. Jeremiah learned this on Thursday morning. Although more common in diabetics when their blood sugar is low, it can also happen to non-diabetics. If I were to guess, it might also be a reaction to our diet with the medicines Jeremiah takes. Of course, this is making me nervous for the week to be over. I don’t want anything to happy to my love.

Of course, it is also a reminder of the chronic health conditions so many people who receive food from Harvesters. Twenty-nine (29%) percent of the households who receive food from Harvesters have at least one person in their household who is in poor health.  Thirty-seven (37%) percent of households have at least one member with diabetes, and 62 percent report at least one member with high blood pressure. Can you imagine having to choose between purchasing food and paying for medicine? As you can see, cheap unhealthy food or lack of food can also be bad for your health.

After experiencing hunger sweats in the morning, Jeremiah ate his banana. Of course, that means he did not have one to eat at lunch time. I guess it is a good thing we packed the leftover Chicken Penne Pasta for lunch. It was made with whole wheat pasta which helped get him by until dinner.

Bless his heart, Jeremiah waited for me to eat dinner. I was late because I had a hair cut after work. We ate Red Beans and Rice, corn bread, and five saltine crackers. For dessert, two cookies each plus a cup of coffee for Jeremiah. That was the last of the extra cookies so we won’t be able to have any for dessert tomorrow night.

Check-out the cookie recipe we prepared on Sunday for the week. The recipe comes from Harvesters’ Nutrition Services Department. The cookies cost $3.06 to make or $.09 per cookie. They don’t taste very different than the homemade chocolate chip cookies my mother made growing up.

cookiesWhole-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies by Harvesters’ Nutrition Department
3/4 c. oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. canola oil
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
t tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind oats in a blender or food processor until texture of flour. Pour in a medium bowl with flour, baking soda, and salt. In another medium bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Beta until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low. Once combined, stir in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, approximately two inches apart. Bake 9-12 minutes. Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Nutritional information: Calories – 131, Fat 7 g., Protein – 2 g., Carbs – 17 g. , Fiber 2 g., and Sodium 79 mg.

No Bake Cookie Dough

Did you used to lick the egg beaters as a kid? In my mother’s kitchen, that was a benefit to helping her make homemade chocolate chips cookie. Who knew back in the day that eating raw cookie dough was bad for you? The raw eggs put us at risk of getting sick from salmonella.

A friend of mine posted this recipe for a no bake cookie dough. Since it doesn’t have eggs, you can eat it raw. Without leavening agents (baking soda and baking powder), you can’t bake this recipe though.

I made this recipe for a talent show for Associate Appreciation Week at work. It was a hit with all my co-workers in attendance.

100_0957Eggless Cookie Dough
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. milk
1 c. flour
pinch of salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Mix together brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Add milk and slowly add flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate or freeze til ready to eat.

Candy Bar Cookies

At Halloween time, the management of our building came trick-or-treating to our office. The great part, they delivered us the treats. Surprisingly, no one in my office was really eating the Milky Way bars. I’m not sure why – chocolate and caramel are two of my favorites. They also make me think of my Great-grandma Kingston who always had Milky Ways in her fridge that smelled like perfume.

I asked Pam if I could take them home and create a recipe I thought everyone in the office might sample. The result was Candy Bar-Frosted Chippers from an old Pillsbury cookbook. It was the first time I ever made them but they were awesome! I posted a pic on FB and lots of people emailed me for the recipe. I hope you enjoy these yummy treats.

Candy Bar-Frosted Chipper 

1 (18-oz.) roll Pillsbury Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 (2.05 oz.) Milky Way, original candy bars
¼ c. butter
1 T. milk
1 c. powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape cookie dough into 20 (1 ¼ inch balls); please 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool for 15 minutes.

In a small pan, combine 2 chopped candy bars and butter. Cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add milk and powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Frost cooled cookies and sprinkle with remaining chopped candy bar.

Notes: I used a container of cookie chip cookie dough and made about 2 dozen cookies. It’s a great way to support a kid’s fundraiser and create a delicious treat.