It is no secret that is has been a very, very long time since I could consider myself a practicing Catholic but some old habits die really, really hard. This past Lent Season while I watched close friends and family perform their annual sacrifices participating in a ritual mirroring the sacrifice Jesus made for the sake of his followers, (i.e. his life) I found myself wanting to also participate but instead of 'giving up' I wanted to 'give back.' Since we can't fight fate, around the same time as Lent began so did the promotions for this year's Share Our Strength Bake Sale fundraiser drive encouraging millions of Americans to make a difference in the fight against childhood hunger by simply holding a neighborhood bake sale.
"Eureka!" I exclaimed internally. What a blessed way to give back-food! Better still, baked goods food! The Share Our Strength Bake Sale provides me the chance to give my community members a delicious treat for $1 and then turn that $1 into ammunition firing back against childhood hunger, truly a cause rooted deeply in my existence. Spokesperson for Share Our Strength Sandra Lee says in her commercial for the annual bake sale that her family often struggled to put food on the table, well sister I can most certainly relate. About the same time my family was fiercely into practicing Catholicism, we also were floundering to stay afloat financially. I have very vivid memories of my two older brothers, my mother, and myself riding two bicycles to our church's rectory (where the priests live) after all the Sunday services were over so we could take as much food donations as we could carry from the church's pantry while pedaling all the way back home. By age ten I was ratted out by my babysitter to my mom that I was hording snacks from her home in my backpack undoubtedly embarrassing my mother as she was trying her damnedest to provide for our little family. Yet, my desire to eat which caused my mother's blind-sided shame is a reality of what it means to be a hungry child.
It is no secret in my life and in the lives of countless others that childhood hunger is real and alive in our America, and that is why I am beyond excited to be a contributing food blogger and baker to Orlando's Share our Strength Bake Sale this Saturday April 17th, 2010 at The Central Winds Park in Winter Springs, FL from 8:30Am-2:00PM. Joining me are two more motivated bloggers and bakers Tasha from www.thatssoyummy.com and Angie from www.southerngracegourmet.com. Together the three of us are hoping to hustle some cupcakes, cookies, breads and more. Sound tasty? You bet it is!
While dedicating this entire post to the cause of raising awareness for childhood hunger and announcing our Orlando Share Our Strength Bake Sale totally constitutes a good blog post, I can't help myself but to include a recipe for my Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookie which I will be selling this Saturday to the hungry masses. May I please entice you-nay TEASE you-to come by and support Share Our Strength with my to-die-for confection? LET THEM EAT COOKIES!
Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (yields approx. 30 cookies)
- 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbl milk
- 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped dry dates
- 1/2 chopped raw almonds
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Blend flour, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add both sugars and the butter. Beat until creamy.
- Add the whole egg and mix well into the batter. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the egg yolk and milk and mix well into the batter. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients in batches to the wet. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add chocolate chips, coconut, almonds and dates and using a large spoon mix well into the batter.
- Using cooking spray, grease baking sheets. Using a tablespoon, create approximately 1 inch rounds that are approximately 1/4 inch think. Leave room for spreading.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown.
- Remove from baking sheets to cooling area.