Friday, December 11, 2009

Giving and Oatmeal, Cherry & White Chocolate Cookies

I love this time of year.

Lights, music. Good cheer and fellowship. It seems that everywhere you go you hear the heart felt mantra of "Happy Holidays"

But there is an underbelly to all this holiday cheer. There are millions of Americans who are out of work and cannot afford the very basics of life - heat, home and food - let alone the extra expenses of the holidays.

I know many charitable organizations are also feeling the financial pinch as corporate sponsors and ordinary citizens are not in a position to contribute this year.

So what can one person do? Plenty.

Can you volunteer at a soup kitchen?
Can you spare just one can of food to your local food pantry?
Can you buy a pair of warm socks or mittens for your local Red Cross?

My church has a Giving Tree set up in their lobby. The tree is decorated with Christmas Cards and inside the cards is a handwritten request. The requests are simple. Diapers. Baby Formula. A pair of mittens. A scarf. Small stuff, don't you think?

This year, I've asked my kidadults to each take a card from the Giving Tree and buy that person a gift instead of buying me a present. While they always come up with a wonderful surprise for me - this year, someone else needs it more. And what better gift is there then the gift of giving?

What can you do for the less fortunate in your community?

Oatmeal, Cherry and White Chocolate Cookies (makes 4 to 5 dozen depending on size)

2/3 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old fashioned, quick oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dried cherries, rough chopped (you can also use dried cranberries)
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat butter and sugars together until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture in a few additions, beating after each addition. Stir in cherries and chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool on rack.


  1. Those cookies sound tasty. Think it'd work with regular milk chocolate, too?

  2. Alas, we find ourselves not in a position to help as much as in previous years, but still throwing the odd dollars into Salvation Army kettles and such.

  3. They sound delicious, could the cherries be left out or substituted?

  4. Thank you for the reminder; it's so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of it all.

    The cookies sound fabulous. Just what I need; more calories. It seems that since Thanksgiving all of my willpower has deserted me, and I cannot stay away from the sweets.

  5. Badass - cherries and chocolate? Oh yes... definitely.

    Suldog - every little bit helps. I've been dropping my dollars into those beautiful red buckets too!

    Vodka - if you use cranberries, they would be a substitute for the cherries

    Whitney - I don't count calories between Thanksgiving and Xmas - it's just so much more fun that way...

  6. These cookies have oatmeal and we all know that oatmeal will lower cholesteral..... makes up for the calories, right?

    My Dad sent me $50 for Christmas, so I gave it to a man who just lost his job. It was money I didn't count on anyway...... In the big scheme of life it wasn't much, but I hope it helps.

  7. Kathy - YES! Oatmeal cancels out all that butter... Wow. $50 may not seem like a lot to some people but I bet it was a God Send to that man.. or should I say a Kathy-Send! I believe that when we give we are rewarded back many times over... Merry Christmas Kathy - it sounds to me like you really understand the Christmas Spirit.

  8. We are on the same page- right down to the cookie recipe!

  9. What a great idea. One of our local grocery stores (Raleys) is filling bags for the local food pantry. So for a $10 donation they will donate a bag worth $25! I thought that was such a deal - we bought five last week and hope to do something similar when we get to Portland for the Christmas. Food is needed everywhere.

  10. Buffalo - great minds think alike, right?

    Nancy - that is a fantastic deal and strikes right at the heart of neediness of community! Like I told Kathy K - I truly believe that when we give we are rewarded many other times over. Merry Christmas and safe travels!

  11. I love your church's plan!!! Wonderful!!! I'm inspired!!! And your cookies look like a little taste of the divine...Yum, yum!! Always LOVE visiting with you...I learn so much!!! ~Janine XO

  12. Those cookies sound amazing. We do lots of extra stuff like that to try and teach our boys the importance of giving to others. Just tonight, they wrapped the gifts for the names they took of the tree in our local bank.

  13. You know what is really good? Take a good oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and substitute Raisinettes for regular raisins!

  14. Sniffles - Happy Holidays to you and yours! Thanks for the kind words (as always)

    Sara - You are teaching your boys a wonderful, lifelong lesson of giving! What rewards you will receive in return! Blessings!

    Otin - Oh yum... I'm going to make those...

  15. What a wonderful post...constant reminders are what keep us all on target...the seasons is not about getting, but the greatest gift of love given!

  16. I stopped answering those questions so I will answer you here.

    I like to cook Italian food. I make a pretty good baked ziti.

  17. Great post.
    Josh and I are always looking for ways to give back.

  18. These cookies look fabulous! I might just have to make them! Our community has many ways to help those in need and the generous spirit of the people, here, shines brightly at Christmas.


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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