giving back [with cookies! & recipes!]

17 Feb

I told you in my self-love post that one of my favorite things to do to feel good about myself is find ways to give back to the community, or generally make people smile. When I can, I like to make this coincide with my love of all things food.

Enter CHAM. Cham is the “Community Homeless Alliance Ministry” that puts on a church service for homeless people in my area every Sunday, then provides them with a hot meal afterwards. We help out by buying some of the food, doing some of the cooking, and doing most of the serving and clean-up.

Plates of food

It’s an incredibly rewarding experience all on its own, but this week I decided to share a little extra V-Day love… So, obviously, I baked them cookies.

There were three kinds… (Yes, I baked ~75 cookies in my dingy dorm kitchen. I’m dedicated. And/or insane.)

1) My signature Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesRecipe here.

Um, not to toot my own horn (especially since the recipe isn’t mine!) but these are perfect in every way. I love them. You should, too.

2) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (recipe from here).

These are wonderful…  The first time I made them I cut back on the oil and I think they were a little flat… This time I used Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer instead of the tapioca flour and the full amount of oil, and the dough was kind of grossly oily but they were easy and delicious! Everyone loved them… They didn’t have *quite* the crisp edges of their buttery counterparts but were an easy dorm-baked-good.

3) Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (adapted from here)

These were a little too sweet for me even with my modifications but super easy and the texture was nice and chewy! Here’s the modified recipe I made…

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes about 24

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins, plumped and patted dry
1-2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly spray two cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, mix oil and sugars until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in oats and raisins. If the dough is still too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Scoop by half-tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges are just lightly browned (less for a softer cookie, more for a crunchier cookie). Let cool on sheet for about 10 minutes so they don’t crumble. Share and enjoy!

Yes, they were all vegan… I was taking part in vegan week after all! (Which I never recapped, but I think I want to do a more thorough version involving actually COOKING in a few weeks so we’ll see!)

I’m vegan and I’m DELICIOUS

I love to bake, and seeing my baked goods make other people happy is 90% of the reason for that. Knowing that I managed to give these cookies to people who probably weren’t going to have home-baked goods in the near future made me feel allll warm and fuzzy inside. I don’t know if I can feasibly do that every week, but it’s definitely fun once in awhile!

What is your favorite way to volunteer?


25 Responses to “giving back [with cookies! & recipes!]”

  1. Mandi February 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Yum! Those cookies all look amazing. I’m sure they were a huge hit. :) My favorite ways to volunteer are either baking something, or volunteering with little kids. When I lived in Canada I would sometimes volunteer at a summer music camp for kids at a church nearby and it was always so much fun.

  2. Heather February 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Wow chicka! You definitely got yo bake on! The cookies look delicious and what a great reason to bake them!

    I really need to make time to do some volunteer work!

  3. Sarah (Flavoropolis) February 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Those cookies look great! I own Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar but never use it, maybe it’s time to change that.
    My favorite ways to volunteer are working with animals and baking for bake sales that goto good causes. I think we can all agree that baking is where it’s at.

  4. Euniece February 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    mmmm yumm the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies look like they would be my favorite!! my favorite way to volunteer is at the local library! The time goes by so quickly when I am putting books by on the shelves.. I cant say I am a huge help because half the time I am reading the back of the books trying to figure out what my next read will be.. but its so fun!

  5. This Italian Family February 17, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    These cookies all look so good! I love that you are giving back and volunteering your time. That’s so wonderful!

    I volunteer with a group of teens that I’m pretty passionate about and I also volunteer at our church’s Community Life Center where they have basketball (which my husband runs) while I have kind of a “walking ministry.” It’s just a group of ladies that get together from all walks of life and we walk around the track while catching up on each other’s lives. It’s pretty great and I love it! :)

  6. simplynutritiouskate February 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    those cookies look amazing so fluffy, volunteering I love anything with kids!

  7. Christin@purplebirdblog February 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    What a good cause! You are such a sweetie!

  8. kat February 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    What an awesome thing to do. I can totally picture you trying to find more room for the baked cookies in your dorm lol kind of like me in my tiny apartment! They all sound delicious. I haven’t had a good oatmeal cookie in a while!!

  9. Sophia @ Raven Waves February 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    You’re so inspirational. What an amazing thing to do. I volunteer for the AHEPA Marrow Donor Registry, which is basically a subset of the National Marrow Donor Program. We try to find donors for cancer and leukemia patients. It’s pretty tough b/c everyone still thinks that if you do end up becoming a perfect match for someone you need to go through the needle process. It’s not true anymore! You just need to take a pill and get your blood drawn.

    I love people that give back :) and you rock! :)

  10. Tara February 18, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    The cookies are beautiful! I haven’t made chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal raisin in forever. I love how these are vegan too!

    My favorite way to give back is bake sales and volunteering at races.

  11. movesnmunchies February 18, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    YAY! tons of vegan cookies is WHERE ITS AT! i LOVE it! you are so amazing for doing this all to give back!

  12. healthyexposures February 18, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    What an awesome thing to do. I am sure your hard work did not go unnoticed, either :) I have been wondering if my love for baking could be put to use in a way such as that, but out community is so small that I haven’t found anything just yet :[

  13. Stephanie February 18, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Oh my gosh…those cookies look incredible! Good for you for making time to give back! My favourite volunteer activity is teaching healthy cooking classes to 10 and 11-year-olds. I do it several times a year, and it’s so much fun.

  14. Alyssa @ Life of bLyss February 18, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    shooo, I remember how awful it was cooking/baking in a dingy dorm kitch! you go, girl!

    and these look AMAZING. I must try asap. :)

  15. beautyrun February 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    Those cookies look yummy! Today I was making cocoa oatmeal cookies to find that I was out of cocoa half-way through baking. I used Nesquik instead and they turned out fine.

  16. TheNewHealthy February 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Wow that’s so amazing that you baked all those cookies for CHAM–and in your dorm kitchen to boot? So nice! :)

  17. Erika February 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    All of those cookies look delicious. I love volunteering and do it quite often considering my school mandates that we do at least 10 hours of community service a semester. I usually make bagged lunches or run a race benefitting a certain cause, but donating baked goods sounds like a lot of fun. I’ll use any excuse to bake! ;-)

  18. Jenny February 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Soo many cookies I can’t stop staring!! lol It’s so sweet of you to bake cookies for a good cause. Congrats :)

  19. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) February 19, 2011 at 6:35 am #

    You’re SO SWEET to bake cookies for CHAM (of course, I already knew you were the sweetest!)

    I volunteer at a vet, an animal shelter, and I’m mentoring for an elementary science fair! I love volunteering! It makes me feel so good inside! :)

  20. Katherine: Unemployed February 19, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    pay it forward with cookies :) looks delicious

  21. runyogarepeat February 19, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    That’s so nice, volunteering always makes me feel so good, as does baking. My church back home does a homeless breakfast Saturday mornings that I love doing when I’m home.

  22. Ellie February 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Ohhh that’s awesome about the helping out there!! Ahhh I love it when people give to others and realize that there’s far more out there than their own surroundings. :) And the cookies look.lip.shmacking.

  23. The Ginger Wife February 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    1. Your photography is great! Those cookie pictures look so mouthwatering that I could eat my computer screen.
    2. I did a food shelter community service project every Sunday while I was in nursing school. It was awesome and a wonderful way to feel a part of such a diverse community.
    3. My favorite way to volunteer know is at free health clinics for young children who need food/immunizations/clothes.

    You are awesome. Keep up the great work : )

  24. leashieloo February 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    These cookies look glorious! And that’s so nice of you to volunteer like that :)


  1. why i’m the best manager ever. « Of Cookies & Carrots - February 26, 2011

    […] the chocolate chip cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. (I also made them here… which directs you to the recipe :) […]

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