Bake Sale for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Posted by Apicius' Apprentice
Before I get to the who, what, where, and when, I want to start with the why. When I was first contacted to participate, I had a moment of hesitation. I thought: “surely she doesn’t want me to help out. I’m just a rookie who would be playing with with pros!” But then I thought about him.
This is Matt. I met Matt the first day of fourth grade in Mrs. Nason’s class. He sat in the row next to me all year. Over the next few years, Matt and I hung out during various school activities like orchestra and safety patrols. He was always nice to me despite my general bratiness that accompanied being a pre-teen. I could tell you so many wonderful stories about him…
The summer after our eighth grade year, my family moved back to Brazil. Matt was one of the only people who kept in contact with me during our time abroad. (Keep in mind we were getting ready to enter high school and email wasn’t as widely used back then, so this took some effort.) We kept in touch over the years and as technology (i.e. AIM) became popular, we were able to check in on each other.
When I moved back to the States for college, I visited him every time I could when I found myself back in Virginia. Matt was one of those rare guys that actually picked up the phone to catch up. He didn’t rely solely on technology to keep up with friends. One day, though, I got a call I didn’t want. Matt told me that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma. I couldn’t believe it. Here was a healthy, athletic, young guy who was in the ROTC program… how could it be? Over the next few years, I saw one of the most exemplary displays of human resilience. He even beat it into remission for a short time…
Matt was 24 when he passed away. The picture above was taken the last time I saw him. It was taken several months before things got bad. Although it has been almost three years since he passed, I still can’t bring myself to delete his cel phone number from my phone. So it’s him. Matt’s the reason I agreed to join.
Now let us cover the other w‘s of this event.
The who is the organizer of this event. Steph and I started this blogging adventure around the same time and we’ve kept up with each other’s sites over the past few months. In addition to being a great cook, Steph is a runner. She recently joined a ‘team in training’ in order to prepare for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon. As part of their preparation, they are hoping to raise $1,900 to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (This is where she got creative!) Steph had the idea of organizing an online bake sale (what) and asked a bunch of us foodie bloggers to donate a baked good to the sale.
The event will be hosted on Steph’s site (where) and will take place on Monday, January 31 (when). For all of the rules and information you will need, and to see a list of the participating bloggers, please click here.
There are some heavy-weights contributing to this bake sale, so in an attempt to compete, I have been testing different recipes to find something that is both tempting and will ship well! Out of the three baking experiments I have attempted over the last two weeks, this Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie was by far the best. I found the recipe while flipping around Martha Stewart’s site.
The idea behind this cookie is that it has a chocolate cookie base (which is exquisite on its own!) and then you drop it into a bowl of sugar, cinnamon, and CHILI POWDER! Seriously though, how good does that sound?
Because this was an experiment, I had to have a control. There were three batches that were made. The first was simply the cookie dough without the interesting step. The second was the cookie rolled in a sugar, cinnamon, and just a teeny bit of chili powder (i.e. the amount asked for in the recipe). The third batch was rolled in bowl that had a good amount chili powder (it wasn’t an exaggerated amount, just a little over what the recipe calls for).
The first batch was scrumptious. The dough could definitely stand on its own. The second batch was enjoyable because you had the complementing flavors of the cocoa with barely a hint of the chili powder. The third batch… oh the third batch… it was by far was the best. There was no mistaking the brilliance of the recipe and why the flavors are infused into one mouthwatering treat.
See? Don’t you want some? You know you do. It’s a great way to ease the guilt of indulging in this scrumptious treat. It’s okay to eat it because it’s for a good cause…
There you have it. This Mexican Hot Chocolate cookie is my contribution to Steph’s bake sale and it is baked with all of my love in memory of my friend Matt. I hope you will consider bidding for it on Monday, January 31st!