When my dear friends Jill Santopietro and Meredith Arthur asked me to make cookies for their “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” bake sale, I decided to use my stand-by recipe for butter cookies. Since the bake sale was going to be hosted by San Francisco food professionals, I knew that there would be an assortment of gorgeous treats so my strategy had to be simplicity. I hatched a plan to distinguish my cookies by decorating with blue sprinkles–targeting what I perceived to be the underserved “Hanukkah Christmas Cookie” market, but we only had pink and purple sugar crystals (and I burned the first batch) so my plan was thwarted!
The sale took place in front of 18 Reasons, who had generously donated their space. Inside a group of volunteers hosted a cookie decorating session for kids while everyone was prepping and drinking coffee.
As I suspected, the table was filled with gorgeous silver cake pops and coconut macaroons; peppermint chocolate bark, and elegantly wrapped double chocolate chip cookies. Peanut butter fudge Christmas trees covered in red, green, and white dragees sparkled next to chocolate covered salted caramels, all made by a fantastic group of bakers and San Francisco foodies including Jill, and the amazing bakers at Chow, Bi-rite, and Michael Minna among others. The team of volunteers took my paltry cookies, bagged them in cello wrapping, and and put them out right next to a bag of Anthony’s famous chocolate chip cookies.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was started by Gretchen Holt-Witt when her son Liam was diagnosed. Gretchen had a crazy idea for a larger-than-life bake sale with the goal of baking 96,000 cookies with friends and volunteers. All 96,000 cookies were sold in three weeks, thanks to the work of over 250 volunteers. Since that time, other subsequent bake sales have raised over 4.5 million dollars to battle kids cancer and the movement is going strong.
It was a gorgeous day and everyone was so happy to be out in the sun. The best part of the sale was talking to the people who came by, telling them about the cause, because here’s the thing: There are no prices on any of the baked goods. People take what they want and then donate what they have and the cool thing is that each dollar is matched 3 times by sponsors including Starbucks, OXO, and Glad. We raised $2,225 that day which meant that we actually raised close to $7,000.
My shift was ending and I didn’t want to leave, and then I noticed a little girl holding a bag of my cookies. I stood and watched as she ate the whole bag in front of me –purple sprinkles and all.
Take that, Kids’ Cancer!
It’s easy to host a bake sale. For more information, please head to http://www.cookiesforkidscancer.org/