Cookies for Dena
- Prep Time 0:15
- Cook Time 0:12
- Estimated Cost $7.50
- 9 Comments
Last Thursday afternoon, Evan and I were laying on a blanket in a perfect sunny-shady compromise patch of grass in our beloved Dolores Park, when my phone buzzed. It was Rebecca, alerting me to some upsetting news about our friend Dena. She directed me to Dena's most recent blog entry.
Dena, who is a mere 29 years old and one of the healthiest people I know, has been diagnosed with Stage 2/3 breast cancer. It is unbelievable. I gripped my phone, silent with shock, tears pooling in my eyes.
"What can I do?" Evan asked me gently.
I know that what he was asking was what could he do to comfort me, but as he said it, I realized that his question was really what I should be asking myself. What can I do? What can we as a community do?
As it turns out, we can do a lot.
I worked together with Adam and Jordan to set up a GiveForward-operated fundraiser for Dena, whose treatment and quality of life expenses extend far beyond what her insurance covers. At the time of publishing this post, we've raised almost $8,000 of the $20,000 she needs. All day long, my iPhone buzzes, alerting me that another generous person has donated. I have no doubt that we'll reach our goal by the end of August, if not sooner. My faith in the power of community, as well as social media has never been stronger. It's amazing what a group of loving people can do with technology that makes giving and sharing incredibly easy.
Dena also let me know that her doctor has instructed her to put on weight in preparation for chemotherapy. The irony of this is not lost on my health-freak gym-rat friend, who has devoted the past decade to extraordinarly healthy eating and frequent exercise. But alas, she must do as she is told.
Which, obviously, is where I come in. This, I determined, was a case for mac and cheese, which I will augment with heavy cream and fancy aged cheddar. And cookies. She needs cookies. But not just any cookies.
She needs special cookies, made with love, and packed with all kinds of fat-and-calorie-laden yummers. So, to the bulk aisle I headed.
These crispy, flavor-loaded cookies are a riff on peanut butter cookies, except so much more awesome. I added shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and dark chocolate. They're full of good, healthy fats, but also extremely calorie dense, which Dena needs. And, even if you're not trying to put on weight, one or two of these would make for an excellent hiking/climbing take-along snack.
Before I get to the recipe, I have two favors to ask of you.
The first one is to please, please consider making a donation to our fund for Dena. The first major treatment she has to pay for out of pocket is in 2 weeks, and we really want to make sure it's well-covered.
The second thing--and I realize it may sound vague, but that's only because there is so much room for interpretation--is to look within your own life and your own community at ways that you can use your skills and talents to help other people or causes. One thing I'm learning now is that there are so many different ways to make the world a better place--and even the smallest courses of action count.
What are your talents? What can you do?
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature) $1
- 1 1/4 cups firmly-packed brown sugar Pantry
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth) Pantry
- 1 large egg $1.50 for 6
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour Pantry
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon $1.50 for 1 oz.
- 1/2 tsp salt Pantry
- 3/4 tsp baking soda Pantry
- 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (1 6-oz. package) $1.50
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened--buy in the bulk section) $1
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (buy in the bulk section) $1
Recipe Serves 12
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
- Beat together using a whisk, electric mixer or stand-up mixer the butter, brown sugar, peanut butter and egg until fluffy.
- Mix together the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.
- Stir the flour mixture into the butter-peanut butter mixture, taking care not to over-mix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips, coconut and sunflower seeds.
- Working in batches, drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure there are at least 2 inches between each dough ball.
- Use a lightly floured fork to gently flatten each dough ball.
- Bake for approx 12 minutes, until the cookies have begun to brown on the bottom but are still soft on top.
- Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.