I live on a small income and can't afford to buy presents most of the time, as one would for a birthday celebration or similar, but I can afford to bake cookies. Sunday Aug. 17 was a bittersweet day. Sweet because I got to go to the lake and swim and refresh my body from the horrible heat wave we'd been having. Bitter because it was the last time I'll see my brother and SIL for a long time as they're moving way across the country. They set out the next day to drive from BC to Nova Scotia, and they needed snacks. Both of them love cookies (who doesn't?) so I made them a huge whack to take with them for their trip.
I made three kinds: Farmland Flax (recipe here), Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and Applesauce Raisin Chews. The latter two came from one of my favourite cookbooks, The Cookie Bible. I've made lots of recipes from this book and they've all turned out wonderfully. Also, since I do mail cookies every so often, this book has really good advice on how to send cookies via the post. If you can get a copy of it, I highly recommend it.
As for the cookies...
Applesauce Raisin Chews (not pictured...I forgot and then it was too late), page 80 of The Cookie Bible
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup raisins
Oven: 350F. Cream, beat, fold, scoop etc. You know the drill. Bake 12 - 15 minutes.
Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe is an adaptation of the Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies recipe on page 56, a recipe I make often to give as gifts, however, I haven't any cranberries on hand so I winged it - with excellent results.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
1 tsp pure peppermint extract
Oven: 350F. Cream, beat, fold, scoop. Etc. Etc. Bake 10 - 12 minutes. It is best to underbake these ones slightly so they come out fudgey. Be sure your oven is no hotter than 350F because otherwise your chocolate chips will burn.
Mailing cookies is quite easy. What I recommend is using a metal cookie tin, and I find mine for 25 cents at my local thrift store. You'll need something really sturdy for the mail and I'm afraid that most cardboard might not cut it. Once you have your tin, line it with paper towel or tissue paper. Then wrap the cookies tightly in saran wrap in groups of 3 or 4, depending on their size and the tin's size, making sure to keep different types of cookies separate (some ingredients will impart or soak up other flavours of other cookies). Pack the cookies in tightly, using more paper towel or tissue paper to plug any big gaps. Wrap the tin in bubble wrap, then put the whole thing in whatever you plan on mailing it in. Mark the package FRAGILE or have the post office people put on "fragile" stickers. If possible, freeze the cookies between baking and mailing, and if you have a few days between packing them in the tin and mailing, stick the tin in the freezer. This helps keep the cookies fresh and gives them as good a start as possible on their journey.