Monday, September 19, 2011
Soft 'n' Chewy Oatmeal Cookies for Alpha House
Last week, it was my congregation's scheduled shift to support Alpha House, an exceptional organization which offers "temporary shelter, food and support services (to those without homes) in a caring atmosphere of dignity and safety. More than providing just a bed and a roof for families, our goal ... is to support the families in securing and maintaining their own home."
Volunteers from the congregation can be hosts, serving dinner and sharing a meal with the residents; they can stay overnight and be a friendly face and resource if needed in an emergency; or they can provide the entrees, side dishes, salads and desserts that comprise a home-cooked meal for people who've lost their own homes.
Alpha House is one of my very favorite charities, and I'm always happy to contribute to the meals. This time, I was assigned to make a dessert; healthier options are preferred, rather than junk food.
Well, let's just say I compromised between the two extremes! I made cookies, which are hardly considered healthy; and yet, I added oats and dried fruit to them, in order to boost the nutritional value. The raisins, I already had on hand. But the apricots were a lovely marketing gift from Peeled Snacks. (And I also need to thank Tom for delivering the treats while I was at work!)
Whether served at dinner or packed in a lunch if there are leftovers for the next day, I hope these soft, cinnamony treats provide comfort to those who've lost so much and are working so hard to regain stability for their families.
(Click on this link to find ways you can support Alpha House and its residents.)
Soft 'n' Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups flour
1-3/4 cups quick-cook oats
1 1.5-ounce packet instant Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
lace the raisins and the apricots into a small saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let rest.
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in the flour, then stir in the oats and oatmeal.
Drain the dried fruit, then add it to the bowl and combine well.
With damp hands, roll ping pong-sized balls of dough and place them 2" apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until cookies are lightly browned and still slightly soft when pressed in the middle. Continue until all of the batter is used up.
Makes about 48 cookies.
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