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Cookie Dough Factory

Last week was the beginning of our third annual cookie dough fundraiser. We started this a couple of years ago as a way for the boys to be involved in some sort of service project that would help them to think outside of themselves. Back then, it seemed like much of the opportunities for serving were more appropriate for older kids. In several years, we will look into other opportunities for the boys to serve people locally and face to face, but for now, we make cookie dough and sell it.

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Lots and lots of cookie dough.

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All the money we collect, we send to Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that helps disadvantaged people all over the world, even in our own country. You might be familiar with their popular Operation Christmas Child Box drive in which they collect shoe boxes full of toys, candy, books, and whatever else you can fit in it. They then distribute these boxes to kids in countries all around the world. Last year, I think our box went to a boy in the Ukraine.

First, the boys set a goal. This year, they hope to raise enough to pay for a village well, among other things. The well is about $400, according to Samaritan’s Purse. The boys get really excited when we get close to the goal and they are over the moon when we surpass it.

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The great thing about this project is that everyone in the family has an opportunity to use their strengths to make it successful.

The husband handles the forms and other technical jobs such as forming dough logs.

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My elder son is in charge of taking orders and organizing the labeling and containers.

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I do most of the mixing and measuring while the youngest in the family rolls dough balls, counts, and bags the orders.

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Of course, there is lots of taste testing that goes on during the drive itself and all year as I periodically test new recipes. Quality control is extremely imortant to us.

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In addition, our offerings have been expanding every year. The first year, we offered 8 different kinds of cookies. Last year, we offered twelve. On our list this year, we have 5 different kinds of Giant cookies, 4 different kinds of regular sized cookies, 3 types of cookie logs, 2 varieties of pre-cut cookies, and granola! That’s a lot of stuff to make!

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Right now, our entire house if overrun with stuff for this project. So far, we’ve used 14 pounds of butter and 20 pounds of flour and we are nowhere near done yet.

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All this work is worth the effort, though. The lessons of sharing our wealth, helping others, and working together are priceless. A cookie or two every once in awhile doesn’t hurt either.

Cookies for Charity

Giant Chocolate Chip

This past week marked the beginning of our second annual fund-raiser.  We started this last year with the boys because we wanted them to do some sort of service project.  However, at their age, their service project options are rather limited.  So, we had the idea that they could raise money by selling cookie dough and then donate the money to charity.

Giant Ginger Chewies

We gave them a couple of charity “gift” catalogs–you know, the kind where you can buy a cow or pig for a person in a third world country and give them the opportunity to change their lives.  The idea was that they could choose something and we would try to raise money towards that goal.  It was the year of the earthquake in Haiti and my oldest was particularly drawn to the “emergency shelter” item because he had heard us talk so much about how many people were homeless because of the earthquake.

Giant Double Chocolate Chip

The boys and I started making dough and freezing it.  Then, we publicized it to all our friends.  The boys were overwhelmed and excited by all the orders that came in.  We exceeded our goal rather quickly and they were thrilled to be able to add an order of “bees” to their contribution.

Rosemary Shortbread

I love that they have become so excited about helping people they will never meet in a country they may never travel to.  In this season of thankfulness and giving, I think it is important for them to remember that those who are given much are also expected to give much.  A thankful heart is also a sharing heart.   Are we really thankful for what we have if we are not seeking to help those in need?

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This year, I encouraged them to raise their fund-raising goal and they did–they doubled it!  As a result, we have been busy making cookie dough for the past week.  The oldest keeps remarking how much fun it is to make cookie dough and, of course, we’ve baked a few of each kind — you know, for quality control.

Pecan Brown Sugar

We’ve added a few more options to our cookie line-up, including a whole new category of slice-and-bake cookie dough logs.  We also have a selection of gluten-free and nut-free options for those who have dietary constraints.  The only thing we can’t offer is a dairy free option because we use real butter in our cookies and we are not about to change that.

Peanut Butter

We have eight different kinds of dough balls.  The great thing about these is that you can bake one cookie or ten, depending on your mood and your needs.  Don’t tell the boys, but I’m kinda hoping we don’t sell all these because I love to be able to just bake four cookies for us and not have 3 dozen more sitting around the house getting stale.

Sugar

It is also really interesting to see what kinds of cookies are popular and which aren’t.  Last year, I think half of our orders were for chocolate chip.  This year, so far, out of 26 orders, we only have one chocolate chip order.  Funny, huh?

Snickerdoodle

And what’s up with oatmeal raisin?  Does no one like oatmeal raisin cookies?  Last year, we had just one order and this year, so far, none at all.  Is it too healthy?  I may have to do something to make these more interesting for next year.

Chocolate Crackle

The most interesting looking cookie is the chocolate crackle cookie.  You never know what it is going to look like after you bake it.  Sometimes the cracks are little and delicate, like a snowflake, and sometimes they look like some kind of prehistoric egg that’s broken open, revealing a dark, brownie-like middle.  We took an assortment of cookies to the park yesterday and shared them with some friends.  The chocolate crackle was the kids’ choice favorite.

World Peace

Our family’s surprise favorite are these World Peace Cookies.  I made these a few years ago at Christmastime and I remember being a little unimpressed by them.  However, for the fund-raiser, I used real bittersweet chocolate, chopped by the husband, instead of mini chocolate chips, and I bought special flaky sea salt from England to go in them.  They are Amazing – real proof that when you use quality ingredients, you get quality results.  And, at this time of the year, who wouldn’t like to have a little World Peace?

A picture from my younger son

And one from the older son

If you live near me and have not yet placed an order, or would like to add to your order, we will only be taking orders until November 22.  If you live far away, we are willing to ship cookies already baked via priority mail flat rate boxes.  Leave me a comment if you would like to place an order and I can send you a description of all the options.

A selection for the playground

And, as always, thank you for stopping by, looking at the pictures, and reading my blog.  I have really been enjoying this blog and I hope you have been enjoying it also.  I wish I could give each one of you a cookie.