Monday, April 4, 2011

Over the weekend, I donated my kitchen skills to a good cause.

Well, the making of 40 turkey and Kaşar cheese sandwiches didn’t require a lot of skill, but it did require some time. I selected wheat bread to keep the sandwiches healthier. However, I also baked some delicious old-fashioned oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
I spread the sandwiches out in the kitchen to make them easier to assemble.
On Saturday morning, my husband drove us to Mavi Kalem, where the sandwiches and cookies would be distributed to young school-age children that participate in weekend educational activities. This non-profit organization works mainly with poorer women and children living in the Fener and Balat neighborhoods of Istanbul. The members of an international group I belong to, Professional American Women of Istanbul, have agreed to provide the weekend lunches throughout June.

Unfortunately, we arrived a bit early, and none of the children had arrived yet because of the rainy weather. We didn’t get to meet the children at Mavi Kalem as I had hoped we would, but I hope they enjoyed the sandwiches, homemade cookies, juice boxes, pencils and stickers that we bought.

For about 100 TL ($65 USD), we were able to provide lunches for 40 young children. I’m happy we were able to help some people in need here in Istanbul.

Below, please find the delicious old-fashioned cookie recipe that I made for the children. I was happy to eat several spoonfuls of the cookie dough before I baked them.

Afiyet olsun!

Cinnamony-Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from “A Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies” by Dede Wilson
(Yields about 60 1 ½-inch sized scooped cookies)

1 ½ c. (190 g.) all-purpose flour
2 ½ c. (225 g.) rolled oats (not quick or instant)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.+ good ground cinnamon (I used Chinese Cassia cinnamon)
½ tsp. salt
8 oz. (225 g.) unsalted butter, room temperature
c. (135 g.) brown sugar (I mixed a bit of pekmez with granulated sugar to make my own brown sugar in Turkey.)
c. (150 g.) granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ea. large eggs
1 ½ cup. (200 g.) chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
(You could substitute nuts for a ½ cup of the chocolate if you desire.)

1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, rolled oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
2. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugars gradually, beating until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla, scraping down the bowl so the mixture is combined.
4. Add about half the flour and mix together on low speed. Gradually add the remaining flour and mix just until combined. Then, stir in the chocolate.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
6. Preheat the oven to 325 F/162 C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
7. Using a cookie scooper or a tablespoon, drop rounded mounds of cookie dough, spread about 2 inches apart, onto the trays.
8. Bake the cookies until lightly golden on the edges, about 9 to 10 minutes. Immediately, remove the cookies from the trays using a spatula and place on a cooling rack.

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Unknown said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful, Joy. What a nice thing to do. I bet they loved them.