Here are a few things I love:
- People who are passionate, motivated, and eager to make life a little sunnier for those around them.
- Digestive regularity.
A few weeks ago my buddy Megan, over at Wanna be a Country Cleaver, announced an event combining all three of these loves into one fantastic event. Saturday June 22nd she is hosting her second annual Bake Sale for Beka (aka Cookies for Crohn's). Beka is Megan's very best friend in the whole wide world. Beka also has Crohn's Disease.
Named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who first described the disease in 1932 along with colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, Crohn's disease belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.
...Crohn's disease may affect as many as 700,000 Americans. Men and Women are equally likely to be affected, and while the disease can occur at any age, Crohn's is more prevalent among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35.
In a few weeks Beka and her good friend Jackie will be running a half marathon to raise funds in support of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and to help kids living with these diseases go to summer camp. Who doesn't love summer camp?!?
Now I'm going to tell you something that I really haven't shared with anyone - ever. It is 100% in the category of gross things you probably don't want to know. Feel free to stop reading and skip to the next paragraph. Okay, here goes. While I lived in a body more than 100 pounds over its healthy weight, I frequently wondered if I should see a doctor about my symptoms of digestive distress. I regularly experienced painful abdominal cramps and had broad swings in regularity. In my teens it was common for me to run for the nearest restroom about 30 minutes after a large meal. Imagine having a meal with friends or family where afterward everyone wants to take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. I couldn't enjoy the activity because I was completely occupied with calculating the time and distance to the nearest bathroom. If the urge hit I would break out in a sweat and hightail it to the ladies while attempting to look as calm and normal as possible. Unfortunately a restroom wasn't always nearby and sometimes I didn't make it. Those times when I was in public and a minute too late are easily my most embarrassing moments of adolescence.
In my case the issues proved to be self inflicted. As my diet improved the pounds lifted taking with them the need to be near a bathroom. Looking back I can't help shaking an accusatory finger at myself. How dare I cause myself to live in that way? In this country alone hundreds of thousands of people living with this disease would, I'm sure, gladly drop a few pounds to avoid all the complications this disease brings to their lives.
This brings me back to people I admire - and cookies. I am honored to be donating 2 dozen of these AMAZING Double Chip Brownie Cookies to Saturday's Bake Sale for Beka. If the cause puts you out of the mood for a cookie rest assured, one whiff of these confections with it's four (yes 4!) kinds of chocolate will take you to a world of brownie cookie ecstasy so intense you will forget we were just talking about poop.
To get the full scoop on how to participate, click over to Wanna be a Country Cleaver. Megan has all the instructions for how to bid on these cookies and all of the drool inducing goodies up for auction. Over 30 bloggers have donated baked goods and cookbooks to the sale! Thank you Megan for all the work you put into organizing this event. Thank you also to Jane at The Heritage Cook for giving her blessing to share this recipe with you. Best of luck to Beka, Jackie, and all the half marathon runners - have an awesome time at the race!
Double Chip Brownie Cookies
Keep this recipe on hand for those times when you need a show stopper of a cookie. A stand mixer will be your best friend in making the half brownie half cookie magic happen. Whipping the eggs for an extended period of time is the key to achieving those crackly chewy edges and fudgy gooey center. Spoon your cookies on to a baking sheet by the teaspoon or tablespoonful but be prepared to go for a second no mater the size. Have a glass of milk ready when these come out of the oven!
From Chocolate Brownie Cookies From Claudia Flemming's "The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern” via The Heritage Cook
Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 9 minutes per pan; Yield 2 - 3 dozen depending on the size.
- ½ tablespoon brewed espresso (from beans or powder)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 5 oz extra-bittersweet chocolate (70% or higher), chopped
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Begin by brewing the espresso so it has a few minutes to cool. Then In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, briefly whip the eggs to break them up. Add the sugar, espresso, and vanilla and beat on high speed for 15 minutes, until thick. (Don't skimp on this step!) After 15 minutes the batter will have increased in volume several times over and look similar to butter cream frosting.
- While the eggs are whipping, melt the butter and chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water. (Be sure to keep the water below a boil.) Stir gently as the butter and chocolate melt to keep the temperature even. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate just as the last bits turn to velvety liquid.
- Remove the mixer bowl from the stand. Use a spatula to fold the melted chocolate into the batter one scoop at a time. Keep the air in the batter by dipping your spatula all the way to the bottom of the bowl and pulling the batter up and around the chocolate. Do not stir the batter. The color may be streaky even when all the chocolate has been added.
- Sprinkle the flour into the batter and continue to use the folding action to work it evenly into the batter. Finally fold in the chocolate chips. If the batter is very runny, let it rest until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Spoon the batter by the tablespoon (or teaspoon) onto the lined baking sheets. They don't spread very much so 1 dozen tablespoons should fit on a standard baking sheet. Bake cookies 9-10 minutes until the edges are firm and the surface has cracked. Allow the finished cookies to cool and become more solid before removing from the pan.
Jane, The Heritage Cook
I am delighted that you chose to make these cookies, easily one of the best I've ever made! What is even more interesting is that I too have Crohn's. I spent years living with the same issues you described, knowing where every single bathroom was no matter where I was going. It went active when I was 10, we discovered it at 14, I got down to 57 pounds and nearly died before I had the surgery that corrected it for me. It is truly my honor that these cookies are helping C&C! <3
These cookies really are fantastic. It must be the universe at work that I found this recipe for this specific project. I am so glad you were able to recover after surgery. Your story is a testament to how important it is to continue the conversation and seek a forever cure.