It was impossible to know how things would turn out when I told my friend Stacy I would join the Bake It Happen campaign last year. Bake It Happen is a yearly event developed by Stacy and her sister Shari from the blog My Judy The Foodie to honor their mother who passed away from breast cancer seven years ago. The campaign takes place in October to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month and is fun to participate in. You sign up HERE and receive three of Judy’s favorite baking recipes. Then you bake and share the goodies with your friends telling them about Bake It Happen. Upload your pictures to the facebook page (and if you are not on facebook you can email it to email@example.com and be entered to win some cool prizes. Every time you share your pictures, Bake It Happen will donate $2 to cancer research through the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation. Last year, Bake It Happen helped raise over $15,000 which was awarded to Dr. Eva McGhee of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to continue her research in Precision medicine-translational research in genomics/genetetics. And no, I have NO idea what that means, I just know it is important!
Given that the sisters are super organized, I received an email not long ago as a reminder of my commitment and the recipes. It was at that time my friend Ana (not her real name) was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully, she is still in the early stages and all things considered, her illness should not be as devastating as others. But when you are a mom of two young children, and you hear the words “you have cancer,” it’s automatically sends you into a spiral of fear and uncertainty. Ana’s son is in Dreamer’s fourth grade class and so Dreamer and I got to baking on a rainy Sunday. The idea is we would give Ana and her family our cookies on Monday, just in time for her to enjoy before her Tuesday surgery.
Now, cooking is not my strength and I accept that. Therefore I chose, what I thought, would be the easiest recipe: Earthquake Cookies. And because I am me, and if I am going to do something I am all in, I said heck let’s double the recipe so we have tons of these cookies to share.
I was about to change the recipe and add more chocolate when Dreamer told me to stick to the plan. Okay, stick to the plan. He’s right. Rarely do things end well when I decide to “add” to a proven recipe. We got our ingredients together, did everything right until … the recipe called to “beat” the dough.
I don’t have a mixer nor a hand mixer. So I called Stacey in a panic given that I now had a lot of this cookie dough that I couldn’t mix correctly. The closest thing I have is a Vitamix, which I use on an almost daily basis. She wasn’t sure it would work but we figured we’d try it out.
The recipe then called to refrigerate the dough for a few hours, but a few hours later, our dough had not hardened to the consistency needed. A few hours after that was bedtime and I even let my nazi-like bedtime routine slack in order to make the cookies. But again, the dough still wasn’t ready. It seems the Vitamix liquefied the dough too much and we probably changed something crucial for the consistency of the cookies.
In the morning before school, we tried to make the cookies anyways. They did not turn out quite the way they were supposed to.
So I decided that instead of wasting all that dough, and since Ana was heading into surgery the next day, we had to keep going. We poured the batter into two pans, baked them, and then cut them in circles. They were a mixture between “brownies” and “cookies.” Nothing like we had intended, but yummy anyways.
On Monday, Ana received a huge batch of these odd looking but delicious Bake It Happen cookies!
Somewhere along my Bake It Happen attempt, things didn’t go as planned, just as I am sure no one plans on getting breast cancer. Our bodies are amazing at doing so many things, and sometimes it just goes bizerk. But it doesn’t mean that we give up hope or don’t adapt to what life throws at us. In the same way my non earthquake cookies/brownies weren’t perfect, they were still delicious and they still meant something to my friend at a time when she could use a little support.
So, will you join us and Bake It Happen this October?