For several years our church has been involved with a prison ministry. A big part of this ministry is the delivery of homemade cookies to those inmates who participate. It's one way to let them know that people care—care enough to take the time to bake them homemade cookies.
This year our church was to provide 125 dozen cookies. We've done this before. And I've always used the cookie recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. But this year I did a Google search for Kairos cookies. Kairos is the name of the nation-wide ministry. There are many recipes and guidelines out there.
kairos n. [From Greek kairos ‘the suitable or appropriate time for something to occur or for something to be accomplished,’ frequently contrasted with Greek chronos ‘time in general; time as objectively measured using calendars and clocks’] A moment in time or a timeframe in which God makes it possible for something of lasting importance or significance to happen.
I found a recipe from Indiana that used shortening instead of butter. According to their site, cookies made with butter break more easily. I didn't know that. Figured I give them a try. Another plus with this recipe is that there is no waiting for the butter to soften. That always slows me down.
Daddy-O was the taste tester and said they were excellent. I baked 10 dozen. I'll pack 9 dozen for the church program and leave the last dozen—the odd shaped ones—for Daddy-O's weekend treat while I am away. I am happy with this new recipe. They do seem to be sturdy cookies. Another tip from the website said to be sure to cool them COMPLETELY before packing.
I'm thinking these would also be good to send to college students. (At least to take to them or send them back with some. I'm still not sure about shipping. No one wants broken cookies.) Or, pack them to take to a neighbor. Or, keep some in your own freezer for later.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup shortening (not butter)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2-1/2 cups chocolate chips
Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix dry ingredients. (I stir with a whisk to blend thoroughly. Can also sift together.) Add to creamed mixture. Beat in vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop onto cookie sheets by spoonfuls. (I used a 1-1/2-inch cookie scoop.) Bake at 350 degrees for 13-14 minutes until medium brown. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for a couple of minutes. Remove to cooking rack or dish towel on counter. Cool completely.
Makes 5 dozen 2-1/2 inch cookies
Best cookie baking tip ever: Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. (You should find it at your grocery store.) You can bake pan after pan of cookies without washing the cookie sheet or replacing the paper between batches. Just that one sheet can be used over and over. When your baking session is done, throw the parchment paper away. Clean pan, ready to put away!