By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jan 23, 2017 at 3:01 PM

In the wake of the Women’s March this weekend – and rumors of potential cuts on the way for organizations including Planned Parenthood – a league of female bakers and pastry chefs have created a simple and delicious way to give back.

The Cookie Love initiative, which launches this week and culminates just in time for Valentine’s Day, offers individuals the opportunity to purchase boxes of delicious cookies made by area bakers and pastry chefs.

In turn, all proceeds from the cookie boxes, which will be sold online for $50 each, will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. These donations are also (bonus) tax deductible. The goal for the Cookie Love initiative is to sell 200 boxes of cookies resulting in a total donation of $10,000.

"Give a box of sweet treats to the love of your life or your favorite Trump supporter to let them know how much you love them, and how much you value Planned Parenthood’s mission," notes the ordering information.

Cookie boxes will include the following cookies:

  • Salted oatmeal chocolate chip - Courtney Allison
  • Raspberry brownies - Nell Benton
  • Peanut pretzel white chocolate curry cookies - Kris Collett
  • Macarons - Toren Engseth
  • Millionaire bars - Meghan Forness
  • Snickerdoodles - Allie Howard
  • Caramel potato chip cookies - Cathy Jakicic 
  • Chocolate chip - Beth Julie
  • Decorated pink pussycat sugar cookies - Sarah Keller
  • Funfetti sugar cookies - Jaceleen Latin-Kasper
  • Rockie road cookies - Annelise Linton
  • Vegan chocolate peanut butter - Katie Marggraf
  • Coconut rochers - Sarah Mironczuk
  • Red velvet crackles - Shannon O’Connell Trenholme
  • Lemon cardamom shortbread - Caitlin Prostek
  • Decorated sugar cookies - Amanda Richardson
  • Rosemary polenta shortbread - Molly Sullivan
  • Lemon sandwich cookies - Hazel Wheaton

The boxes will be available for pick-up on Feb. 12-13 at locations including

Frank’s Power Plant, 2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Sprocket Café, 3385 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St.
MKE Community Kitchen, 531 E. Keefe Ave.

The Cookie Love story

The idea for Cookie Love was hatched by local pastry cook Kris Collett, who says she was inspired by a similar initiative in Oregon.

"My friend Cathy Jakicic, who is not a pro baker but an accomplished home baker, sent me an article about a bunch of pastry ladies in Portland, Oregon who are doing this," says Collett. "When I saw it, I thought it was something we could do too. I loved the idea of bringing the community of pastry workers and chefs in Milwaukee together for an important cause."

Collett says she sees the effort as a way for women in the culinary community to channel their creativity into something that could really make a difference.

"The new Congress and No. 45 [Trump] has been a heavy weight on many of us since the election," she explains. "I think many people were motivated to action afterward, and the turnout at marches is a prime example of that, but I think some people are really still struggling and don't know what to do. This is a really simple thing that folks can to do to make a difference. It's a good step one."

Some proof of that has already been evidenced in the number of people who are participating in the effort.

In addition to the participating bakers, Collett says countless volunteers have also stepped forward, including Cathy Walls, who offered to take charge of pulling volunteers together to assist in tasks like packing boxes. Meanwhile, local artist Linsey Sieger volunteered to design the Cookie Love logo.

"The impact of this project is so much greater than me just writing out a check to PPWI, which Randy and I do on a pretty regular basis," Collett notes. "Anything that creates unity and a sense of community in the times we're living is well worth doing."

Boxes of Cookie Love cookies can be purchased for $50 online. Additional details regarding pick-up times will be sent to each individual by email.

For more information, or to get involved, follow Cookie Love on Facebook or email Kris at CookieLoveWI@gmail.com.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.