They say the best food is made with love in every bite.
MKEfoodies, a group of culinary-minded local bloggers, food writers and food lovers, will hold their annual Holiday Bake Sale to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer next Saturday, Dec. 8. Not only is it a great place to connect with your favorite foodies (and buy their delicious baked goods) but it benefits a chronically underfunded area of medicine: research for pediatric cancer.
This year the event will be held at the Best Place, 901 W. Juneau Ave., from noon to 4 p.m. OnMilwaukee.com’s own Lori Fredrich is heavily involved in the planning, and she reports that MKEfoodies raised $2,000 at last year's bake sale and hopes to earn even more this year.
"Items for sale will run the gamut from traditional Christmas cut-out cookies, ginger snaps, biscotti and chocolate chip cookies to elegant candies, bars and bark," she says. "Attendees will be able to buy cookies to eat, to give as gifts or to make up their holiday cookie platters."
Participating gourmets include Yollande Deacon of Afro Fusion Cuisine, who will make organic and gluten-free African peanut candies, African orange chocolate cookies and African coconut rum cookies. Jennifer Nowicki of Verduras Café will donate three dozen vegan cookies. Friedrich and her husband Paul will have gift boxes for sale containing one dozen hand-dipped brandy cordial cherries.
Food blogger Abby Thompson of The Frosted Vegan will sell chocolate crinkle cookies. "These cookies are the ultimate indulgence, between the fudge center, crunchy outer shell and sprinkle of powdered sugar," she says. "They will be vegan and dairy-free, but they won’t be short on delicious!"
Karis Kuckleberg of Karis’ Kitchen will bring holiday cake pops in delicious flavors like red velvet and dark chocolate peppermint. She says that it’s a great honor to support Cookies’ for Kids’ Cancer. "I love baking and appreciate Lori and Paul’s effort in organizing this annual bake sale, which provides an easy way for me to participate in the fight against kids’ cancer," she told OnMilwaukee.com.
Kuckleberg encouraged fellow blogger Lisa Ponto of Lisa Living Well to participate in the event as well. This will be Pontos' first year, and she plans on bringing Linzer cookies and Magic Mint Chocolate Bark.
"I used to enjoy eating Linzer cookies while living in Europe and I like that I can recreate a cookie that brings back so many great memories of living there and is traditionally eaten around Christmas time," she says.
Plus, she likes the Linzer cookies' Milwaukee connection: "I recently read that Linzer torte, where the inspiration for the cookies came from, became popular in the U.S. when an Austrian immigrant, Franz Hölzlhuber, started a bakery in Milwaukee in 1850 and used his grandma's Linzer torte recipe."
The bake sale is a great place to bring the whole family. Santa will greet guests at the door and handing out gifts to lucky attendees who donate $2 or more.
The mission of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is to give people a simple and easy way – bake sales – to host fundraisers for children’s cancer research. The non-profit was founded in 2008 by OXO Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Larry Witt and his wife, Gretchen. Their son Liam was diagnosed with stage four cancer at the age of two and passed away in 2011.
OXO has pledged to match every dollar raised by the MKEfoodies Bake Sale. The Glad Corporation will donate $1 for every cookie sold.
"There is nothing sweeter than the idea of a cookie helping to cure cancer," says participant Stef Wade of Haute Apple Pie. "We can only begin to understand the physical and mental pain and heartache (cancer) places on the child and their families. If a baking a batch of cookies can create awareness, raise money and bring some joy during tough times, you better believe we will be preheating our ovens."
Colleen Jurkiewicz is a Milwaukee native with a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she loves having a job where she learns something new about the Cream City every day. Her previous incarnations have included stints as a waitress, a barista, a writing tutor, a medical transcriptionist, a freelance journalist, and now this lovely gig at the best online magazine in Milwaukee.