Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Friends and Ben's Cookies....

     Some weeks you meet people that inspire and change you, Last week was one of those weeks.  I went to visit a new family that had moved into our congregation at Church.  Having moved many times myself, I try to be as welcoming and helpful as possible, so I made this sweet new family dinner and brought them some delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that I had made.  I love pumpkin and I love cookies, so I figure how can I possibly fail with a cookie like this?  So off I went armed with my goodies to meet this family.   When I arrived at their home I met the children, who were absolutely adorable, active and gregarious, but cute, active kids.  One in particular caught my eye (and later my heart), was cute little Ben.  Ben is almost 5 years old, and loves attention, at times Ben has a hard time expressing himself.  You see, Ben has Autism and sometimes is unable to express his thoughts and emotions into words.  What Ben did express to me was love through hugs and smiles, and an incredible appetite when it came to my cookies.

Ben's sweet mother assures me that he is a fussy eater and doesn't eat most things, so she was surprised to see how much he liked those cookies.  So I told Ben when he ran out of cookies he needed to give me a call and I would be happy to make him more cookies, sure enough he ran out and wanted the same cookies all over again.  I of course was more than happy to oblige and more cookies were made, actually writing this post reminds me that I need to check on Ben this weekend and make sure he has enough of "his cookies."  Ben may not be able to express himself as he would like all the time, but I watched him express thanks, love, appreciation, and generosity.  This little guy has taught me a lot more lessons than many adults have.  He helps me to realize how lucky I am, and that we can all have positive outlooks no matter what is befalling us.

So in honor of my new friend Ben, my classic pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are being renamed to simply "Ben's Cookies"  Make them for your neighbors, and friends, make them for a new family on the street, the recipe makes five dozen cookies, so there are plenty to go around.  Remember what makes cookies taste best is when they are made with love and shared with love.

Ben's Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips (your preference, I use semi-sweet)


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray
Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars,until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly browned.  Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest and cool.

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