The Joy of Cookies

Our devotion today was written by Linda Babcock.  

They say the fastest way to someone's heart is through their feeding them.  I think Jesus knew that.  Jesus used food, food imagery, meals, dinner tables and feasts in many of his teachings and in several of his miracles.  He even gave himself up for us during a meal.  Today, Linda is continuing the message that food, and especially the sharing of home made food, is about hospitality and love.  What better way to show someone you love them than to make fresh food for them?  Enjoy this devotion, and then enjoy some cookies!

- Reverend Dave


“Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10)

Around Christmas time, I was thinking about how much cookies have meant to me over the years.  Have you ever thought about it? Recently, I went into the Dollar Store one day to pick up something and there was a book sitting on the shelf called, “The Joy of Cookies.”  I think God was encouraging me to go ahead and write about it!

One of my earliest childhood memories is helping my mother bake cookies.  The ones she made most often were Toll House Cookies (chocolate chips).  Those were a year-round favorite for our family.  We didn’t worry about carbs or calories, we just really enjoyed sharing cookies together after school.  Making cookies was a time to learn, a time to be one-on-one with Mom, a time to learn about sharing with others when we put some in tins and took them to our neighbors, and a time to learn patience when the Humpty Dumpty cookie jar was empty and we had to wait until the next batch came out of the oven. (PS, peanut butter cookies and snickerdoodles tied for second place.)

Sunday afternoons and evenings were always family time for us.  Often, we’d travel to Bridgeton to visit our grandfather.  Aunt Eleanor lived with PopPop and there was always a tin of her wonderful molasses cakes hidden in the pantry.  We knew that we had permission to enjoy one whenever we came over.  Since my father was one of nine children – and all but one of them lived nearby and each had several children – there was a lot of competition for Aunt Eleanor’s cookies!  Who got the plain ones and who got the ones with dates in them?  Sometimes we bargained for the one we wanted most, and it ended with all the children going down in the basement to play games and use the chalkboard.

As I got a little bit older, cookies meant going out of my comfort zone and knocking on neighbors’ doors to see who wanted to buy some Girl Scout Cookies.  I had the most generous and loving neighbors because I don’t remember being rejected when selling them.  And in my small hometown, almost every girl belonged to the Girl Scouts!  We didn’t have group sales in front of a mall (no malls in the olden days!!) or the grocery store; it was just something that helped our troop afford to do some projects.

As a young bride, I moved to Absecon and really learned how much making cookies meant to others.  My mother-in-law, Grace, started baking cookies well before Thanksgiving each year.  She had dozens of special recipes that she always made.  She packaged the cookies in tins and stored them in a cool place, then when it was a week or so before Christmas, she took cookies to every single business along New Jersey Avenue – the bank, the real estate office, the insurance company, the five-and-ten, the beauty parlors, the butcher, (maybe not the bakery, I don’t remember).  This town meant so much to her that she just wanted to bless the people that she saw day-by-day.  It meant a lot to others and it brought so much joy to her.

In recent years, cookies have meant “mission” to me.  You know our mission team loves doing this to help our friends at ASELSI in Guatemala.  A huge team of people gather at the Port fire house and at church to make and pack cookies…hours turn into days…and dreams turn into cookies.  Every year (beginning in 2007) we’ve made between 500 and 800 pounds of cookies to sell, all to benefit the milk program for undernourished babies in Guatemala.  During 2020, at the height of the pandemic, we were not able to get together to bake and sell cookies, but God Is Good.  We had a cookie-less sale and were still able to send a wonderful donation to the program.
To us it may just be cookies, to the precious children of Guatemala it means life-sustaining nourishment provided by the dollars we are able to send to them.  Pregnant mothers are provided with checkups and prenatal care including ultrasounds. After babies are born, they can return for an evaluation and further care or recommendations if needed. The milk program has saved hundreds of lives by providing training, formula, milk, cereal and medical care to malnourished and at-risk babies.

So, about the cookies – it’s the simple things in life that mean so much.  Cookies can mean time with family, lessons about what it takes to make things happen, how to show appreciation, and how to reach out in love to others. It all starts with the most basic idea, a few ingredients and lots of love.

- Linda Babcock


Nestle Toll House Cookie Recipe
The classic Nestle Toll House Cookie Recipe that so many of us grew up with. A quick and easy drop cookie, it's hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie!

  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (salted or unsalted is fine)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Nestle Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (other chips can be used, but why?)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer beat together butter, sugars and vanilla until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  • Add in half the flour, along with all the baking soda and salt. Mix by hand to combine, then add remaining flour and chocolate chips.
  • If possible, cover and chill the dough for at least one hour, but not more than 24 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scoop dough into rounded tablespoons and place onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving approximately 2 inches of space between cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown. 
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheets, on wire cooling racks, for two minutes. Then transfer cookies to wire cooling racks with a spatula to allow to cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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