Baked With Love

A mother and daughter’s bond through baked goods

Mom moved into our basement apartment nearly two years to the day after Dad passed. It was 2004, our girls were 5 and 8. She had sold the house in Mitchell, South Dakota, a year before and was living in an apartment. Upon arriving in Colorado, she quickly jumped into the stream of our lives, taking the girls to their activities, helping with dinners and going with us on camping trips. She worked in the garden and made lots of baked goods.

Over the next 14 years, we were blessed to have her as an ever-present part of our family. It was so welcoming to come home to the sweet smells flowing from the basement. Although she made cakes, pies, rice krispie treats and an occasional rhubarb crisp, my favorite was her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. 

Together, we modified her recipes to accommodate my gluten intolerance. I would have one a day—she kept her cookies in her freezer to keep them fresh. The girls ate more than I ever knew, but that's a secret they kept with Gramma.

Gramma’s vigor and balance diminished over time. Nearly five years ago, my oldest sister welcomed Mom into her home where she now lives. This summer I visited her for her 97th birthday. Her appearance and wit belies her years. She’s nearly as sharp as ever and offers her granddaughters and me her insight and thoughtful opinions. 

Now the space downstairs welcomes Airbnb guests with a plate of gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Her recipe hangs on the wall in her handwriting and a brief history is written in the notes for our short-term tenants. I have received texts and photos from former guests who have made their own version of her cookies. When I visit her, I leave a batch of cookie dough, spooned into balls in the freezer, so she can have freshly baked cookies long after I've gone back home. 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Paula’s GF version)

1 c  grass-fed organic butter

¼ c organic sugar 

¾ c organic brown sugar 

¼ c tapioca starch

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ c almond flour

¾ c GF baking mix flour

1 tsp baking soda

3½ c oatmeal

1 c  Enjoy Life mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream the butter and the sugars. Stir the eggs and vanilla together then add. Mix together the flours and soda, and add to the wet mixture. Once combined, fold in the oatmeal and chips. Batter will be stiff. Spoon onto a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake at 350˚ for 11-14 min.

"Although she made cakes, pies, rice krispie treats and an occasional rhubarb crisp, my favorite was her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies." - Paula Megenhardt 

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