Cookies for a good cause

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Note: This drawing is now closed. I get to work with a lot of great authors, and I’m thankful for that, but I wish every book project was special to me like this one. When I first met Gretchen Holt-Witt, I knew I had to find a way to work with her. I wasn’t sure yet what the book would be, what it would look like, who would write it, how we’d get the photography done, or just about anything, but I knew it would be an incredibly fulfilling experience. And it was. It’s about a year and a half or so later, and Cookies for Kids Cancer Best Bake Sale Cookbook is now arriving in stores. I could go on and on about what a great charity this is, but I think I’ll keep it simple. Cookies for Kids Cancer has helped organize fundraisers in forty-nine states, and they’ve raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research. All of Gretchen’s proceeds from the book are being donated to the charity. The photoshoot for the book was particularly fun–here are some behind-the-scenes snapshots I took.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

That’s photographer Lucy Schaeffer behind the camera, working her magic. You’ll have to pick up the cookbook to see her photos which of course put mine to shame. Thanks, Lucy, for being so great to work with.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

The propping was special. Michelle Rotman pulled everything together, and she donated all of her time to the project. Add to that, she even donated her home as a space for the shoot. I can’t thank her enough for her generosity.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

And there’s the amazing Cyd McDowell, our food stylist. I don’t get to work with Cyd very often, and that’s a shame because she’s the best.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Of course the book isn’t just cookies. The brownie and bar recipes are insanely good, trust me.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Did anyone say savory? Yes, the book has some of that too.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Of course the cupcakes are ridiculously good.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

I like this shot, to see how we rigged the overhead photos. Yes, we got down on our hands and knees to put this one together.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Mmm, chocolate.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

These are my favorite recipe in the book. Maybe I’ll post it on my blog soon — 5-layer bars, and they’re totally easy to make.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

I’m not usually a fruity dessert guy, but this recipe changed my mind.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

I might have a new favorite recipe for cranberry white chocolate cookies now. You can get this recipe here if you want to try it out.

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Cookies for Kids Cancer cookbook

Best of all, the photoshoot had moments like these, Michelle’s daughters on set helping us out with some of the treats, all of us being silly, snacking on the goodies, everyone taking home bags of cookies and other desserts for family and friends, and the never-ending smell of yum coming from the oven. What a great week, and for such a great cause. Now do me a big favor and buy a copy of this book. Then buy one for a friend while you’re at it. And if you’re still reading all the way to the end, if you post a comment below before 5pm on September 12, and you live in the U.S. or Canada, I’ll enter you into a random drawing for a free copy of the book!

About justcooknyc

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46 Responses to Cookies for a good cause

  1. iarethefoodsnob says:

    Oh wow! absolutely stunning!
    The chocolate dipped pretzels gave me an amazing idea for a bachelorette party i am hosting this weekend!
    You rock!

  2. Wow, delicious! Must make some cookies now!

  3. Thanks for the sneak peek! What a fun time!

  4. Eliana says:

    This book looks and sounds like a must buy!

  5. Ginger G says:

    … must have my library order this for all to use!

  6. style fare says:

    What a great shoot (I love behind-the-scenes anything) and some amazing looking cookies! I didn’t realize you were a part of this project – we got a review copy recently with the cutest little cookie spatula. ;)

  7. bigapplenosh says:

    I love this behind-the-scenes post!

  8. Looks like a great book. Wonderful that there’s such a great cause behind it, too. =)

  9. Just gained 5 lbs looking at your photos… delish! Congrats on the cookbook!!!!!!!!! (yes, that’s 9 exclamation points). Hip Hip Hurray! For your next book I’d like to be your official taster. :)

  10. Jenny says:

    I ordered the book about a week ago – just got a notice it was shipped – and I got a couple of the great spatulas to give as Christmas gifts!

  11. Jeannette says:

    i WAS going to leave a comment letting you know my favorite picture but i couldn’t. i just couldn’t. everything looks SO delicious that there’s no WAY i can choose just one thing. So YUM to all of it!!

  12. Looks like such a fun project! You are clever not to elaborate more on how the book came together…I guess we’ll have to buy it to get all the stories that go with your beautiful photos! Made my mouth water. Yum!

  13. My copy just arrived and the boys and I sat down and must have drooled on every page! We’re all excited to start baking from Cookies for Kids!

  14. Amy Kim says:

    I’m not much of a sweets person, but those goodies look scrumptious.

    btw…you seem to have an incredibly awesome job.

  15. Hanaa says:

    I remember you talking about this project. Good to hear everything worked out and that the book can be found in book stores already. I hope it raises a lot of money. Everything on the pictures sure is mouthwatering!

  16. Antonia James says:

    Love it! Just stumbled on your blog for the first time. What an interesting post. Copies of this book, plus a variety of cookies made from recipes in it, would make delightful — and unexpected — holiday gifts. Thank you for letting us all know about it!! ;o)

  17. Hey Justin, thanks for sharing your experience with us. This book sounds amazing & I would love to help promote it for you guys on my blog. Super fun photo shoot & I bet all the recipes are amazing!

  18. elle marie says:

    Congrats on such a great cause, and for raising the funds, the shoot looks like a lot of fun.

  19. beth says:

    I think my library needs this book. With all of the flooding here from Irene we’ve been hosting bakesales to raise money for those families in need. This way we can help several different organizations. It’s a win-win.

    Thanks for the sneak peek and the sample recipe. It looks like everyone had fun putting together this worthwhile cause.

  20. So impressive.

    I love seeing behind the scenes of photoshoots. So much hard work goes into them.. bravo, new friend!

  21. I dunno Justin, your photos there are pretty awesome. The one with the chocolate dripping on the bars/brownies made me want to go and make some ganache immediately to pour onto something. The cookbook looks fantastic! What a wonderful cause.

  22. Those 5 layer bars looks divine! I’m suddenly craving sweets… thanks a lot ;)

  23. Pingback: Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookies Gluten Free-Vegan Recipe: Healthy Cookie — Family Fresh Cooking

  24. Pingback: bringing back flourless chocolate cake | Justcook NYC

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