Sunday, December 23, 2012

Give Yourself a Santa Moment

Santa did us all a favor when he asked children around the world to leave him a plate of cookies and a glass of milk when he stopped by their house to deliver gifts. I mean there anything that provides more instant comfort and energy than a bite of baked sugar, butter, flour, eggs, vanilla, loaded with extras like bing cherries and chocolate chips? Just writing about cookies makes me smile. Yes, I am the same woman who wrote about the downside of sugar a few months ago, but we are in the midst of the holidays, and deserve a treat. Plus, anything Santa recommends can't be too bad.

I discovered a fantastic place to buy cookies this year, and I had to share it with you. Nestled in a church basement kitchen in Albany, NY, Linda Kindlon has made her dream of owning a bakery come true. Frustrated with working at jobs that weren't working for her, Linda decided to see if she could make a living doing what she loves most—baking. She found a church that was willing to rent out their kitchen, gathered the capital she needed, built a website, and started spreading the word about her original cookies. As most business ventures go, it took some time to attract loyal customers, but before long the buzz about her delicious edibles grew. Now, Linda often works ten to twelve hour days to fulfill orders—from individuals, businesses, coffee shops, health food stores, and her friends at local farmers' markets.

Linda baking for you! 

Linda has clearly become one of the most popular bakers in the capitol region of New York State. Her secret is to use only the finest of ingredients. She uses organic products whenever possible and believes in freshness so buys from local farmers. The result is absolute cookie art. When I brought a cannoli cookie, made with ricotta cheese, marscapone cheese, and crushed cannoli shells on top, home to my husband, Keith, he exclaimed, "That's the best cookie I've ever tasted." After he savored his treat, he immediately "liked" Linda's Facebook page.

Linda's son pours flour cultivated in Vermont into a bin

When asked why she enjoys baking so much, Linda said, she was raised in a "cooking" household so feels connected to the process; when she is baking alone in her kitchen the problems of the world seem to fade away; and she enjoys the creative side of baking. "If something tastes good, I try it out in a cookie," Linda says. That has included varieties such as, double chocolate and caramel and pumpkin, apple, and oatmeal. For the holidays, one of her offerings was small snowmen dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint.

My favorite is called, "Girls Best Friend"—a cookie baked with pretzels, chocolate, and potato chips—heavenly.

Linda's favorite: white chip craisin, and she currently gives away a dozen through a contest on her Facebook page every Wednesday.

White chip craisin cookie

So, regardless of your faith, this Christmas Eve, join Santa. Kick back, pour yourself a glass of milk and fix yourself a plateful of cookies. After the hectic holiday season, YOU deserve it!

Now for a scavenger hunt:
If you'd like to win a dozen of Bake For You cookies and a copy of my novel, A Stop in the Park, go to my Facebook page and simply "like" my most recent post:

You'll find a link to the Bake for You FB page there too!

A very merry Christmas to those who celebrate and many happy wishes to all who enjoy the season of giving.  


  1. What a delicious post! Yum! Makes me want to venture into the kitchen and bake some cookies. If I lived near the area, I probably would already be in my car on the way to her bakery! Merry Christmas!