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Austin Bakes & Owl Sugar Cookies

October 1, 2011

Austin bakes, yes, we do.  We baked for Japan and Bastrop, too!

We’ve had a very dry summer. I won’t complain about our abundance of sunny days, however, drought has many adverse effects. Over Labor Day, Central Texas experienced the most devastating of these effects–wildfires.

More than 1000 homes were destroyed and even more acreage was set ablaze. In response to the devastation, the Austin community reached out with both manpower and charitable donations.  Austin Bakes, led by Kathryn Hutchison, was one group that got involved. This community of food bloggers, foodies, home cooks, and local businesses came together for a city wide bake sale, benefitting the Central Texas Wildfire Fund.

Being a food blogger, I had to join Austin Bakes in this relief effort.  My friends and I baked an assortment of goodies, ranging from themed cookies (recipe below) to cupcakes to pumpkin bread. We set up shop with the other foodies at Whole Foods on N. Lamar and watched with excitement as people made generous donations and oogled at our baked goods.

Owl Sugar Cookies

(sugar cookie recipe from Better Homes & Gardens cookbook)


  • 2/3 c. butter, room temp
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 36 almonds
  • 72 chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat butter in a large bowl.  Add sugar, baking powder, and salt and beat until well combined.  Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat. Add flour slowly. Beat.  If needed, stir in the last portion of flour.
  3. On an ungreased cookie sheet, spead a little flour so the cookies won’t spread out too thin. Scoop about a Tbs for each cookie and make sure they are about 1 ½ to 2 inches apart.
  4. Set aside a small amount of dough to form small balls for the eyes.
  5. Bake for about 5 minutes.  Quickly remove from oven and add the eye dough balls, almonds, and fork tine feet to each cookie (if the dough eyes are added in the beginning, they will just melt into the rest of the cookie). Bake for 2-3 more minutes. Quickly remove from oven and add chocolate chips on the top of each eye ball. Bake for 1 more minute.  Remove from oven.  Allow cookies to cool before taking them off the cookie sheet.


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