Home on the Range

Spring break!!!  This is coming to you from my parents’ couch in the house I grew up in, with the original baker, my mother.  You know, the recipe I use for the chocolate chip cookies is hers and I’ve sworn an oath to never reveal it to anyone or risk punishment of death.  Ask around, people have tried to get it out of me, but to no avail.  I swear, Mom.

It is so good to be home and taking a break from the city.  Everyone needs that now and then and I’ve come to look forward to Thursdays for just that.  Maybe not a break from the city exactly, but a break from the pace and sometimes stress of my “other” life.  This week I took my break at William Hallet on 30th Ave.  I came in, introduced myself, yada yada yada, and found myself in a brief conversation with one of the owners, George.  I told him the parameters of the project and that he had to recommend the place where I go next.  Usually I give the place a few days to decide but I knew that I’d be visiting home and unable to come back in before Thursday.   He thought about it. and thought about it, and thought about it, and finally said, “I got it, I know”.  Kristin, behind the bar, chimed in with, “Oh, is it that spa and salon?  Is it ____?  Maybe____?”  I could not have been more pleased and surprised by his answer – New York Center for Rehab and Nursing.  He went on to explain that they were somewhat like a hospice and act as a place for people to go when they have no place else to go.  His father was there in 2008 and the nurses were caring, kind and really good to his father and just the sort of place that deserves an act like this.   I love that he is using this opportunity to truly give back to the community, to his community to a cause and to a place that touched his life.  I’m really looking forward to my drop on Thursday.  I know that nurses in general are pretty hard workers and don’t have it easy, but I can only imagine what it must be like caring for the patients they surely have.  I’m hoping my cookies will be a bright spot in their day.

Now, I debated on even sharing this part, but it was too fun not to.  Also as part of this cookie week, I was commissioned to bake cookies for a birthday party for the lovely Miss Jenny.  Commissioned, you say??  But I thought you didn’t want anything from this project!  Now you’re selling them???  Ugh!  Ladies and gentleman, save your skepticism of my intentions and further intentions.  My goods are not for sale, per se, this doesn’t change anything about Single Girl Cookies, what it is and what it stands for.  And Jenny understood that perfectly when she approached me.  As a native New Yorker and an Astorian for 13 years, she understands the value of a neighborhood, and she saw this commission as an act of contribution to help keep what I’m doing going.  Which meant a lot to me, plus she gets to eat Single Girl Cookies.  It’s a win/win for all parties involved.  Now that we’re all cleared up on that, how about, YAY! somebody actually likes my cookies enough to buy them!  This is totally my Sally Fields moment, just bear with me.  They like me!  They really like me!  Ok, I’m done.  It was such a great experience,  I’d be open to opportunities like this in the future.  I’m still holding true to the original mission (One girl, one Mission, smiles, happiness, you get the point), spreading love and kindness, passing it on and I made a lot of new friends this weekend at her party.  Also, be on the lookout, lucky Astorians.  Part of the Single Girl Cookie experience is keeping the plate that the cookies came on with the intention of the recipient passing on the goodness by filling it with something else and giving it to someone else.  The plates are tagged, so keep an eye out – let’s see how far and wide we can make Single Girl reach!

Now the fun part – pictures!

photo (7)

The pay-it-forward plate

bowl icing icing spoon

Beautiful almond buttercream icing


The treats I made for the birthday girl, it was a Jackie Robinson theme

Jenny b'day And the birthday girl herself enjoying a Single Girl Cookie!

I leave you now with a different perspective, one of the Single Girl, my writing companion, Cooper.

photo (4)



Copyright 2013, Renee Heitmann



  1. j-la · March 25, 2013


  2. j-la · March 25, 2013

    oh, to clarify, when I spread the cheer with this plate.. .I tag my own name on it somehow?

    • astoriabaker · March 25, 2013

      Not a requirement when passing it I but that would be a lovely addition. They are now yours to do what you wish with them! I just used a Sharpie when signing them.

  3. eladyland · March 25, 2013

    Beautiful post, Renee! It was so great to meet you at the party and hear the story of the Single Girl project. I can vouch that the cookies were delicious. 🙂

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