'Cookie lady' bakes 140,000 cookies for sick kids, gets recipe in forthcoming storybook
'I’ve never been protective of my recipes. I think that’s silly,' Valda Craig shares
Some call Valda Craig the cookie lady.
She bakes cookies for sick kids and their families — more than 100,000 and counting — and now one of her recipes will get even more attention in a forthcoming book.
Later in life, the Calgary woman was looking for ways to give back.
"I knew I wanted to volunteer with children in some way," Craig told The Homestretch.
She had always admired the work done at Ronald McDonald House, so she stopped by the Calgary facility.
"I didn't know in what capacity I could be used. When I said that I baked, she asked if I could start tomorrow," Craig said with an infectious laugh.
Ten years later, Craig estimates she has baked more than 140,000 cookies.
"I bake between 25 and 27 dozen cookies a shift," she explains.
"I've got it down to a science now. I've got three ovens going and eight cookie sheets going. Everybody stays out of my part of the kitchen and just lets me go at it."
People seem to love her cookies — so much so that McDonald's Canada wants one of her recipes to reach a larger audience. The organization is featuring it in a soon-to-be-published storybook called Cookies – From Our Kitchen to Yours.
- Watch Valda Craig explain her love of baking for sick children and their families
"It's an honour of course. When you volunteer, you don't do it for recognition, but it's certainly nice to receive it," Craig said.
But does she feel territorial about giving up one of her secret recipes? That's a hard no.
"I've never been protective of my recipes. I think that's silly. I am more than happy to share."
With files from Ellis Choe and The Homestretch