TODAY   |  December 11, 2012

Mom makes cookies for kids’ cancer

Gretchen Witt had a 2-year-old diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancerous tumor. Even though her son lost his battle, Witt founded “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer,” which helps people set up bake sales to raise funds for research on the disease. She joins Kathie Lee and Hoda to share her yummy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now with more "of today" and it's today's holiday kitchen. cookies that taste good and do good.

>> after her son was diagnosed with cancer , grechb and her husband launched cookies for kids cancer . folks can hold their own bake sales and join the fight against pediatric cancer .

>> gretchen is going to share the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe featured in her book "best bake sale cook book ," but first let's listen to her story.

>> it started in the holiday season of 2007 . my young son, liam , who is 2 1/2, was diagnosed with stage four pediatric cancer . i knew that we had to try to do something to raise awareness of the fact that not only is pediatric cancer the number one disease cancer , but it receives a very, very small amount of funding, so i decided to bake 96,000 cookies with the help of about 250 volunteers. sold out of cookies within a few days. since we have been baking cookies and holding events, we've raised in four years about $4 million. we actually have seen the direct result of where our money is going in the form of a treatment that's now available. we really did try to spend as much time as we could living with cancer and not becoming the victims of. liam was the kind of kid who would go down a steep hill and take a sharp right-hand turn and ride his scooter into the front entrance of the hospital. i would do anything for my children, and now that my son isn't here, i would do anything to help other children. when you visit the cookies for kids cancer website, there's a page that has faces of children and their stories. they are my heroes. i know that i will see liam again, and i know that the very first question he'll ask me is what did you do to make it better for others, and i won't be able to look my son in the face if i can't tell him that mommy and daddy did everything they could.

>> what a precious boy.

>> okay. okay.

>> we are honored to welcome gretchen to our kitchen.

>> what a beautiful, beautiful story. oh, my gosh. i feel like --

>> she's fine, and we're falling apart.

>> all right. so this is -- again, you are helping so many kids through what you make and what you bake and how you sell it, and you are going to show us how to cook.

>> she's never done it before on television. we're going to help you, honey. let's start.

>> normally liam would be here with me.

>> the real cook in the family.

>> yes. are you okay?

>> yes.

>> do you want me to look at your make-up?

>> no.

>> i was very lucky that the elves at the today show went ahead already and creamed the butter and the sugar. thank goodness.

>> better than anybody. uh-huh.

>> don't they?

>> we've creamed butter and sugar.

>> then we're going to add our wet ingredients, and we're going to add this is the secret ingredients.

>> oats?

>> yes.

>> we have two eggs.

>> vanilla.

>> oh, you have done this before?

>> i like this. i like this.

>> they told me to use the lowest setting.

>> we are running out of time .

>> we add the oats. this is the secret ingredient . you add the flour. this is going to be a mess.

>> then, obviously, this is the best -- the -- i think we could stand here and eat the chocolate. those go in too. these are fool-proof cookies, and there's are in the cook book , the best bake sale cook book .

>> so easy. no excuse not to make these.

>> then we get this.

>> you get this. you scoop it out?

>> see the oats that are in here.

>> do they cook up when you bake them?

>> they're amazing. they give the cookies this amazing texture. then we can taste it.

>> how long do we bake? oh, hoda.

>> 325. hoda --

>> separate those.

>> or you can make the --

>> you use parchment paper ?

>> i do.

>> i would suggest that.

>> after making 96,000 cookies in 2007 , i realize the value of parchment paper .

>> what other kinds do you have?

>> what we do is there are two ways that people can support cookies for kids cancer . one is you can have your own bake sale . we've had thousands of bake sales in all 50 states , in 13 countries around the world, and the great thing is that in between now and december 31st if you guys bake two cookies and either put them out on your deck and have a bake sale , if you have a cookie exchange , if you have a bake sale , also we'll match the money 100%, or glad products, if you exchange cookies with your girlfriend, gives $1 for every cookie.

>> lots of ways to do it.

>> absolutely. if you don't like to bake, you can buy our cookies. 100% of the profits goes -- did you hear that? 100% goes to pediatric cancer research .

>> i have to say, your haircut looks --

>> i was so happy.

>> it looks beautiful. you are doing such great work.

>> your boy is very, very proud of you.