I have a fun and kid friendly recipe to share with you today that I adapted from a recipe published in the July 2012 newsletter of the Rare Disease Awareness Network.
First, let me share some background:
Rare Disease Awareness Day happens annually on February 28th during non-leap years and on February 29th during leap years. Next year, (2013) will mark the 6th annual event in which millions of people from around the world will celebrate Rare Disease Awareness Day. It will be the 5th year that the Unites States has joined in on the festivities.
As of 2012, Rare Diseases affect over 25 million people in the United States alone and of these patients over half (sources say upwards of 70%) are children! In the US, a disease is considered rare only if it affects fewer that 200,000 people nationwide. There are currently over 6,800 known rare diseases with new ones being discovered each year. Sadly, only 250 of the over 6,800 rare diseases have treatments (roughly 4%) while NONE have cures. These outlooks are bleak at best.
Patients with a rare disease often go their entire lifetimes either misdiagnosed or un-diagnosed altogether. With 1 in every 10 Americans being affected by a rare disease, chances are that we ALL know someone affected by a rare disease even though we may not be aware of it. Raising awareness is key to unlocking the research, clinical studies (drug trials), treatments, diagnostics and cures for these patients who are in dire need of our help!
The Rare Disease Awareness Network, which I mentioned earlier, is a non-profit corporation headed by Rebecca Alves of Acushnet, MA. She and her agency are dedicated to raising awareness for ALL rare diseases and their motto: “Together we can…”. And it’s true,
- Together we can… help bring rare disease awareness into the forefront of society.
- Together we can… make a difference in the lives of others.
- Together we can…change the world!
It all starts with just talking about it and making a stand. Together, the possibilities are endless.
This brings me back to the recipe. So, when you are planning your next BBQ, bake sale, church function, social gathering, or holiday cookies event and why not make that gathering an outlet for the education about rare disease awareness… it really is that simple. Add this quick and simple recipe to your repertoire and you’ll have just the ice-breaker you need to start talking about rare disease awareness… Zebra Cookies!
The red coloring in the cookie dough was used because “red is a power color and is the color I wore when I went to speak before at the State House in Boston in front of the Joint Committee regarding bill H3641 relevant to Devic’s Disease,” says Alves. “The zebra stripes are because when aspiring doctors are in medical school, they are told that when they hear hoof-beats [symptoms] they should think horses [common] and not zebras [rare]. We chose zebra stripes as our awareness ribbon so people will remember ‘Rare’.”
Save these Zebra Sugar Cookies to your Desserts board on Pinterest!
While we’re at it, let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning great new recipes. 🙂Print
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- red food coloring
- Zebra Hershey Hugs
- Red colored or plain sugar for coating cookie balls
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
- Add a few drops of red dye (until desired redness is achieved) and blend completely.
- Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Dip into plain sugar or red colored sugar crystals and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
- While the cookies are in the oven unwrap the Hershey Hugs.
- When you remove the cookies from the oven, add the Hershey hugs to the center of each cookie pushing down slightly.
- Let stand 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before moving to wire racks to cool completely.
- Calories: 0
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg