Cookies & Fertility Treatments: A Unique Recipe for Success

Personalized fertility – and cookie – recipes

Fertility treatments are a lot like cookie recipes: the process may be different but the goal is the same, to create an amazing “cookie”!

Drs. Havemann, Mehta and Mucowski share their own unique cookie recipes to bring a little joy and deeper fertility understanding to our patients.

Dr. Havemann’s “never flat” chocolate chip cookie recipe

 

Video transcript

Recipe for cookies, and fertility treatment success

Hi, I’m Dr. Havemann from Dallas IVF, and welcome to my kitchen! Every fertility patient when first getting started on their journey will go into a fertility clinic and have an evaluation done.

That will usually consist of tests, blood work, ultrasounds, so that we as the physicians can get to know you better and create and tailor a treatment plan just for you. I try to tell people it’s like creating a recipe, and every recipe is going to be different for every single patient. It may be different including pills or injections or different things but our end goal will always be to build a family.

It’s just like baking cookies: each recipe is going to be different but at the end we’re going to have the same result of an awesome cookie. So, in the spirit of learning about recipes and getting to know infertility journeys a little bit better, I welcome you to my kitchen. We’re going to bake some chocolate chip cookies together.

I grew up in a really small town in Missouri and some of my earliest and fondest memories are of my grandma growing up on her farm. And my grandma was amazing. She was the most creative person and she was the best cook. So, on her 50th wedding anniversary she put together a recipe book of all of her favorite recipes, and she gave it to all of her grandchildren and all of her best friends. And I cherish this recipe book because it always allows me to have a piece of her with me. And we’re going to make today my grandma Margaret’s chocolate chip cookies.

Now, if you can see on my recipe book, really closely on the back there is a picture of me circa 1980 on the farm with my grandma growing up. She calls these chocolate chip cookies her “never flat chocolate chip cookies” because they are thick and cake-like and they’re amazing.

So, to get started making our “never flat chocolate chip cookies,” the ingredients that you’re going to need are: one cup of shortening, you’re going to need one cup of brown sugar, one cup of white sugar, two eggs, three tablespoons of hot water, a tablespoon of baking soda, three cups of flour, two tablespoons of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and one bag of chocolate chips

To get started, the first thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to add the shortening and the sugar combination. And with the sugar you’re going to use your brown sugar and your white sugar all together. Now, I’ve made these cookies many, many times and I always try to make them a little bit healthier as I’ve gotten older. And the one thing I’ve learned is you can substitute many things to make these healthier, but they’re never going to going to taste just as good as if you use the real thing and they’re never going to be quite as fluffy unless you use the absolute best parts of making them.

Once you’ve creamed together the shortening and all the sugars, then you’re going to add your two eggs … and the hot water together. Combine all of this, then you’re also going to add your baking soda, your salt and vanilla.

Now, I have with me today my handy-dandy, Wonder Woman spatula. Just like with infertility, it takes a strong person to get through those treatments. I don’t always have the most confidence in my baking in the kitchen, so I always bring Wonder Woman with me to add confidence and to make sure that my baking goes according to plan. And I know each and every person facing fertility treatments is their own Wonder Woman. So, stir this up, and get it nice and creamy together.

Once you have that solution all mixed up, you’re going to add your flour – a little bit at a time –and mix together until you have the best recipe and the best cookie dough. Now, you can’t have chocolate chip cookies without a whole bag of chocolate chips. Add those in, stir them up all together, we’ll bring Wonder Woman in and give it a great big stir.

Some of my fondest memories of my Grandma Raglan’s chocolate chip cookies are when I was coming home over breaks during college and medical school, and my grandma would always have a big batch of cookies waiting for my sister and me. And we would take these cookies back to school, and all my friends looked forward to having grandma’s “never flat chocolate chip cookies.”

Once you’ve gotten your batter all mixed up, then we’re going to take it, put it on a sheet pan, spray so it doesn’t stick and drop out your cookie dough. When dropping out your cookie dough, I tend to just pick it up in my hand and make the cookie pieces as large or as small as you want. In my family, we like big, flaky, cake-like cookies, so they get rather big.

Once you’ve gotten all your cookies placed out, you’re going to place them in the oven and cook them at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. The hardest part is just waiting for them to get done.

My favorite part of baking cookies is sharing them with those that I love, including my kids! As you can see, our chocolate chip cookies turned out big and fluff just like the “never fail, never flat” cookies that they are.

Fertility treatment support

When going through infertility treatments, it can be quite a hard journey. So I encourage you to do the same thing: share that journey with your friends, lean in and find those that you love that can support you throughout.

Now, enjoy these chocolate chip cookies and I hope you had fun baking in my kitchen today. Thanks so much!

How to make Dr. Havemann’s “never flat” chocolate chip cookie recipe

Ingredients

  • One cup of shortening.
  • One cup of brown sugar.
  • One cup of white sugar.
  • Two eggs.
  • Three tablespoons of hot water.
  • One tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Three cups of flour.
  • Two tablespoons of vanilla.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • And one bag of chocolate chips.

Directions

  • Combine shortening and both types of sugars.
  • Add eggs and hot water to shortening/sugar mixture.
  • Mix in baking soda, salt and vanilla.
  • Slowly add flour, just a little bit at a time.
  • Mix in chocolate chips.
  • Spray cookie sheet.
  • Place cookie dough on sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Dr. Mehta’s red velvet cake balls recipe

Video transcript

A fun family activity

Hi Dallas IVF! Today I’d like to share one of my holiday traditions from the Mehta household. These are red velvet cake balls and these get made in my household pretty much once a year during the holidays.

It’s a super easy recipe. You need a few store-bought ingredients: red velvet cake mix, cream cheese icing and melting chocolate. I would really recommend you buy the good quality melting chocolate instead of that candy coating stuff, this makes a huge difference in the taste. In my family, half of them like milk chocolate and half of them like semi-sweet, so I have both of them.

I already baked the red velvet cake mix following the package directions. Then I crumbled it and mixed half a container of cream cheese icing. You can mix the whole thing, we just don’t like it too sweet so I started with just half a container.

It should be a dough-like consistency. And get your hands dirty: the kids love to do this so you can get them involved. Then roll it out into small cake balls. Again, this is fun when you make it a family project so you’re not stuck doing this all day.

I already melted some of this chocolate in the microwave. I’m going to dip the cake ball, roll it around in the chocolate – of course, after washing your hands very, very thoroughly before you do this.

And allow it to cool. I have a ceramic plate here, you could also use a parchment-lined tray to allow it to cool. It’s going to take probably about 20 minutes to cool completely. And this is your yummy red velvet cake ball. The chocolate is pretty melty right now, but once it cools it will be nice and solid and you can put it on popsicle sticks or wooden sticks to serve it as cake pops.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, take care.

How to make Dr. Mehta’s red velvet cake balls recipe

Ingredients

  • One box red velvet cake mix.
  • Cream cheese icing.
  • Melting chocolate.

Directions

  • Bake cake mix according to box instructions.
  • Crumble cake mix and add half of your cream cheese icing; add more cream cheese icing for a sweater treat.
  • Roll out individual balls.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
  • Dip each ball in melted chocolate.
  • Place balls on ceramic plate or a tray lined with parchment paper to cool.
  • Let balls cool for 20 minutes.

Dr. Mucowski’s “Against All Grain” real-deal chocolate chip cookie recipe

Video transcript

Science of baking and fertility treatments

Just as holiday baking combines art and science, so does fertility treatment. Where every ingredient has a role to play, and every recipe can be tweaked according to individual preferences.

For me, when it comes to cookies, I try to practice what I preach and I transitioned from a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe to one that’s modified for my lifestyle. This particular recipe comes from “Against All Grain,” which had been a Christmas present years ago and this recipe has long since become a family favorite.

While the recipe may seem a little unconventional, I guarantee the ingredients are familiar: an egg, some flour, some sugars and of course chocolate chips. With a result this good, I wouldn’t be surprised if you come back for seconds –  perhaps like your fertility treatment.

How to make Dr. Mucowski’s real-deal chocolate chip cookie recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup palm shortening.
  • One egg at room temperature.
  • 1/4 cup coconut crystals.
  • Two tablespoons honey or agave.
  • Two teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour.
  • Two tablespoons coconut flour.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate pieces.
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips.
  • Optional: Add cinnamon during the holidays for a festive spin on this sweet treat!

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place shortening and egg into a food processor. Process for 15 seconds.
  • Add coconut crystals, honey and vanilla extract. Process until combined.
  • Add flour, baking soda and salt. Process for 30 seconds.
  • Scrape down the sides of the food processor and pulse again if necessary to mix dry ingredients.
  • Stir chocolate in by hand.
  • Use a large tablespoon to scoop balls of dough, placing the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Lightly press each ball down into disks about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are browned around the edges.
  • Cool cookies on a wire rack.

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