CALABASAS — My mom, Audrey Koz, was one of those incredible people who made a lasting impression on everyone she knew.

Audrey was a pharmacist by profession. As such, she knew that the “best medicine” was a great homemade chocolate chip cookie. My mom’s cookies were made with love and people always told her they were the best cookies they had ever tasted. These cookies were my mom’s way to spread her love to all the people that came into her life.

Audrey was an ambassador of goodwill. Once you met her, she was your immediate friend and your biggest cheerleader. Once someone tasted Audrey’s cookies, they were hooked and it was a combination of her amazing warmth and love and her one-of-a-kind cookies that truly made an unforgettable impact.

My brother is recording artist Dave Koz. At the beginning of his career, my mom sent cookies along to every meeting Dave went to and to every performance he gave. The smooth jazz music world fell in love with my mom and her cookies. Dave eventually became a famous sax player and my mom claimed that her cookies were largely responsible for his success.

Throughout my youth and adult life, I watched my mom connect with people on a very special level. Cookies were the physical symbol of her love and all who knew her craved both her and her cookies. There was nothing like watching the reaction she got from people when they tasted her cookies.

When Audrey passed away suddenly in November 2005, I felt compelled to carry on the tradition even though I had no prior experience as a baker. I like to refer to myself as an accidental baker. We started with Audrey’s original chocolate chip cookie recipe and have broadened to include other favorite flavors including oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle, white chocolate raspberry and red velvet. It gives our whole family enormous joy to know that my mom’s legacy and love continues to spread through her cookies.

To honor my mother, we decided to donate 10 percent of the purchase price of our cookies to Audrey’s favorite charity, the Starlight Children’s Foundation. When we started the company Cookies for a Koz (www.cookiesforakoz.com), there was no doubt in our minds where a portion of the proceeds should go.

For more than 24 years, Starlight has dedicated itself to improving the quality of life for children with serious medical conditions by providing entertainment, education and family activities that help them cope with the pain, fear and isolation of prolonged illness. Starlight understands what families go through when a child is sick, and how important it is to find relief from constant worry and isolation. Starlight’s programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illness, and connect families with others facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be a great idea to offer my mother’s recipe for shortbread cookies, and those readers who would like to order from our Web site will receive a 10 percent discount by using the code “SMDP.”

So now you can eat all the cookies you want and not feel guilty about it because you know that your purchase is going towards a wonderful “Koz!”

Roberta Koz Wilson, a former MTV marketing/sales executive, is the founder of Cookies for a Koz. She can be reached at roberta@cookiesforakoz.com.

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