Over the holidays I heard about a great organization called Operation Baking Gals. Here’s an overview from their site on the organization:
“Baking GALS (GALS stands for Give A Little Support) is a group of volunteer bakers who bake and ship homemade goodies to our heroic troops that are currently deployed. Each soldier is “Hosted” by a blogger, and potential bakers are “recruited” from the bloggers own site as well as the GALS site. Each Host recruits between 20-25 bakers, meaning LOTS of goodies get delivered to our soldier…so many, in fact that he or she has plenty to share with their fellow troops!”
I responded to a call for bakers from Beth at Someone’s in the Kitchen with Brina. I joined the “Go Team Terps” team. We baked for Spc. Brett Dibbern. He’s 22 years old and from Wood River, Nebraska. Brett attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was in the ROTC program there. He joined the Army Reserve right out of high school and completed basic training at Fort Jackson.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be deployed overseas – especially during the holidays. As soon as I heard the call for bakers for Brett, I knew I had to participate.
We were instructed to bake and ship anytime between December 5-19. I decided to bake Eggnog Cookies (for a seasonal treat!), Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Apple Spice Bars. I really enjoyed spending a day in the kitchen baking for our troops. I followed all the packaging instructions carefully to insure that everything made it over safely and in one piece and also threw a lot of extra goodies in the box as well.
Here’s a picture of my box all ready to go.
I was really excited a couple weeks later to receive an email from Brett thanking me for the package. I’m definitely planning on joining another Baking Gals team in the future.
And for the recipes…
(Recipe Source: Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose four
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups grandulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup eggnog
1 tsp vanilla
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Mix well with a whisk and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks, beating at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, beating at a low speed until combined. Do not overmix.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, one inch apart. (I had to chill my dough before I could shape it into teaspoons – it was too sticky.) Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake 23-25 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. (I only baked mine for around 18-20 minutes.) Transfer immediately to a rack to cool.
Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Recipe Source: allrecipes.com)
These were really, really good. I will be making these again for sure.
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. (I always go towards the lesser side of baking time for cookies. I like mine super soft.) Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Apple Spice Cookie Bars
(Recipe Source: Good Things Catered)
2 c. plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
small pinch ground cloves (I omitted, I did not have any cloves)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 apples, cored and diced (a little less than 2 c.)
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9×13 pan with foil and baking spray.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whisk to combine well and set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, combine sugars and butter and beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to combine. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine. Turn mixer on slow and fold in flour mixture a little at a time until just combined. Fold in apples.
Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle top generously with cinnamon sugar. Place in oven and bake until cooked through, when top slightly bounces back to the touch, about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan, cutting and serving. (Bars will be very soft.)