Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Operation Baking Gals February Shipment

This year my husband and I decided that we would try and do one philanthropic act a month. We both feel that we are very luck to have the life that we have and that we need to try and give to others. After some searching to find something that I could dedicate my time to regularly - my job has erratic hours and I often have to work nights and weekends, I found Baking Gals. This is an organization that bakes and ships homemade goodies to military that are in active duty. Many of these men and women have been away from home for months and this organization hopes to show them that there we are there for support and that we thank them for their service to our country. What a perfect match for me! I love to bake - but my husband and I can't eat all that I make, we wouldn't be able to get out of our chairs! :)

This was my first month and I signed up for a team that had me tearing up while reading the description. Mind you I cry all them time - those Pedigree commercials really tug my heart strings! ASPCA forget it - the channel must be changed unless you want me to have a full breakdown! As luck might have it, this team was a wonderful man and his dog who are part of the Special Ops team in Afghanistan, it was a perfect opportunity to add in my peanut butter dog treats!

In addition to the doggies treats we added Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies (recipe below), pumpkin cookies, snickerdoodles, jelly beans, black licorice, trail mix and magazines. This was a wonderful experience and I felt so wonderful when I sent off my care package! Hopefully everything will get there intact!

I tried this new recipe from Smitten Kitchen, with a few changes below. They were WONDERFUL! They were wonderful little bites of goodness, flecked with cinnamon and mini chocolate chips. I strongly recommend making a batch RIGHT now!!!

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
24 - 30 smaller cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and flour. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for 1 hour. Bake for 10 minutes on parchment lined cookie sheets. Let them sit for five minutes before transferring to a cookie rack to cool.

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