Before I lived in Texas, I never really had any connection to the military. I knew that we were fighting a war, and I theoretically knew that the people fighting it were people's parents, children and siblings, but I never really knew anyone who was actually fighting. However, I now live in a large military town, and many of the people that I interact with on a daily basis, including a few of the children in my child's class, are either military themselves or someone in their family is. One of my close friends here (who writes this great blog) has had her emotions yanked all over the place, thinking her husband was being deployed and then learning he wasn't but will be at some point in the future. This has really brought the need to support the troops home for me. Whether you agree with the war or not, that is someone's parent, child, friend out there fighting, so we can sit at home and we should all do what we can to make them feel comfortable from afar.
All that is why I decided to join the group Operation Baking GALS. This great group of people bake for soldiers each month. You join a team and then everyone sends their goodies on the same day, so that the soldier (and his or her unit) is bombarded with love. Also, it is win-win because I love to bake, but its not great for me to eat everything I bake, so I feel great about being able to send it away.
I chose to make two different kinds of cookies for my group, whose solider is in Iraq. The first (the cookies on the left) are some of my favorites, because they combine cinnamon and chocolate. I have made them numerous times and they have never failed. The recipe makes 2 9x13 pans, but I always half it without any problems. Bake them for about 20 minutes.
You can find the recipe here, on the blog Dozen Flours.
The second cookie, the one on the right, is Buttery Jam Cookies from our favorite book, Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours. The recipe calls for apricot jam, but all I had was black raspberry, which accounts for the interesting purple color of the cookies. These are very soft and not two sweet and I could really taste the jam. I also used buttermilk (instead of regular milk) because I had exactly 2 tablespoons left and it just seemed too good to be true.
You can find the recipe here, from when it was chosen as Tuesdays with Dorie recipe.
I hope by solider enjoys them. Just my way of showing some support for the troops. I hope you find your own way to support them as well.