Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Operation Quick Bread Cookies

They say that home is where the heart is, and sweets are baked with love.  This morning, I found that to be my motto of the day as I stirred, mixed and scooped my way to the perfect cookie.  You see, today was my first official bake off with Operation Baking Gals  and I was baking for Staff Sergeant Daryl and his US Air Force team, so I wanted everything to be perfect. All I could think about is making a cookie that exemplified my heart and support for our troops in Iraq and the hope that the second they untied the meticulously wrapped brown paper box, I could feel the smiles from across the ocean.  

Backed with the support of my team, Hungry Fox, I grabbed my oven mitts, armed my self with my favorite Pottery Barn green spatula and hit the oven running. Today I decided that I would make something a little different than the average cookie, something fresh and light to get them through those hot summer days in the Iraq sunshine...this led me to a simple but tasty recipe I have had stacked in my recipe pile for ages from the Pillsbury website. With a few modifications, I think I have created the perfect, yet refreshing, cookie that will no doubt fill the bellies of our soldiers and  pile on the smiles. 

  

Cran-Orange Quick Bread Cookies

Ingredients
1 package Pilsburry Cranberry Quick Bread and Muffin Mix
3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sweetend dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup oil (I use a little less than 1/2c.)
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 eggs

Recipe
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl/standing mixer, combine quick bread mix, oats, coconut, cranberries and orange peel. Mix well.
3. To dry mixture, add oil, orange juice and eggs. Mix well.
4. Drop by heaping teaspoons (I used a medium sized cookie spoon) onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 10-13 minutes
6. Cool on wire rack
7. If desired, frost with basic powdered sugar glaze:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- enough juice squeezed straight from the orange to make a glaze
- spoon over top of cooled cookies
*Makes 2-3 dozen

Variations: You can really use any flavor of quick bread mix, from pumpkin to lemon, and adjust the add-ins, like walnuts for cranberries or lemon zest for orange.

*In loving memory of Army Spc. Chase R. Whitham*

6 comments:

KelseyKakes said...

Copied below is the 'thank you letter' from our troop, Daryl, this round of Operation Baking Gals. It really give you goosebumps doesn't it? This is why we do what we do!


Hello to you all,
First of all, on behalf of the men and women on 586 ESFS/Alpha Flight, I would like to say thank you for all of the cookies that we received over the past week. The cookies were a big hit around here. I know I really had to fight to get my fair share of cookies..

On a personal note, I want thank you all for the wonderful birthday cards that I have recieved. They really touched my heart. It gets hard sometimes celebrating special events (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) while you are in the desert, but things like this ease the pain.

Well, let me tell you about the job we do here and my duties. As my wonderful mother-in-law has probably told you, I am currently in Camp Bucca, Iraq (it's just outside of the border of Kuwait). I work with about 60-65 people and our mission here is called SEC-FOUR. We provide security for the whole base. Our duties also carry us outside the base as well.

As you know, it gets extremley hot here. The hottest I have seen it here was 158 degrees. When it gets that hot, the mission becomes very difficult.

Right now is our most intense time here because the locals are celebrating Ramadann which is a religous celebration similar to Christmas. This is the time that they really become violent, so just pray for us. Overall, the job is not too bad. We are all just ready to come home.

Again, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all of your prayers and support. It really is good to know that we have the support of wonderful people like yourselves. You will never know how much this means to us. Anytime we receive anything from home it's just like Christmas, so we have been celebrating pretty good this past week. Thank you Team Hungry Fox and we love you!!!!!!!

SSgt Daryl Harper/586 ESFS

Karen said...

These look delicious - and easy! Going to give them a try.

Katiecakes said...

I think it's a wonderful thing you and the rest of the Baking Gals are doing. Reading this post really warmed my heart.

I have several friends and family members in Iraq, maybe one day they'll be on the receiving end of one of the groups packages. I can certainly hope :)

xx

Anonymous said...

These cookies just came into my life recently! I have a question. Do you use the cranberries that come with the cake mix too?

About Me said...

Hi Anonymous!
Yes, I used the cranberries that come with the quick bread mix as well...can you have ever have enough?! You will find that some mixes come with cranberries and some do not. I find that it is really up to you on how many cranberries you want to add, it won't effect the recipe at all if you add more or less than I specified.
Happy baking!
KelseyKakes

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