Monday, November 24, 2008

Operation Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Operation Baking Gals round five was a November sensation. Woman from all over the US joined my team and came together, whisks in hand, to warm up their ovens in honor of our troop this month, Kevin Callen. Kevin is currently on his second service of duty in Iraq and was deployed on a few short days after his baby girl was born on September 15th. We were not only touched by Kevin's service in the marines, but by his endless dedication to his family and to the country we can all call home. In the Operation Baking Gals world, that is what we call a true hero.
It is needless say that we were truly inspired by Kevin this round and Team KelseyKakes really took off baking! We gathered around our cookbooks to make sure we sent over only the most heartfilled, home-inspired sweets that we could offer to our brave soldiers...and that counted for over 55 pounds of cookies this round! Wow.

Here is my personal batch of Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I like to use 1/2 whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups of rolled oats (not the instant kind)
1 2/3 cup of butterscotch chips

1. Heat over to 375 degrees
2. In a large bowl (or standing mixer), beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy (apx. 2 minutes)
3. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well
4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
5. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, stir until blended
6. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips by hand
7. Drop by tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets
8. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes
9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool

It is an honor to host Operation Baking Gals each month, and it is even more awe inspiring to find myself increasingly touched and humbled by every round. My bakers out there are truley selfless women and each new month seems to bring on more team members, more cookies and more love and support that we then get to send across the ocean to our troops in Iraq.

I decided to be a part of Operation Baking Gals as a way to heal, gain strength and deal with the heartache of losing a best friend who lost his own life while stationed in turn I have found so much more than I could have ever asked for. I have found a therapy in people, in my oven and in friendships that exisit so selflessly in the support of others. I have found troops, from all over our country, that I get to share my love for baking along with the love for my country all in the same box. I have found hope, strength and frosting covered happiness. But most of all, I have found that if we can make one solider feel our support, our love and a little closer to home...if only for a day...then we have succeeded in a job well done.

As we enter round five, the Holiday Baking Round, I hope I get to share these feelings and simple joys with all of you. If you would like to join Team KelseyKakes in my surgar coated quest to support our troops, feel free to join my team here, or email me at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Likety-Split Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin fest 2009 has come and gone leaving in its tracks a few pieces of pumpkin sage butter ravioli, an unopened Smuttynose Octoberfest and a half eaten pan of the easiest, most scrumptious, fresh from the oven, pumpkin pie.

I must say that I am not a pie person. There is just too much at stake with a pie crust...cutting the butter into the flour, rolling the dough to the perfect thickness and the expectations of a crust so flaky, you must have recived the recipe from your great grandmother. Pie crust falls under the pastry column and pastries leave little room for a KelseyKakes like kitchen error. Now with that said, I don't bake pies...but I do eat them! So when I found this recipe for an easy (and fast!) pumpkin pie on the Pillsbury website using a store bought pie shell, I was hooked and ready to complete my entire pumpkiny inspired menu. Enjoy and bake up!