Sunday, December 20, 2009

Operation Sugar For Soldiers

It's that time of year again to dust off our baking mitts and fire up the oven for some holiday giving! This is my third Christmas serving Operation Baking Gals and I am getting everyone involved in the sweet feeling of mixing, stirring, and heating-up at 350 to bake for our troops overseas. We cooked up and gathered 15 giving souls to bring their culinary best and bake as many cookies as they could to ship to the troops on December 16th. Knowing the calibre of people that I recruited for this job, I knew we would get a good selection of cookies cookin'...but I was brought to tears by the amount of sugar laden goodness that was brought forth by this effort. Weighing in at 80 pounds of cookies stuffed full into 5 boxes, we shipped more sugar than I could have ever imagined!! Wow.

The amazing soldier we sponsored this year is named Tyler Sutton. He is stationed in Afghanistan and while he is fighting for the marines day in and day out, it never ceases to amaze me that while we are lighting up our Christmas trees and unwrapping gifts from Santa, these soldiers are selflessly giving up their holidays at home to fight, stand up for and protect the land where we are building our snowmen. A cookie doesn't even begin to show our thanks, but we hope these homemade gifts of sweetness can bring a touch of home to all the soldiers on Tyler's base this holiday season. They are the true heros of Christmas, and we honor them with all our hearts.

Birthday Cake Cookies

1 box of vanilla cake mix (any kind with pudding in the mix)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2-1 cup rainbow sprinkles (add as much as you desire)
1-2 cups of powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Milk (add to achieve smooth consistency) 
Rainbow sprinkles

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) In a large bowl, mix together cake mix and baking powder
3) Add eggs and oil - mix until blended
4) Stir in rainbow sprinkles (try not to over mix the batter)
5) Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, drop onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper
6) Bake for 9 minutes (they will look underdone, but take them out and let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes)
7) Remove from pan and let them finish setting on a cooling rack
8) While cookies are cooling, mixed powdered sugar with the juice of 1/2 a lemon
9) Add milk to mixture until frosting reaches a smooth consistency
10) Drizzle over cool cookies and top with remaining rainbow sprinkles