CALLING ALL BAKERS: Cookies for Soldiers

    I received this message (below) Monday...only too appropriate for Memorial Day, I think. This is not a request for decorated cookies, but homemade cookies for soldiers for Father's Day. I thought this was an nice way to say thank you to our soldiers....and I want to say a personal "thank you" to my brother-in-law who came home from Iraq last week and to my dad, who doesn't talk about it much, but served in Vietnam. Thanks, guys...we are so proud of you!

    "My Son-In-Law is in Afghanistan and is the father of two boys. There are many many fathers in his FOB (forward operating base) that just would enjoy simple homemade 'American style' cookies. We are talking basic peanut butter, chocolate chip, and oatmeal. Nothing fancy and not too heavy on the chocolate, it melts and is a mess if it is too heavy.

    I am trying to arrange for folks to send some cookies to the FOBs on the outskirts and to those lower ranking guys, as my SIL puts it, those getting killed. He has agreed to pass them out to every enlisted Dad he can find.... He said most of them are dads but so many are out of touch with their families. They don't have Internet access yet but can phone if they are lucky enough to have an Afghani international phone. Very few do. Almost all without exception are there on a 15 month tour, him included.

    To get to them in time for Father's Day they need to be sent by June 4th."

    If you are interested in participating, please leave a comment with a way for me to contact you or click the "email me" link at the very bottom of this blog, and I will get the address to you. Thanks so much! Godspeed to our soldiers!
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Thank you, thank you very much!

    I am a big fan of thank you cookies! The latest were for my son's faith formation have to love the people that volunteer their time every week to teach, they are amazing, and they make it fun! (Instructions for these cookiesbelow.)
    I love the little hearts on these. When I worked at a preschool, one of my students was from Japan, and whenever her mother sent a note to school, the a's, o's and g's all had little hearts inside them. I thought that was the cutest thing...I loved getting notes from that mom and she inspired the hearts on these cookies.
    These were for a thank-you gift for a friend's OB and staff after her baby was born. I think they are my favorite.

    To decorate "thank you" cookies as shown at the top:
    • Using a #2 or #3 tip, outline cookies in white royal icing.
    • Thin royal icing with water in the background color to the consistency of thick syrup, cover with a damp towel and let sit several minutes. (AmeriColor Avocado)
    • Stir gently using a rubber spatula to break any bubbles that have formed on the surface and pour icing into a squeeze bottle.
    • Fill in cookies with the flood icing, using a toothpick to spread into corners.
    • Let dry at least 1 hour.
    • Using a #1 or #2 tip (test your writing on a plate first to see which looks best and which you are more comfortable with), pipe "thank you" on the cookies in white icing. (I start from the middle letter in the middle of the cookies and work my way out.)
    • Using a #1 tip, pipe hearts (a fat "v") in the center of the a and o and for the exclamation point. (for the salmon-y hearts above, I used just a bit of AmeriColor Super Red.)
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LIVESTRONG with a Taste of Yellow ~ roundup

    Today is LiveSTRONG Day. Winos and Foodies has posted all of the 179 entries from bloggers received for LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow event. You can find the posts here and here. All of the contributions look really amazing. I love that Barbara of Winos and Foodies commented on each and every entry! My wonderful family even got a made me cry all over again! My entry of Yellow Rose Sugar Cookies is here.

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More monograms...

    A few more monogrammed cookies to go along with the last post...

    These monogrammed wedding cakes are probably my favorite. I made them for a bridal shower with the couple's first initials.

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    Monogramming a cookie is an easy way to make a plain design look special. Here's a way to make all of your monograms look the same, which is really helpful if you don't love your handwriting or are a little shaky with an icing bag.

    First, go to the computer and find a font that you like. (This can be done in Word or Publisher and I'm sure other programs as well.) View the letter at 100% (this option should be in the top toolbar on your screen). Now, what I do...and it seems a little hold my cookie cutter up to the screen and see what the letter size will look like on the cookies. If it's not right, go into the font settings and change the letter size.

    When the letter is the right size, copy and paste the letter to put several on one sheet and print.

    Now time to head to the kitchen. On an upside-down cookie sheet, place your monogram template and top it with a sheet of waxed paper.
    Using a plain icing tip (I use a #2 or #3, a #1 tip will give a very fragile letter), trace the letters in icing on the wax paper. Continue this process until you have at least double the amount that you will need (you'll see why in a minute). Let these harden on the cookie sheets for at least 24 hours.

    Very carefully, use a thin, flexible cookie spatula to slide underneath the letter to loosen and remove onto a plate. Expect to break a fair amount....or at least, I do.
    After icing the cookies, gently place a letter on the wet flood icing. If it looks off-center, guide it along with a toothpick. Sometimes, you may have to use a broken letter; just piece it together on the cookie and it will probably only be noticeable to you. :)
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