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Even The Troops Love Christmas Cookies! Here’s How To Make Their Christmas Special

With Christmas approaching, it’s important to think of our troops. There are still thousands of brave men and women stationed overseas and a lot of them are excited for something very special — CHRISTMAS COOKIES! Shipping cookies overseas is a fun way to remind our troops that people back home are still thinking about them. But there are some intricacies to the process that can be hard to navigate. We at the Veterans site have created a three-part guide to help you through the whole process!

Which cookies will you ship to your favorite service-member?

PART 1: THE COOKIES

The biggest thing to be concerned about is getting your cookies to the troops intact. Because shipping can take a while, you want to ensure that your cookies don’t get moldy or break (imagine opening a box full of crumbs!) The best way to keep your cookies in one piece is to follow these guidelines:

  • Choose a recipe for a sturdy cookie that will not break easily.
  • Drier cookies also tend to stay fresh longer (e.g. biscotti, gingersnaps, and snicker doodles).
  • Avoid chocolate chips and other meltable ingredients.
  • Make your cookies a uniform size with an ice cream scoop or a cookie cutter. This helps with the packaging process.

By sticking to these basic rules of baking, your cookies will get to their destination with their shapes and flavor intact. If you are looking for a great recipe, try these ginger snaps from 12 Tomatoes:

Shipping-Cookies3

Ginger Snaps

Yields 3-4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (for rolling cookies)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F and set aside a shallow bowl of sugar for rolling the cookies.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together the shortening and brown sugar until lightened in color and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg and, once fully incorporated, mix in the molasses.
  5. A 1/2 cup at a time, mix in dry ingredients until fully combined.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes, then break off equal pieces of dough and roll out 1-inch balls of dough.
  7. Roll each cookie ball in bowl of granulated sugar, then place on baking sheet, leaving 2-3 inches between each cookie.
  8. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until puffed up slightly. (Cookies will collapse a little and be covered in little cracks–that ‘s what you want.)
  9. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

(Recipe adapted from What’s Cooking America)

Continue to the next page to learn how to get your cookies overseas!

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Will S. is a left-handed bibliophile who now owns a cherry-red Schwinn Traveler III. On summer afternoons you can almost see his vermilion shadow passing you at great speeds.