Kenmore’s Baking for the Troops campaign aims to make the holidays a little sweeter for thousands of deployed men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces. In partnership with The Food Network’s Sunny Anderson, the goal of the campaign is to send 250,000 cookies to deployed troops with messages of support from Americans.
How can you get involved? Simply go to the COOKIES4TROOPS tab on the Kenmore Facebook page and ask Kenmore to bake and ship a dozen cookies on your behalf – at no cost to you. You select your own personalized message that we’ll pair with the cookies for individual troops, letting them know YOU care. Even sweeter – when a quarter million cookies are shipped to the troops, Kenmore will donate $50,000 to Heroes at Home Wish Registry assisting military families stateside.
She also included this fun little recipe for all of your holiday cookie making times:
Sunny's Candy Bar Thumbprints
Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2010
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the coating
1 cup turbinado or raw cane sugar (recommended: Sugar in the Raw)
1 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans)
For the topping
various candy bars, broken into 1-inch pieces (Skor, Twix, Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat, etc)
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment blend butter and brown sugar on medium high until creamy. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, pushing everything back towards the center. Blend again, then add the vanilla, egg, salt and blend until combined. Lower the speed of the mixer and add flour in 1/2 cup intervals.
Between each addition be sure to completely blend in all the flour and scrape the sides again as before. Once completely combined scrape the dough out of the mixer and add to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile make gather the coating ingredients. In separate bowls add turbinado sugar and various chopped nuts.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and using a tablespoon measure scoop out dough and roll into a ball between your hands. Continue to finish them all. Then divide the balls evenly and roll each group in one of the coatings, leaving a few un-coated. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, separating them on the sheet by about 1 inch. Bake each batch for 12 minutes. Remove and immediately press one chunk of candy bar in the center of each ball. Remove to a wire rack. Let cool before serving.
Yield: 36 thumbprints
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Inactive time: 2 hours
* November through January is the best time to send these cookies to soldiers overseas because any other month the cargo is too warm. Also perfect because many countries have restrictions on sending candy bars, but this alleviates the problem. Soldiers can get their favorite candy bars in the form of a cookie.
*Perfect for assembly line cookie party, multiple batches can be made with endless combinations of coatings and toppings.
1. First, the cook's golden rule: Read all recipes before you begin.
2. Invest in an oven thermometer. It's every baker's best friend. Baking is a science and a proper oven temperature can be the difference between good and great cookies.
3. Softened butter keeps its shape but allows you to make a dent with your finger. It also softens faster when placed on metal or aluminum.
4. Cookie dough can survive in the freezer for up to 3 weeks if properly wrapped and sealed in freezer safe storage.
5. To store cookies, allow to completely cool, then contain. Any time before that will make the cookies either too soft or brittle depending on the recipe.
6. Ice cream scoops and melon ballers are great for measuring cookies so they are identical in size.
7. To stack sticky or soft cookies, think about using parchment paper or muffin tin or cupcake liners.