Monday, August 25, 2008

Home Baked Support

A while ago, my friend Kara joined an amazing group of women called Operation Baking Gals. These women have banded together to bake sweet treats to send to our troops overseas as a means of showing our support for their continued efforts and sacrifice. I couldn't wait to help out when I saw that Kara was a host for the group this month and had a lot of fun finding the "perfect" cookie recipe to send to her soldier friend, Colin.

I think I really found a winner. I was trying to find something that was comforting in the way that only home cooked sweets and meals can be. And I don't know about you, but when I think homecookin', I think Paula Deen. I stumbled across this recipe for her Three Chocolate Cookies and once I read the raving reviews, I just had to try them myself.

The reviewers did not lead me astray! These cookies are AMAZING. The combination of the semisweet, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate along with toffee bits is enough for me right there....but the texture of these cookies is just perfect. In the past, I've made cookies that are soft right out of the oven but soon become a harder version of themselves. These cookies maintain that soft, chewy texture even after they have cooled and have been stored. I'm hoping they maintain that softness as they travel overseas too!

Paula's Three Chocolate Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup milk chocolate morsels

3 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup almond brickle chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.

3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate morsels and almond brickle chips.

4. Drop cookies by 1/4 cupfuls about 3-inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Since Paula's creations aren't always what you would call "figure-friendly," I definitely recommend these cookies for times when you know you can give them away and share them with friends. They are WAY too hard to resist if left lying around too long!

Hopefully this little token of appreciation will brighten the day of Colin and his friends!


Kara said...

YUM! I know they will love these! Thanks so much for being part of such a great effort supporting our troops!

Heather said...

You go girls! This sounds like a great cause! And the cookies will be very appreciated I am sure!