Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Kindness with Cookies

Our Girl Scout troop had it's big holiday party last night, which also doubled as part of their Bronze Award for community service.  We've been learning about food insecurity in our town (one of the priests who organizes the soup kitchen visited and talked to them, wonderfully, about the issue) and prepping to help the local interfaith soup kitchen at their annual Christmas celebration.  Each girl baked at least four dozen nut-free, chocolate-free cookies and brought them to last night's party, where we packaged them up with some candy canes, a homemade card, and  an angel ornament they made a few weeks ago.  This morning, I delivered the containers to the church (with extras going to the teachers' lounge at school) and, tomorrow night, the girls will help out and maybe do some caroling, which they practiced karaoke-style to an old VHS Disney show my co-leader had.   Like the priest kindly said, and I paraphrase, the girls are doing kind and good work which is the best way to face difficult issues.  We'll help again in February for Valentine's Day to complete our Bronze Award hours.

Aunt Banana's Punch, Adapted
2 liters of Sprite
8 zinger tea bags--I had a combo of Wild Berry and Raspberry (Red works great, too)
2 containers raspberry sorbet

Put 4 tea bags in each Sprite bottle, re-cap, and refrigerate.
Serve hours later, with sorbet.

Snickerdoodles (with cinnamon on outside of cookie)
yields 6-7 dozen

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening (or coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

For cinnamon-sugar:  1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon (if desired, use colored sugar; Sis used red and green, splitting the mix)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the shortening and sugar till smooth, then beat in the eggs, again beating till smooth.

Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon baking powder, then add the flour, mixing slowly till combined.

Place about 1/2 cup cinnamon-sugar in an 8" or 9" round cake pan or in a zippered bag.

Drop the soft dough by teaspoonfuls into the pan with the sugar, about 6 to 8 balls at a time. Gently shake the pan to coat the dough balls with sugar. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between them. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie till it's about 1/2-inch thick. Repeat till you've used up all the dough.

Bake the snickerdoodles in a preheated 400°F oven for 8-11 minutes.  They'll be set and just starting to turn golden. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them on a rack.

adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion 

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