Cookies for the Troops!
I have some very exciting news! This afternoon, I am presenting the very first session in my Let's Bake! program! Inspired by King Arthur Flour's Bake and Share program, Let's Bake! is a program that I designed with the goal of getting kids involved in baking as a community service project.
The seed for CookieShare was planted in my mind last year. It came to my attention that parishioners in my church operate a non-profit corporation called Boucek's Battalion. Boucek's Battalion receives donations of various items, including home-baked cookies, and puts together care packages which are sent to men and women who are deployed overseas in the United States military. I thought what a good thing it would be if I could show kids how to make a batch of cookies to donate to Boucek's Battalion for distribution to the troops.
So, I put together a class proposal and an instruction booklet and met with the pastoral associate in my church to pitch my idea. I was so excited when she called me a few days later to tell me that my program was a go!
The CookieShare program will last about an hour. I will show the kids how to measure, mix, shape and bake a batch of cookies. We will cover the basic skills needed for properly measuring and mixing ingredients and for shaping the cookies. We will also cover kitchen safety rules for kids such as baking only when a parent is home to help with operating the oven and the mixer and ALWAYS unplugging the mixer before inserting or removing the beaters.
The kids will then go home and choose one of three classic cookie recipes (chocolate chip, oatmeal or peanut butter) to bake. The kids must bake a batch of cookies and then bring the cookies to our church in early December on one of the three days when Boucek's Battalion will be accepting cookie donations. The kids' cookies will be packed up and shipped out to be enjoyed by a member of the U.S. military who won't be able to come home for Christmas.
Sharing what you make is the best part of baking, don't you think? I can think of no better way to introduce children to the satisfaction that comes from sharing the work of their hands than making cookies for deployed military personnel to let them know that we support them, that we are thinking of them and want to give them a gift from home.