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Baking Recipes to Send to the Military


sasha
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Hi kdl1221...Thanks for the feedback and everyone else too. I'd love an update on your stale test. It would be very helpful in preparing the packages.

Also, regarding the concern expressed about soldiers receiving homemade goodies that might be tainted, the soldiers at Camp Scania have a personal connection with the gal that got me soldier Brian's name. The soldiers give permission to the chaplain to give their name and address to my friend and they know she screens her adopters carefully and knows them all personally. I don't believe that fear of poisoning is an issue. The recomendations for bug repellant , sunscreen, antifungal foot powder were all good ones. My goal is to do something that will make these young men and women a little more comfortable when they're so far from home. Thank you all for your valuable advice. Please keep it coming if there's some new idea or thought !

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My stepson spent 6 months in Fallujah. US mail takes a long time, he explained, because the mail is shipped to New York and they wait to fill a container before it is shipped from NY to "over there." The other option, though expensive, is Fedex, which delivers in a few days. Yes, just days, just like home. That's what my husband used. Magazines, for men and women, are another non-perishable idea of what to send, especially through regular mail.

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On a related note, if anyone would like to 'adopt' a soldier, the My Soldier program can help you get connected.

http://www.manhattanville.edu/mysoldier/index.html

Our guys and gals are not just fighting but rebuilding. One thing that is greatly appreciated is things they can give to the kids there. The aforementioned candy bars are always good, (as well as homemade goodies), school supplies (not books in English), and of course, the aforementioned sunscreen and cleaning supplies.

"Instead of orange juice, I'm going to use the juice from the inside of the orange."- The Brilliant Sandra Lee

http://www.matthewnehrlingmba.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am impressed. :shock:

The mail turn around was..... 11 days! So, I set aside some of the cookies I made to play around with how they tasted as time progressed.

1. Oatmeal Raisin.

2. Peanut Butter

3. Snickerdoodle

As soon as they cooled mostly they were immediately wrapped. They were mailed within a few hours.

I had access amounts of baked cookies, which were sent off to be enjoyed by the soilders my husband works with. Some dough was frozen to be used im my absense when my family is craving cookies.

So, get to the point right?

Oatmeal Raisin:

Room temp- stale, crunchy, held flavor the best.

Hung outside on the clothesline, in the sun and Georgia heat for a few hours- warm, hard, crunchy, and actually seemed to loose some flavor.

Snickerdoodle:

Room temp- stale, slight plastic taste, dry, crumbly

Heated outside- normal taste, almost as soft as fresh, no longer crumbly

Peanut Butter:

Room temp- stale, hard, crunchy, stronger plastic taste than the others

Heated outside- COMPLETELY SOFT! ! great taste. These by far shocked me. They went from being so hard and yucky, to tasting/texture like right from the oven.

Most I can figure.... all three used lots of butter crisco. Only the PB had milk and eggs, the others didnt.

My conclusion is... I will not send oatmeal raisin again, unless it is requested. The peanut butter I may send some every package. Now, even though I was loathed to the oatmeal raisin... my kids insisted they liked those best... maybe I am off, and they are on to something?

My uncle was so thankful for the cookies, and said how much all the guys liked them.

Next package is going out Saturday with pecan tarts and chocolate brownies (no chocolate pieces, but maybe some pecans also) I may even slip in a pint of vodka... beer would explode!

~K

~K

Thank you as well for the conversational haitus. I generally refrain from speach during gustation. There are those who attempt both at the same time. I find it coarse and vulgar.

Big Dan Teague

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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I am impressed. :shock:

The mail turn around was..... 11 days! So, I set aside some of the cookies I made to play around with how they tasted as time progressed.

1. Oatmeal Raisin.

2. Peanut Butter

3. Snickerdoodle

As soon as they cooled mostly they were immediately wrapped. They were mailed within a few hours.

I had access amounts of baked cookies, which were sent off to be enjoyed by the soilders my husband works with. Some dough was frozen to be used im my absense when my family is craving cookies.

So, get to the point right?

Oatmeal Raisin:

Room temp- stale, crunchy, held flavor the best.

Hung outside on the clothesline, in the sun and Georgia heat for a few hours- warm, hard, crunchy, and actually seemed to loose some flavor.

Snickerdoodle:

Room temp- stale, slight plastic taste, dry, crumbly

Heated outside- normal taste, almost as soft as fresh, no longer crumbly

Peanut Butter:

Room temp- stale, hard, crunchy, stronger plastic taste than the others

Heated outside- COMPLETELY SOFT!  ! great taste. These by far shocked me. They went from being so hard and yucky, to tasting/texture like right from the oven.

Most I can figure.... all three used lots of butter crisco. Only the PB had milk and eggs, the others didnt.

My conclusion is... I will not send oatmeal raisin again, unless it is requested. The peanut butter I may send some every package. Now, even though I was loathed to the oatmeal raisin... my kids insisted they liked those best... maybe I am off, and they are on to something?

My uncle was so thankful for the cookies, and said how much all the guys liked them.

Next package is going out Saturday with pecan tarts and chocolate brownies (no chocolate pieces, but maybe some pecans also) I may even slip in a pint of vodka... beer would explode!

~K

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Hi kdl1221...Thanks for all the great info. SPC Brian is at Camp Scania and I'm sure he has access to email. I'll send him a post card with my email address and see if he answers. My other soldier, PFC Joshua, still has not written. I can't imagine how hot it is at 122 degrees. We're having a heat wave here in Southern California that is probably very typical for those of you who live in the South. It's about 100 degrees and quite humid due to the hurricane. Usually, it's very hot here, but fairly dry as this is basically a desert (I live in northern Los Angeles County-nowhere near the beach!). Another thought I had regarding keeping the cookies fresh is to add some corn syrup as it tends to attract moisture from the air and might keep the cookies softer. I made a yummy coffee chocolate chip blondie this weekend that got better with age. Of course we ate them all up so I don't know if they would be ok or like a piece of styrofoam in 3 weeks! By the way, where is your uncle stationed and how long has he been in the Middle East? He's lucky to have a niece that is a good baker and likes to be creative in the kitchen. I'm sure he's really grateful for all you send. Please keep in touch...I enjoy hearing from you. "Sasha" aka Jodi

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  • 2 weeks later...

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~K

Thank you as well for the conversational haitus. I generally refrain from speach during gustation. There are those who attempt both at the same time. I find it coarse and vulgar.

Big Dan Teague

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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I also slipped in a couple little bottles of Jack, Smirnoff, and some other little samples. Nothing that had high enough alcohol to explode, or glass bottles. (Both of which the p.o. with question you about.) Plastic 80% proof they don't care  :wink:

Kim

Brilliant idea.

"Instead of orange juice, I'm going to use the juice from the inside of the orange."- The Brilliant Sandra Lee

http://www.matthewnehrlingmba.com

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Edited by kdl1221
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~K

Thank you as well for the conversational haitus. I generally refrain from speach during gustation. There are those who attempt both at the same time. I find it coarse and vulgar.

Big Dan Teague

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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  • 1 year later...

I recently joined "Soldier Angels", a program dedicated to supporting the US troops. I am participating in their "adopt a soldier" initiative, so I'm putting together a care package for the Thanksgiving holiday. I would like to bake my soldier something sweet and slightly fancier than a cake-from-a-DuncanHines-box. I was wondering if anyone knows of a dessert which ships well, keeps well (I believe the transit time is about 7 days), and withstands heat (it is about 90 degrees in Kuwait now, but I believe chocolate is OK)? Palatability is a requisite...and bonus points for a dessert that fits the holiday theme. :raz: Thanks!

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful"

- e e cummings

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Thanks for the ideas :biggrin:.

highchef, please post your praline recipe. Much appreciated!

srhcb and calipoutine: have you a favorite recipe for the bar cookies and biscotti?

Biscotti and pumpkin spice coffee sound warm and festive.

The sweets will be a nice surprise for my soldier.

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful"

- e e cummings

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Lebkuchen are more of a Christmas cookie, but they are spicy and so would invoke the flavors of fall or would be good for a Christmas package! They are typically aged or ripened for at least two weeks before eating and would be sturdy for shipping.

Anolther German Christmas spice cookie that is also ripened and ships well is Pfeffernuss. These may be iced or not. I'm not sure how a powdered sugar glaze icing would stand up to the heat.

I don't have my own tested recipes for these yet but there should be plenty of recipes on the net to try out if there aren't any on eGullet.

Good luck, and please report back on those that you end up sending out! It will be good information for all.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Here's one of my favorite brownie recipes. There are several more good looking recipes on Recipe Gullet you might like to examine.

Brownies ship best in their pan, so you might want to use those disposable foil pans, or hit a few yard sales.

Cover them with wax paper, then wrap them in plastic wrap or foil, and some bubble wrap. The USPS Priority Mail has free boxes, 15.5 x 12.5 x 3.5, that are perfect for sending a 9 x 13 pan!

Or is you want to "cheat", check out this Very Special Deal!

THANX SB :smile:

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Got some other ideas by googling a little bit: (I'm thinking of signing up to do this myself):

coconut macaroons

rum or bourbon balls

Dense moist loaf cakes can be packed in tins:

poundcake (someone mentioned sending this successfully but I'm not sure if the butter would be a problem)

banana or zucchini bread (pumpkin bread?)

fruitcake

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Link for three prizewinning "indestructable" cookies for shipping to Iraq

click

(may require free registration)

SHAGGY DOGS

DATE BARS

POTATO FLAKE DROP COOKIES

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Wow! Thanks for looking up all these recipes, Ludja. Looks like my soldier will be getting an assortment of cookies. And using the transit time to properly age a Pfeffernuss...brilliant!

Speaking of banana bread and fruit cakes, I thinking about doing a jar cake.

http://www.realfood4realpeople.com/jars.html

I wanted to do a cake with frosting; however, I don't know if this is possible, particularly since most cakes need to cool before frosting and the cakes need to be "canned" hot.

The date cookies from the "indestructible cookie" competition looks Mmmmm. I might just make a batch for Me. I will run an aging experiment on the date cookies and on SB's baby food brownies. SB, I know this recipe is a favorite of yours. Have you tried spiking it a bit, with Kahlua or Amaretto? :wink:

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful"

- e e cummings

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I will run an aging experiment on the date cookies and on SB's baby food brownies. SB, I know this recipe is a favorite of yours.  Have you tried spiking it a bit, with Kahlua or Amaretto?  :wink:

I haven't tried that, but can't see why it wouldn't work.

I do make a version for dogs though. I substitute 1/4 C honey for the sugar, replace the butter/oil with Crisco, use carob, and skip the topping. I also crush the egg shells and leave them in the batter. Why let all that calcium go to waste?

I found an organization that provides gifts to our K9 troops (and their handlers) and I'm thinking about sending a few batches.

SB (w/ & wo/ eggs shells of course) :wink:

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I'm going to run with this idea, too. We have a friend whose husband is deployed in Iraq (we live near one of the military bases in Hawaii). I discussed the cookies with her. She's going to try to get a list of names, but also suggests that if I send a batch of cookies wrapped as individual small packages c/o her husband, he can distribute them to other soldiers in his regiment.

Although the recommended mailing cut-off date is November 12 for packages to arrive in Iraq in time for Christmas, she says the current transit time is 10 days.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I will have the recipes for pralines in the morning. I have several, and I'll let others argue about it but the old ladies on the block tell me pralines are like divinity..you don't make them if the humidity is above 50. That's darn near dec. around here.

recipes in the morning.

Patty

edit: besides not having the recipes posted, I've done something wrong. edit is to correct my observation.

it's late, and I've done the homework. There are 2 recipies, but only one that I'd send to the far east, it shall be posted asap.

Edited by highchef (log)
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Edited by kdl1221
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~K

Thank you as well for the conversational haitus. I generally refrain from speach during gustation. There are those who attempt both at the same time. I find it coarse and vulgar.

Big Dan Teague

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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These pralines are chewier than I usually make, but they are stronger, the molasses makes them denser and they hold up well in shipping, especially if wrappend individualy.

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup light molasses

2 cups heavy cream

4 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla ext.

4 cups pecan halves

bring first 4 items to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. boil without stirring until soft ball stage 234-240 F. remove from heat, add vanilla and nuts and stir to crystallize. drop by spoonfuls onto silpat or buttered cookie sheets, leaving room for them to spread. cool. individually wrap or layer in wax paper. This is the heavier, sturdier praline. If you want the lighter version, i'll post it as well, but I don't know how well it would ship. This is the praline you would buy in the quarter, and it's very, very good. Having said that though, I have to admit I like the lighter one better, and wouldn't care if it arrived in crumbs. It would be great on ice cream!

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