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Care Package

One of my good friends from college is in the Marine Corps and stationed in Iraq with his unit. I’ve been sending him letters pretty regularly and now I decied to send him a care package of cookies and books. It raised an interesting question – what would survive the trip to Iraq? It takes a letter about a month to reach him so I figure a package will take as long if not longer. Hmmmm….I had originally wanted to send him chocolate chip cookies since they’re basically the American Cookie, but I was afraid that they’d be stale before they got there and that the chocolate chips would melt in the crazy heat. So I opted for chocolate biscotti. I also baked some peanut butter cookies and some vanilla bean sugar cookies.

I sent him chocolate biscotti (which, I forgot to take a picture of…weird…) from Confessions of a Tart, peanut butter cookies from Joy the Baker, and vanilla bean sugar cookies from Sugarlaws.

The chocolate biscotti were CHOCOLATEY…there’s no other way to describe it. My mother adored them. The peanut butter cookies were flourless and basically eating a jar of sugar enriched peanut butter. My dad throughly approved of them, saddly I wouldn’t let him eat many. The vanilla bean sugar cookies were wonderfully delicate. I think I might add more vanilla next time just because I like the taste of vanilla.

Here are the recipes (minus the chocolate biscotti recipe, click the link…you won’t be sorry):

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
(from Joy the Baker)

makes about two dozen cookies
1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Roll into walnut sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork. If you’d like, add a few chocolate pieces to the top of the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for two minutes.

Vanilla Sugar Bean Cookies
(From Sugarlaws)

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract, eggs, and seeds from vanilla bean.
Sift together the baking powd
er and flour, and add to the wet ingredients. Shape cookies into balls and place on a greased cooking sheet, flattening slightly with your palm. Bake for 8 minutes, allow to cool in the baking sheet for 1 minute, and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 30 cookies.

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